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Eagle Ford-to-Mexico Pipeline Border Crossing Approved

FERC has granted conditional authorization for border crossing natural gas pipeline facilities between the United States and Mexico to Impulsora Pipeline LLC for a project that would carry gas from the Eagle Ford Shale to markets in Mexico.

Last July Colombia Pipeline LLC -- which a month later changed its name to Impulsora -- filed for a presidential permit under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act for the facilities (see Shale Daily, July 3, 2014). The border crossing would be in Webb County, TX, and near Colombia in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. The project would be constructed by Impulsora Pipeline LLC, a unit of San Antonio-based Howard Midstream Energy Partners LLC, which provides midstream services mainly in the Eagle Ford.

The border-crossing facilities are to consist of one 36-inch diameter, 4,000-foot pipeline and one 12-inch diameter, 2,500-foot pipeline that will run parallel to the 36-inch diameter pipeline. The pipelines will be installed using two horizontal directional drills under the Rio Grande River from the Mexican side of the border and will be 20-40 feet apart, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order [CP14-513].

The export facilities would have a design capacity of about 1.12 Bcf/d. In addition to the two pipelines, Impulsora proposes to construct and operate meter and pigging equipment, consisting of one 12-inch pig receiver and one 36-inch pig receiver that will be situated on 0.6 acre of land.

Under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas, Texas Pipeline Webb County Lean System LLC plans to construct an intrastate pipeline called the Eagle Ford Gathering Extension to supply the border-crossing facilities. The extension would consist of about 6.2 miles of 12-inch diameter pipeline running from Webb County to the border crossing. The Texas Pipeline Lean intrastate system is about 133.5 miles of pipeline with more than 410 MMcf/d of capacity designed for lean gas service in Webb County.

On the Mexico side of the crossing a 0.48-mile pipeline is to be constructed on behalf of Impulsora LT SAPI de CV. It will deliver the Texas gas into a pipeline system owned by Con-Gas SAPI de CV for transport to a power plant that is to be constructed near Colombia.

"Based on the analysis in the EA, we conclude that if constructed in accordance with Impulsora's application and supplements, and in compliance with the environmental conditions in the appendix to this order, our approval of this proposal would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment," FERC said.

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