FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The completion of a natural gas pipeline running through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina has been delayed and its costs are increasing by up to $3 billion.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC announced Friday that the 600-mile (965-kilometer) pipeline is not expected to be in full service until 2021. It was initially expected to be in service this year.

The project was projected to cost between $4.5 billion and $5 billion when first announced. Now the company projects a total cost of $7 billion to $7.5 billion.

A spokesman for pipeline partner Dominion Energy, Karl Neddenien, blames delays for the cost increases. Some work was suspended last year over questions related to a national permit, while residents and environmental groups have sued to stop the project.

Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com

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