Williams Partners Cleared to Resume Work on $3 Billion Gas Pipeline

Updated on
  • Appeals court lifts stay on construction of Atlantic Sunrise
  • Gas driller and would-be shipper Cabot had plunged on the stay

Contractors and welders work on the Williams Transco pipeline in Lebanon, Penn., on Oct. 6.  

Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Williams Partners LP was cleared by a federal court to resume construction on a $3 billion pipeline that will help shuttle shale gas across the eastern U.S.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied a request from environmentalists and landowners to stay approval of the Atlantic Sunrise project pending its review, saying they didn’t satisfy “stringent requirements.” An administrative stay that temporarily halted work on the pipeline earlier this week was also lifted.

The brief disruption in construction sent U.S. gas driller Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. plunging on Tuesday as it’s a major would-be shipper on the line. The shares rebounded Thursday, rising as much as 2.8 percent to $28.60 in New York. The stay prompted Williams to blast the pipeline’s foes as “opponents of American energy” who were putting as many as 8,000 jobs in jeopardy and depriving families of low-cost gas. The company has already pressed President Donald Trump’s administration for help getting another controversial pipeline built in New York by stressing the jobs it would create.

“We will promptly resume construction activities on this important pipeline project, which will leverage existing energy infrastructure to deliver economic growth and help millions of Americans gain access to affordable Pennsylvania-produced clean-burning natural gas,” Williams said in a statement late Wednesday.

Both Cabot and Williams have been projecting a mid-2018 startup of the Atlantic Sunrise project.

Williams rose 0.3 percent to $28.47 at 9:46 a.m. Thursday in New York. Williams Partners gained 0.2 percent.

— With assistance by Andrew M Harris

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