The estimated cost of the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been increased to $5.3-5.5bn, while the commissioning date has been delayed by few months

Pipeline sunset.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 487.6km long interstate natural gas pipeline system in the US. Photo: courtesy of outgunned21/

EQM Midstream Partners said that commissioning of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 487.6km long interstate natural gas pipeline system in the US, has been pushed back to late-2020 owing to legal and regulatory challenges.

The pipeline is being developed by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC – a joint venture between EQM Midstream Partners, NextEra US Gas Assets, Con Edison Transmission, RGC Midstream, and WGL Midstream.

Revised cost of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project

EQM Midstream, which will be the operator of the pipeline, said that the project will have a revised cost estimate in the $5.3-5.5bn range. Originally, the cost estimate was $4.6bn, while the targeted date of commissioning was in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The underground, interstate natural gas pipeline system is being laid between northwestern West Virginia and southern Virginia. The company said that it has so far completed nearly 80% of the pipeline work, which includes 424.8kms of pipe welded and installed.

EQM Midstream expects to complete almost 90% of the Mountain Valley Pipeline by the end of 2019. Construction work on the pipeline system began in February 2018.

The pipeline has been designed for the transportation of more than two billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas drawn from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions to the mid-Atlantic and southeast markets in the US.

EQM Midstream president and chief operating officer Diana Charletta said: “We have encountered unforeseen development challenges; however, we continue to make progress towards ultimate completion.

“While the temporary setbacks have caused schedule delays and cost overages, completion of the MVP project is critical to serving the growing demand for domestic natural gas in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States; and we appreciate the oversight of the various state and federal agencies that have helped guide our construction activities.”

Earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordered the project proponent to immediately cease construction activity along all portions of the pipeline. However, the company has been allowed by the FERC to carry on with restoration and stabilisation of the right of way and work area in order to protect the environment.

FERC’s order was in response to the stay order given by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on the project’s Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement.