For the first time in more than a decade, Florida — the second-largest natural gas demand market for electric generation in the U.S. (after Texas) — now has a new gas supply route into the state. Last month, Enbridge’s Sabal Trail Transmission pipeline began partial service, increasing Florida’s inbound gas transportation capacity by 1.1 Bcf/d (26%) — just in time to help meet air conditioning demand during the hottest months of the summer. The pipeline ultimately will for the first time connect Marcellus/Utica shale gas to the Sunshine State’s voracious power market. In the month or so since it began service, the pipe has already ramped up to 0.4 Bcf/d and, in conjunction with additional upstream expansions, could ultimately change not only how Florida gets its gas but where that gas gets sourced. Today, we provide an update on Sabal Trail and its effect thus far on gas flows.
As we noted in the first Mainline Florida blog earlier this year, until recently, the state’s power generation market could get its natural gas supply from two interstate pipelines: Energy Transfer Partners’ Florida Gas Transmission (FGT, pink lines in Figure 1 below) and Williams’s Gulfstream Natural Gas System (blue line in the map), which together can deliver nearly 4.2 Bcf/d into the state. Both of those routes are approaching capacity, particularly on peak demand days. There’s also another existing pipeline that extends across the Alabama-Florida state border — Boardwalk Pipeline Partners’ Gulf South Pipeline (purple web-like system) — but it delivers less than 200 MMcf/d, which is entirely consumed in the eastern end of the Florida panhandle.