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ETP Says Projects to Supply NatGas to Mexico Moving Forward

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) executives said two projects to supply natural gas transportation service to Mexico -- which would use the gas for power generation purposes -- are moving forward, and another two projects to supply even more gas are in the works.

During a conference call Thursday, CFO Martin Salinas said the Nueces Crossover -- a 36-inch diameter pipeline running from ETP’s Robstown pipeline system in Nueces County, TX, to its facilities in Live Oak County, TX -- was placed into service in January (see Daily GPIMay 7, 2014).

The most recent ETP investor presentation said the Nueces Crossover is 51 miles in length, has a capacity of 830 MMcf/d, and connects the system of ETP subsidiary Houston Pipe Line Co. LP (HPL) to the 42-inch diameter NET Mexico Pipeline, which will deliver natural gas to Mexico. Last November, NET Mexico Pipeline Partners LLC, an affiliate of Houston-based NET Midstream LLC, said construction of the NET Mexico Pipeline had been completed.

Salinas said a second project, the Edinburg Extension -- a 24-inch diameter, 130 MMcf/d capacity pipeline running from HPL's line near Edinburg, TX, to a new international border crossing at Penitas, TX, in Hidalgo County -- should come online by 2Q2015.

According to Salinas, a consortium that includes ETP has been successful with two requests for proposals (RFP) by Mexico's electric utility, Comision Federal de Electricidad, for bringing additional natural gas supplies to Mexico.

The RFPs call for building two new 42-inch diameter pipelines, both of which would originate from the Waha Hub in West Texas. One pipeline would head west to a border crossing at San Elizario, TX, in El Paso County. The second pipeline would head to the south and west, to a border crossing at Presidio, TX, in Presidio County. The pipelines would have a combined capacity of 2.8 Bcf/d.

"ETP will be the construction manager and the operator of these two pipelines," Salinas said. "The Waha header system will have multiple pipeline interconnects, including connections with the ETP intra- and interstate pipeline networks."

CEO Kelcy Warren added that the company was "very excited" about the two new projects and said ETP expects them to enter service during the first quarter of 2017.

"We are finalizing the negotiations and everything is on track to that timeline," Warren said, adding that the residual benefits to ETP's intrastate system in Texas is "probably even more exciting...We've built out a pretty hefty intrastate system, of which a lot of capacity has been available over the last two or three years because of decline in different areas. This is going to really help us fully utilize that, albeit in a different hydraulic direction, but we see significant upstream benefits for transporting by probably mid- to late-2017, an additional 3 Bcf/d [or more] through our intrastate system to complete these projects."

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