By TONY SCHINELLA (Patch Staff)

Kinder Morgan is suspending further work on the Northeast Energy Direct project, a multi-billion-dollar natural gas pipeline that would have brought natural gas through western Massachusetts and into southern New Hampshire to the North Shore of Massachusetts, according to a press statement.

The project was started last summer as a way to “alleviate New England’s uniquely high natural gas and electricity costs caused by severely limited natural gas transportation capacity currently serving the region,” according to the company. The project was based on “existing contractual commitments” at the time and other market participants. However, the company announced on April 20, 2016, “despite working for more than two years and expending substantial shareholder resources, the (Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company) did not receive the additional commitments it expected” and there are “neither sufficient volumes nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured,” according to a statement.

The project was opposed by municipal officials in almost every New Hampshire and Massachusetts community it would have passed through, including Lynnfield.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, said she was pleased with the announcement.