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EIA: US natural gas capacity update for first half of 2020

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Between January and early July 2020, approximately 5 billion ft3/d of new pipeline capacity entered service in the United States, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Natural Gas Pipeline Project Tracker. Several of these projects could increase deliverability to growing natural gas demand markets in North America.

EIA: US natural gas capacity update for first half of 2020

Projects that primarily serve to connect additional natural gas supplies to existing infrastructure include the following:

Cheyenne Connector Pipeline and Cheyenne Hub Enhancement Project

These Tallgrass Energy projects, which entered service in late June 2020, added 1.6 billion ft3/d of capacity in total. The 0.6 billion ft3/d Cheyenne Connector is a 70 mile, 36 in. pipeline that brings natural gas from eastern Colorado into the Cheyenne hub near the Colorado-Wyoming border. The Cheyenne Hub Enhancement Project increases interconnectivity and deliverability between the Rockies Express Pipeline and other interstate transmission systems, allowing natural gas production in the Rockies to access more markets with increased flexibility.

Cheniere MIDSHIP Pipeline

Cheniere’s 233 mile, 36 in. greenfield MIDSHIP Pipeline began operations in April 2020, bringing 1.1 billion ft3/d of natural gas produced in the SCOOP-STACK Basin in western Oklahoma to the Bennington hub at the Oklahoma-Texas border. The Bennington hub will allow these natural gas supplies to serve growing southeastern demand markets, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities owned by Cheniere.

Waha hub interconnects

Three projects totalling more than 1 billion ft3/d that connect to the Waha hub are located in western Texas near Permian Basin production areas:

  • Northern Delaware Basin Expansion: Completed in February 2020, this 14 mile, 0.32 billion ft3/d expansion of the El Paso Natural Gas Transmission System (EPNG) increased takeaway capacity out of the Delaware Basin.
  • Sendero Carlsbad Gateway Project: This new pipeline was completed in May 2020 and connects natural gas processing plants in southeastern New Mexico to the Waha hub. The 23 mile, 24 in. pipeline has a capacity of 0.40 billion ft3/d.
  • South Mainline Expansion Project: Another expansion on EPNG, this project entered service in early July 2020. Providing 0.32 billion ft3/d of additional westbound capacity out of the Waha Hub, the South Mainline Expansion delivers additional supplies to Arizona and Southern California markets. A related project, the 0.32 billion ft3/d Sierrita Pima Expansion, was also completed in early 2020, increasing the capacity on the Sierrita export pipeline from Tucson, Arizona, to the US border with Mexico. 

In addition to these projects, which account for most of the new pipeline capacity in the first half of 2020, the second phases of the Sabal Trail Pipeline (0.17 billion ft3/d) and the Hillabee Expansion (0.2 billion ft3/d) entered service in April, increasing deliverability to Southeast demand markets. The 0.3 billion ft3/d Empire North Expansion Project, which increases deliverability to western New York consumers on the Empire Pipeline, entered partial service in late June.

Although approximately 5 billion ft3/d of new pipeline capacity has entered service in the United States so far in 2020, an estimated 8.7 billion ft3/d of pipeline projects have been cancelled in 2020. These cancellations include the 1.5 billion ft3/d Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which planned to transport natural gas supplies from the Marcellus and Utica plays to electric power consumers in the Southeast, and the 0.65 billion ft3/d Constitution Pipeline, which would transport northeastern natural gas production into New England. At the regional level, the South Central region had the most potential added capacity cancelled, at 3.5 billion ft3/d, with the cancellations of the Permian to Katy Pipeline and the Creole Trail Expansion Project 2. EIA’s Natural Gas Pipeline Project Tracker is updated quarterly. EIA will publish the next update in October 2020.

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