New natural gas pipelines added in 2019 boost exports and sales to Eastern markets
Energize Weekly, November 20, 2019
New natural gas pipelines are projected to add between 16 billion cubic feet a day and 17 billion cubic feet a day of capacity in the U.S. in 2019, with most of that as takeaway capacity from supply basins, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA).
There are 134 active natural gas line projects in the country, and 46 of those are slated to come online in 2019, increasing delivery capacity to Mexico and to export-oriented liquefied natural gas plants (LNG) on the Gulf Coast.
More than 40 percent of the total new pipeline capacity – about 7.2 billion cubic feet a day – is coming out of the South Central region with many of the pipelines serving the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico and is the largest shale oil and gas field in the country.
The lines will enable more Permian gas to reach interstate pipelines. Among the projects are:
- Kinder Morgan’s 2-billion-cubic-feet-a-day Gulf Coast Express Pipeline providing capacity from the Waha Hub in the Permian Basin (near the Texas-New Mexico border) to demand markets on the Gulf Coast at the Agua Dulce Hub.
- ONEOK’s Roadrunner eastbound expansion, adding 1 billion cubic feet a day of bidirectional pipeline capacity, and the West Texas expansion, adding another 300 million cubic feet a day of capacity out of the Permian Basin.
- El Paso Natural Gas pipeline’s 320-million-cubic-feet-a-day Northern Delaware Basin expansion project, which will add extra capacity flowing west to El Paso’s system in western Texas when it is completed.
The remaining projects in the South Central region will deliver gas to the Gulf Coast, particularly LNG export facilities.
Cheniere’s 1.4 billion-cubic-feet-a-day MIDSHIP Pipeline, still under construction, will bring Oklahoma natural gas supplies to the Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana.
In the second quarter of 2019, Texas East Transmission (TETCO) completed expansions to its existing pipeline infrastructure, including the 400-million-cubic-feet-a-day Stratton Ridge Expansion, connecting to the Freeport LNG facility on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The Valley Crossing Pipeline will move 2.6 billion cubic feet a day to Mexico export markets. It connects to the new, 497-mile Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline, also completed in 2019, which carries natural gas to the southern Mexican state of Veracruz.
The Northeast saw the most pipeline construction activity after the South Central region with pipelines designed to carry natural gas to major domestic population centers.
The 223-million-cubic-feet-a-day Millennium Pipeline-Eastern System Upgrade project, which carries natural gas to Pennsylvania and New York markets, has already been completed.
The Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company’s 190-million-cubic-feet-a-day “Riverdale to South Market Project” delivering gas to the New York City market was also completed this year.
“The remainder of the new pipeline capacity in the Northeast connects natural gas supplies to the NEXUS pipeline in the Midwest (the completed Appalachia Lease Project Phase 2) or to market hubs within the Northeast,” EIA said.