Natural Gas Pipeline seeks FERC approval for Texas expansion

Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America LLC applied Aug. 1 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate a new compressor station and associated pipeline lateral located in Cass County, Texas.

Natural is also requesting authorization to abandon two compressor units at its Compressor Station 301 (CS 301) located in Wharton County, Texas.

The construction of facilities in Cass County will provide for incremental firm southbound transportation capacity from existing receipt points on Natural’s Gulf Coast System to delivery points in Natural’s South Texas Zone (called the “Gulf Coast Expansion Project). The Gulf Coast Expansion Project will utilize Natural’s existing Gulf Coast Mainline System (Gulf Coast Line) and the A/G Line, which connects Natural’s Amarillo Mainline System (Amarillo Line) and its Gulf Coast Line.

In addition, the project will require certain modifications to its system, primarily the construction of a new “greenfield” compressor station, identified as Compressor Station 394 (CS 394), and a new approximately 4,000-foot-long, 30-inch lateral, with connections to Natural’s existing Gulf Coast Line and A/G Line in Cass County, Texas.

The project will allow Natural to provide 460,000 Dth/day of southbound firm transportation capacity to two shippers, Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC (CCL) and Rice Drilling B LLC, which have executed binding precedent agreements with Natural providing the market support for the project.

To ensure timely construction of the project, Natural asked the commission to issue an order in this proceeding on or before Sept. 30, 2017. This would allow Natural to complete the acquisition of right-of-way, materials procurement, and construction of the project in a time frame compatible with an Oct. 1, 2018 in-service date.

The Gulf Coast Expansion Project will provide for incremental firm transportation capacity southbound on Natural’s Gulf Coast Mainline System, with gas receipts from Natural’s existing interconnects with Rockies Express Pipeline LLC (REX) in Moultrie County, Illinois, Fayetteville Express Pipeline LLC (FEP) in White County, Arkansas, MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MarkWest) in Bryan County, Oklahoma, and Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC (MEP) in Cass County, Texas, to an existing delivery point with NET Mexico Pipeline LP in Nueces County, Texas, and a new delivery point with Cheniere Corpus Christi Pipeline LP (CCPL) in San Patricio County, Texas, in Natural’s South Texas Zone.

Natural conducted a non-binding open season in February-March 2014, to gauge interest in an expansion of its Gulf Coast Line from a receipt point at the REX interconnect located in Moultrie County, Illinois, to delivery points along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast area. The proposed expansion project would result in firm southbound transportation service on Natural’s system that would necessitate certain facility modifications. In its open season posting, Natural proposed firm transportation service on a negotiated rate basis and included indicative rates that would be required to support the project. In response to this non-binding open season, Natural executed a binding precedent agreement with Rice for 75,000 Dth/day.

On April 6, 2015, Natural expanded its open season to include additional receipt points on the Gulf Coast Line and A/G line in the Texok Receipt Zone to markets in the South Texas, Texok and Louisiana Delivery Zones. After the expanded open season, Natural reached agreement with an additional shipper, CCL, that executed a binding precedent agreement for 385,000 Dth/day of capacity. In total, Natural executed precedent agreements for 460,000 Dth/day of firm transportation capacity.