* Pipeline maintenance to begin May 21
* Algonquin system major supplier of gas in New England
* New England’s power grid says summer supplies adequate
NEW YORK, May 9 (Reuters) - Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Gas Transmission unit on Thursday said planned maintenance starting May 21 on its 24-inch mainline natural gas system in New England could cause some restrictions.
“As part of its pipeline integrity project, Algonquin will be conducting pigging operations from the Burrillville station to the end of the line. During the in-line tool run, Algonquin will coordinate with downstream point operators to minimize operational impact,” a website posting said.
The notice added that if further detailed investigations were necessary, capacities through the station could be limited to, in a worst case scenario, 449,000 dekatherms a day.
Capacity to several meters in Massachusetts could also be restricted, the posting added.
The work is slated to end on June 9.
Additional pigging work on its 24-inch J-1 line from Needham to Waltham is slated for June 1-20. Capacity to several meters on that segment could also be restricted during the work.
Other maintenance for later in the year was also posted on the company’s website.
The 1,120-mile Algonquin system transports 2.44 billion cubic feet per day of gas throughout New England with direct connections to five major interstate pipelines and Distrigas’ Everett, Massachusetts liquefied natural gas terminal.
Prices on the Algonquin system, while not tracked daily by Reuters, are typically some of the highest in the nation as posted by ICE. In the peak winter demand period, prices climbed to $14 per million British thermal units, more than $10 above where cash gas at the nation’s benchmark Henry Hub traded this winter.
The New England power grid said recently it expects to have enough electric supply to meet peak demand this summer but said it would “keep an eye” on other factors that could have an impact on grid operations like natural gas pipeline maintenance.
New England is dependent on natural gas for electricity production. Last year natural-gas-fired plants produced 52 percent of the power generated in the region.