U.S. interstate gas pipeline showed growth in 2021

By Keefe Borden17 February 2022

Midstream operators continued to add additional capacity to the U.S. pipeline network in 2021, but that growth was the lowest since 2016, according to a recent study from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Those operators added a total of 7.44 Bcf/d, according to the Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker. The agency defines interstate pipelines as those governed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which include pipelines that cross state borders and those that carry gas for export. Export pipelines include those that cross international borders and those which lead to liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

About 5 Bcf/d of that additional internstate natural gas pipeline capacity transports gas into and within the South Central region, which includes Texas and the Gulf Coast market. Most of the additional capacity serves the growing demand from LNG exporters, the EIA reported.

Two of the three major new pipeline projects in the South Central region are related to Venture Global’s newly commissioned Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana. The first, the TransCameron pipeline, is a 1.9 Bf/d, a 24-mil lateral, which delivers feedgas to the terminal. The second new project is Enbridge’s Cameron Extension Project, a 0.75 Bcf/d expansion on the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline (TETCO) that connects with the TransCameron pipeline.

The Double E pipeline is another major project that increased capacity in the South Central region. It carries 1.35 Bcf/d 135-miles from southeastern New Mexico to the Waha Hub in western Texas.

Midstream operators added a total of 1.6 Bcf/d in the Northeast region. About half of that new capacity came from two related projects. The 0.58 Bcf/d Leidy South Expansion Project boosts takeaway capacity from the Transcontinental Pipeline, which takes gas from the Appalachian Basin into the East Coast markets, the EIA reported.

In addition, the National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation had a separate project, the FM 100 Project, which expanded takeaway capacity by 0.33 Bcf/d, the EIA reported.

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