U.S. midstream adds over 4 Bcf/d in gas capacity

By Keefe Borden17 November 2021

U.S. midstream companies have added more than 4 Bcf/d of natural gas pipeline capacity in 3Q2021, primarily in the Gulf Coast and Northeast markets, a recent survey from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows.

The survey showed that three projects totaling 3.6 Bcf/d of additional pipeline capacity in the U.S. Gulf Coast were either partially completed or entered service since July 1.

The first of those projects, the Whistler pipeline, was completed July 1. That pipeline, constructed by NextEra, has a capacity for 2.0 Bcf/d and connects Permian Basin production at the Waha Hub in West Texas to the Agua Dulce Hub in Southeast Texas. The Agua Dulce Hub serves as a supply point for several pipelines that cross the border with Mexico.

Whistler is owned by a joint venture that includes WhiteWater, MPLX, WTG and Stonepeak. It is a 450-mile, 42-inch intrastate pipeline.

The Acadiana Expansion Project, which will add 894 MMcf/d to the Kinder Morgan Louisiana intrastate pipeline was partially completed on Aug. 6. The project boosts takeaway capacity out of the Haynesville Basin and connects to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. The project is expected to be completed in early 2022.

Kinder Morgan filed with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand the project in June 2019 and asked approval to build three new compressor stations that would supply gas to a sixth liquefaction train to the Cheniere LNG facility in Sabine Pass.

The Cameron Extension project, which will add 750 MMcf/d to the Texas Eastern Transmission (TETCO) interstate pipeline, was partially completed on Aug. 12. When fully complete, that project will deliver gas to the Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Several other smaller projects in the Northeast have also entered several, bringing extra gas to the constrained market in the region. In New England, two projects will improve the region’s access to winter supplies of natural gas by over 100 MMcf/d.

Kinder Morgan’s 261 Upgrade Projects were completed Oct. 6. Those projects are collectively designed to add additional about 20 MMcf/dnof additional capacity to the existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline System.

The new, upgraded compressor station at Station 261, located in Agawarm, Mass., includes a looping project and a horsepower replacement project.

The looping project includes the installation of 2.1 miles of a 12-inch diameter pipeline loop that runs parallel and adjacent to an existing TGP pipeline. That project was completed in November 2020, Kinder Morgan reported.

Kinder Morgan removed an inactive 6-inch diameter pipeline and replaced it with a new 12-inch diameter pipeline loop upgrade in certain locations.

The horsepower replacement project involved the replacement of two existing turbine compressor units with a new, cleaner-burning turbine compressor unit and the installation of auxiliary facility’s at TGP’s Compressor Station 261, Kinder Morgan reported.

TC Energy’s Portland Natural Gas Transmission System completed Phases 2 and 3 of the Westbrook Express Project on Oct. 21. That project boosts natural gas pipeline import capacity from Canada by 81 MMcf/d. In addition, a new compressor station in Westbrook, Maine will boost capacity on the Maritimes Northeast pipeline by an additional 50 MMcf/d.

On Sept. 28, Enbridge’s Middlesex Extension Project entered service. That 264 MMcf/d project connects the Texas Eastern Transmission existing Line 20 pipeline to the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (TRANSCO), Enbridge reported. That line delivers gas to the 724 MW Woodbridge Energy Center combined cycle power plant in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, the EIA reported.

Enbridge reported the Middlesex Extension Project enhances the reliability of gas to a facility that provides electricity to New Jersey. The optimization project improves the efficiency of the state’s natural gas network and reduces regional energy costs by providing access to alternative supplies during periods of constraint on the gas network. The project includes a 1.5-mile, 20-inch diameter gas pipeline, a new metering and regulating station, pipe inspection and tie=in facilities, Enbridge reported.

In addition to the completion of new projects, the EIA reported that the planned 1.3 Bcf/d PennEast Pipeline was cancelled in September. The original plan for the pipeline was to bring gas from Luzerne County in notheastern Pennsylvania to Transco’s pipeline near Mercer County, New Jersey.

It is a $1.3 billion project included a 120-mile, 36-inch underground pipeline designed to bring gas from the Appalachian Basin into constrained markets in New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. The joint venture that owned the pipeline included NJR Pipeline Co., SJI Midstream, Southern Company Gas, Enbridge Inc., and UGI Energy Services.

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