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Valley Crossing Delays Construction of Tex-Mex NatGas Pipeline Project

Rough weather in the nearby Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has delayed the start of construction of a portion of Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC's Border Crossing Project, according to the company.

The project is a 1,000-foot stretch of 42-inch diameter pipeline that would extend from a point in Texas state waters, located about 30 miles east of Brownsville, to the international border with the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, according to the Enbridge Inc. subsidiary.

"Unfavorable sea conditions...over the past several months" have pushed back construction and biweekly status reporting, Valley Crossing said in a letter to FERC May 4 [CP17-19].

"Based on current weather forecasts for the project area, Valley Crossing anticipates the start of construction by the end of May 2018," the company said.

The delay effects the 1,000-foot section of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jurisdictional pipe in deeper water, but offshore construction in shallower water has been progressing, an Enbridge spokesman told NGI. The project remains on track for October completion, the spokesman said.

Valley Crossing received FERC authorization to begin construction of the Border Crossing Project two months ago. The Commission also approved Houston-based company's proposal to modify its tie-in methodology to conduct a subsea tie-in, rather than an above-water tie-in, which reduces potential stress on the pipelines and reduces the project's environmental footprint.

FERC issued a presidential permit and granted authorization in October for Valley Crossing, a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., to construct and operate the 2.6 Bcf/d cross-border natural gas pipeline between Texas and Mexico, where it will be used for power generation and industrial customers.

Valley Crossing has said that Infraestructura Marina del Golfo, S. de R.L. de C.V. (Marina), an unaffiliated Mexican pipeline, will construct 500 miles of pipeline on the Mexican side of the border, with an interconnect at a border-crossing facility at the Port of Tuxpan.

Natural gas transported through the pipeline is expected to fuel power plants owned by Mexico's Comision Federal de Electricidad. Enbridge said it hopes to enter the pipeline into service by October.

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