Williams seeks rehearing of N.Y. denial of Constitution natgas pipe

(Reuters) - A consortium behind the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York asked U.S. federal energy regulators on Monday to review their order related to a water quality permit that had been denied for the project.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Jan. 11 rejected the request by Constitution Pipeline, a consortium headed by Williams Cos, to overturn New York’s denial of the water permit.

“New York failed to act within ‘a reasonable period of time’ on Constitution’s application,” Constitution said in a statement.

If built, the 125-mile (201-km) pipeline would transport 0.65 billion cubic feet per day of shale gas. New York uses on average about 3.6 bcfd of gas, and one bcfd is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes.

Constitution is owned by subsidiaries of Williams, Cabot Oil & Gas, Duke Energy and WGL Holdings.

Officials at Williams could not immediately say what the latest cost estimate was for the project. The company said it would take about 10 to 12 months to build the pipeline after receiving necessary approvals.

When Williams proposed building Constitution in 2013, it estimated it would cost about $683 million and enter service in 2016. The delays, however, have boosted that estimate to as high as $875 million, according to upstate New York newspapers.

Williams filed with FERC to build the project in 2013. FERC first approved construction of the project in 2014 and then again in 2016, conditioned on other approvals.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation denied Constitution’s application in 2016, saying the company failed to provide sufficient information to determine whether the project would comply with the state’s water quality standards.

Constitution appealed the New York denial to a federal appeals court, but the court last year upheld the state decision. The company in January petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appeal court’s ruling.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Ian Simpson