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National Fuel pipeline delayed

National Fuel Gas's Northern Access 2016 pipeline project will take a few months longer to complete than expected.

The Amherst-based energy company said it now expects the 99-mile pipeline running from McKean County, Pa., to Elma to be completed by the end of March 2018, rather than its previous target for beginning service in November. National Fuel blamed regulatory delays for the five-month extension of the pipeline's in-service date.

The company also said its oil and natural gas production during the quarter that ended in December was 18 percent higher than a year ago because of stronger natural gas production in Appalachia. The higher production, coupled with rising prices, also led to higher volumes on the company's network of gathering lines that connect production areas with larger capacity pipelines.

National Fuel's production rose to the equivalent of 44.9 million cubic feet of natural gas, led by a 21 percent increase in Appalachia. But the price National Fuel received for that gas also dropped by 6 percent after hedging.

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