Yesterday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted TransCanada’s Columbia subsidiary permission to begin a partial startup of the Gulf XPress Project that adds additional compression to the Columbia Gulf Transmission pipeline to flow more Marcellus/Utica gas to the Gulf Coast.
Gulf XPress works hand in glove with another Columbia project–Mountaineer XPress. Both projects will carry significant volumes of Marcellus/Utica gas to new markets.
Mountaineer XPress is 170 miles of new pipeline designed to flow 2.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas from existing and future points of receipt along or near the Columbia pipeline system–most of it located in West Virginia (see Details on Columbia Pipeline Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Project). At 2.7 Bcf/d, Mountaineer XPress is the second largest (by volume) new pipeline project for the Marcellus/Utica region–second only to Rover’s 3.25 Bcf/d pipeline. FERC recently granted permission to start up a portion of Mountaineer (see FERC OK’s Mountaineer XPress Pipe to Start Up in WV).
Gulf XPress consists of building seven new midpoint compressor stations along the existing Columbia pipeline system in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, with the aim of moving an additional 875 million cubic feet (MMcf) of Marcellus/Utica gas per day southward, to the Gulf Coast region. Yesterday FERC granted permission for part of Gulf XPress to begin service:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Monday it approved a request by TransCanada Corp’s Columbia unit to put part of the company’s $600 million Gulf XPress natural gas pipeline into service in Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Gulf XPress is one of several pipelines designed to connect growing output in the Marcellus and Utica shale basins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with customers in the U.S. Southeast and Gulf Coast
The 0.88-billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) Gulf XPress project includes construction of seven new compressor stations in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.
One billion cubic feet is enough gas to power about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.
New pipelines built to remove gas from the Marcellus and Utica have enabled shale drillers to boost output in Appalachia to a record high of 31.6 bcfd in February versus 26.9 bcfd in the same month a year ago.
That represents about 38 percent of the nation’s total dry gas output of 83.3 bcfd in 2018. A decade ago, Appalachia was responsible just 1.6 bcfd, or 3 percent, of the country’s total production in 2008.
Separately, TransCanada has said it plans to complete its $3 billion Mountaineer in 2019.
Mountaineer is designed to increase gas capacity in West Virginia by 2-bcfd.*
*Reuters (Feb 11, 2019) – U.S. approves part of TransCanada Gulf XPress natgas pipe for service
FERC order issued yesterday for Gulf XPress startup:
A map of the Gulf XPress compressor station locations:
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