NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) and EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) announced today that they are joining ranks to build a new 330-mile natural gas pipeline to connect the Marcellus and Utica shale supply to Southeast markets.

Dubbed the "Mountain Valley Pipeline project," the two companies (including EQT Corporation limited partner EQT Midstream Partners, LP (NYSE:EQM)) are planning on creating a joint venture to make this latest initiative more than a pipe dream. Per the agreement, EQT Corporation will be the operator and majority owner of the joint venture. The project needs approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The 330-mile pipeline will head from northern West Virginia to a point close to the Virginia-North Carolina border, and will send along at least 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas when it comes online, the companies said. Delivery to the station in Pittsylvania County, Virginia is slated to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2018.

"By leveraging our existing asset footprint and extensive pipeline network, this project will provide Marcellus and Utica producers a unique opportunity to transport their growing natural gas production to the southeast, one of the nation's fastest growing demand markets," said Randy Crawford, Senior Vice President of EQT Corporation and COO for EQT Midstream Partners, in today's press release.

TJ Tuscai, NextEra Energy's U.S. Gas Assets President, agreed: "This is an exciting opportunity to invest in a high-quality natural gas pipeline that we expect to be fully contracted for the next 20 years. This project is expected to support production growth and physical takeaway capability in the Marcellus and Utica and provide new markets to producers and shippers in the region."

Source: NextEra Energy Resources, Inc .

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