Toe bone connected to the foot bone - Bridging Marcellus/Utica Gas Supply with Sabine Pass LNG Exports

Energy Transfer Partners Rover Pipeline’s Mainline A first began flowing natural gas west from the Marcellus/Utica on September 1, and volumes are now averaging about 1.0 Bcf/d. The bulk of that is being delivered into TransCanada’s ANR Pipeline and, pipeline flow data shows some of that, either directly or indirectly, is making it all the way south to the Gulf Coast, specifically toward Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction and export facility (SPL). Deliveries to the facility have climbed to nearly 3.0 Bcf/d in recent weeks as the fourth liquefaction train was brought online. Along the way, the Rover-ANR combo is increasing competition with other pipes that feed ANR, including other Marcellus/Utica takeaway pipelines such as REX and Dominion. Today, we look at how Rover has changed flow patterns for gas targeting Gulf Coast demand.

This is Part 2 of our short blog series looking at how the combination of increasing demand on the Gulf Coast and incremental takeaway capacity from the Marcellus/Utica is reconfiguring flow patterns along the long-haul pipelines that bridge the two regions. In Part 1, we zoomed into flows in and around SPL, specifically what’s being delivered to the facility and from which pipelines. Pipeline flow data from our friends at Genscape shows that in the past 30 days, Sabine Pass LNG received an average 2.6 Bcf/d of gas supply. (Incidentally, that’s up from nearly zero in the same period last year, when the facility experienced a month-long shutdown for maintenance and upgrades.)

As we showed in Part 1, nearly half of the 2.6 Bcf/d came from Cheniere’s Creole Trail Pipeline (CTPL), which in turn is supplied by interconnects with Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co. (Transco), Trunkline Gas Co. and Texas Eastern Transmission Co. (TETCO). If we look more closely at what’s being delivered into CTPL in recent weeks, about 400 MMcf/d of CTPL flows came from Transco, about 500 MMcf/d from TETCO, and the final 300 MMcf/d from Trunkline. In addition to CTPL, Sabine Pass also got 500 MMcf/d from Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGPL), Kinder Morgan’s bi-directional line that runs north from South Texas and has a leg that breaks off and runs southeast into southern Louisiana.

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Since early 2017, Sabine Pass also has a direct line of supply from Transco via the Gulf Trace expansion. Transco gas has historically flowed north/northeast. But the expansion allows mainline gas to flow west along its Zone 3 segment, turn south on Transco’s existing Southwest Louisiana lateral and make its way west along the Gulf Coast to Sabine Pass LNG via the new Gulf Trace lateral. Flows from this route have ramped up to 860 MMcf/d in recent weeks, which amounts to 33% of total SPL intake.

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