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16-Jan-2016 19:23

In terms of timing, a lot of the conversations are revolving around providing those potential shippers certainty as to when the pipeline will go into service," Norcia said.

"I think the moment that we get our FERC certificate and start construction, we'll start to move to close on some of those firm service agreements." He added, "Our current commitments are underpinned 50% by" local distribution companies (LDCs), "so it's a demand pool, and our LDCs are actively in the region looking to secure supply. The other half of our commitment is from producers." Based on conversations with producers, "they are prepared when we go into service to fill the pipe." Norcia said the producer activity in the Appalachian Basin has been encouraging as DTE looks at expanding its Link Lateral and Gathering system in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania.

"We want to build a strong case that in the event if something were to go wrong, we want to make sure they are adhering to the strictest standards.

I will tell you that Enbridge/Spectra and ourselves have been involved in many pipeline projects and have a tremendous amount of experience in building pipelines, and we feel that we'll proceed in a way that's environmentally responsible and follow best practices in the industry," Norcia said."We also said that if the FERC certificate wasn't received within that timeframe, then the project might get pushed back to 2018.