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Permian’s Natural Gas Takeaway Capacity Set To Rise

U.S. pipeline operators and developers have recently announced five natural gas pipeline projects which are expected to increase the takeaway capacity from the Permian basin to demand centers near the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.

Four newly announced projects and one optimization project under construction are set to boost takeaway capacity out of the Permian Basin by a combined 4.18 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) over the next two years if they are completed as planned.

Of the four newly announced projects, three are capacity expansions of existing pipelines, while one is a new pipeline project which has reached a final investment decision (FID), the EIA says in its latest Natural Gas Pipeline Project Tracker.

The expansion projects include Kinder Morgan’s Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Expansion which will boost capacity by 0.57 Bcf/d to 2.55 Bcf/d and is planned to enter service in December 2023. Another Kinder Morgan project, the Permian Highway Pipeline Expansion, will also expand capacity, by 0.55 Bcf/d to 2.65 Bcf/d. The project is expected to enter service in November 2023. The third expansion is the Whistler Pipeline Capacity Expansion by WhiteWater and MPLX, expected to enter service in September 2023.

The new pipeline project is the Matterhorn Express Pipeline, planned to transport up to 2.5 Bcf/d of natural gas through approximately 490 miles of pipeline from Waha, Texas, to the Katy area near Houston, Texas.

Gas production in the Permian Basin is expected to increase by 2.3 Bcf/d in 2022 and an additional 1.4 Bcf/d in 2023, the EIA has estimated.

Increased takeaway capacity and production out of the Permian could further boost supply for U.S. LNG exports in the coming years.

In the first half of 2022, the United States became the world’s largest LNG exporter, thanks to high demand in Europe, high natural gas prices, and increased export capacity, the EIA said last week. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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