FERC approves new gas export pipelines

By Keefe Borden01 June 2022

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved three major natural gas pipeline projects that will boost the country’s ability to export additional LNG by a combined capacity of nearly 1.8 Bcf/d.

The first and largest pipeline, the Evangeline Pass Expansion Project, is a 1.1 Bcf/d pipeline owned by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a division of Kinder Morgan. The project includes 13.1 miles of new pipeline and two new compressor stations that will deliver natural gas to the proposed Plaquemines LNG Project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

Tennessee Gas will construct and operate 9.1 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline loop along its existing 24-inch Yscloskey Toca Lateral in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. It will also build about 4 miles of 36-inch loop along its existing 36-inch-diameter 500-2 Line in Plaquemines Parish, the Grand Bayou Loop, the FERC reported.

Tennessee Gas will also construct a new compressor station along its existing 500 Line system in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The station will include a single 23,470 hp natural gas-fired Solar Titan 130 turbine unit and auxiliary facilities. Tennessee Gas will also replace two 10,410 hp compressor units at its existing Compressor Station 527 in Plaquemines Parish. Tennessee Gas estimates the cost of the project to be $261 million.

The second pipeline, the Alberta Xpress Project is a 0.165 Bcf/d line owned and managed by ANR Pipeline Company, a division of TC Energy. The new pipeline will use capacity from the Great Lakes Gas Transmission system and the ANR pipeline and will add a new compressor station in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. The project will boost capacity from the GLGT receipt point at the Minnesota-Manitoba border to delivery points in the U.S. Midwest and the U.S. gulf Coast. It will boost available capacity for LNG export facilities in the region and will improve domestic gas infrastructure in those regions.

ANR will construct a new compressor station in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, the Turkey Creek Compressor Station, which will have one 15,900 horsepower gas-fired turbine compressor unit, three inlet filter separators, suction and discharge piping, the FERC reported.

ANR will also make minor modifications at one of two existing mainline valves (MLV 2 or MLV 3) in Evangeline Parish to enable gas to be purged from the Southeast Mainline 501 pipelines in conjunction with construction of the new compressor station. The project is expected to cost around $81.1 million.

The third pipeline project will add 0.5 Bcf/d in export capacity to the Energia Costa Azul LNG Export Project in Baja California, Mexico. The North Baja Xpress Project from TC Energy will modify existing facilities and compressor stations along its 86-mil North Baja Pipeline.

The FERC gave conditional approval to the project, which is in La Paz County Arizona and Imperial County, California. The permit enables North Baja, a division of TC Energy, to deliver natural gas from West Texas and the Rocky Mountains to markets in the western U.S. and Mexico.

The project will enable North Baja to provide nearly 0.5 Bcf/d of firm transportation service for Sempra LNG International from the existing El Paso Natural Gas Company metering station in Ehrenberg, Arizona to the Ogilby meter station near Obilgy, California. The gas will ultimately be exported to Mexico.

North Baja will modify the existing Ehrenberg Compressor Station in La Paz County, Arizona by installing a new 31,900 hp Solar Turbine Titan 250 compressor unit with ancillary equipment to provide first stage compression. In addition, it will restage two existing 7700 hp Solar Taurus 60 turbine compressor units to provide second stage compression in series flow.

It will also install additional flow measurement facilities and make piping modifications at the existing El Paso Meter Stations in La Paz County, Arizona and install additional flow measurement facilities at the existing Ogilby Meter Station in Imperial County, California. North Baja told the FERC the project will cost an estimated $127.2 million and should be in service by Nov. 1. North Baja has signed a binding, 20-year agreement with Sempra LNG for all of the project’s capacity, the FERC reported.

In addition to the recent approvals for new natural gas pipelines, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that two major natural gas projects were completed in the last quarter. The Putnam Expansion project added 0.17 Bcf/d in capacity to the Florida Gas Transmission pipeline, which facilities deliveries to a Seminole Generation Cooperative natural gas -fired power plant in Putnum County, Florida.

The North Bakken Expansion Projects is a 62-mile extension of the Williston Basin Interstate pipeline system. The project will add 0.25 Bcf/d in takeaway capacity from the Bakken in North Dakota and connects to the Northern Border Pipeline, the EIA reported.

For all of 2021, the EIA estimated that U.S. midstream companies added 7.44 Bcf/d in new interstate pipeline capacity, the lowest since 2016.

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