Factbox: U.S. oil and natgas pipelines delayed by legal and regulatory battles

(Reuters) - There are numerous large U.S. and Canadian oil and natural gas pipelines in progress, but many have been delayed in recent years due to legal and regulatory battles, while others have been scuttled as costs rose.

FILE PHOTO: Lengths of pipe wait to be laid in the ground along the under-construction Mountain Valley Pipeline near Elliston, Virginia, U.S. September 29, 2019. Picture taken September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

Here are the primary projects still in play, and a couple of recently canceled projects:


The $5.8 billion-$6.0 billion Mountain Valley natural gas pipe is being built by units of Equitrans Midstream Corp, NextEra Energy Inc and others. It is designed to transport about 2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas from West Virginia to Virginia.

The project was originally expected to enter service in 2018. Legal and regulatory delays due to environmental reasons have pushed the likely start date to the end of 2021. That could be extended, however, as the line now needs numerous permits for water crossings.


The $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline being built by a unit of Energy Transfer LP will increase the capacity of the Mariner East system by 275,000 barrels per day from Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to eastern Pennsylvania.

The pipe was originally expected to enter service in the third quarter of 2017. After delays caused by drilling fluid spills, Energy Transfer put the project into service in December 2018. The final phase is expected to be finished by the second quarter of 2021.


The C$12.6 billion ($9.85 billion) Trans Mountain expansion project was purchased by the government of Canada in 2018. It is designed to nearly triple the capacity of the existing crude pipeline from 300,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd. The pipeline flows from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia and the expansion is expected to be completed in December 2022.


Enbridge Inc is expanding its existing Line 3 pipe through North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin to roughly double capacity to ship 760,000 bpd of crude from Alberta to Wisconsin.

Enbridge started construction on the 337-mile (542-km)Minnesota portion of the pipe in December 2020 and expects to complete the project in the second half of 2021. Environmental groups and others are challenging some of the project’s water crossing permits in court.


This line, which carries light crude and propane through the Mackinac Straits in Michigan, has been in the ground for 68 years. The state’s governor recently ordered the line shut and revoked an easement allowing it to run through that body of water, citing the risk of spillage. Enbridge is seeking to build a tunnel to house the line within the straits to protect that body of water. It needs additional state and federal permits for the line, however.


The Dakota Access Pipeline currently runs from North Dakota’s Bakken shale region to Nebraska where it connects with other lines to the Midwest and U.S. Gulf Coast.

The line carries 470,000 barrels per day of crude, but courts have ordered additional environmental review of an easement under Lake Oahe, which is a drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. That permit was granted in 2017 by the Trump administration.



In one of his first acts as president, Biden revoked the permit needed to build TC Energy Corp’s $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried 830,000 bpd of oil from Alberta to Nebraska.

The project had been in development since 2008. Former President Donald Trump approved a permit for the line in 2017, but legal challenges hampered construction.


Dominion Energy Inc and Duke Energy Corp canceled their $8 billion Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina in July following years of delays and cost overruns caused by legal and regulatory battles.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy