FERC released a favorable environmental assessment (EA) Thursday for Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co.'s (Transco) proposed 475,000 Dth/d Gulf Connector Expansion project.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff concluded that Gulf Connector, designed to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals currently under development in Freeport and Corpus Christi, TX, "would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment."
The project proposes adding three new compressor stations, all in Texas -- the 7,800 hp Compressor Station 17 in San Patricio County, the 21,600 hp Compressor Station 23 in Victoria County and the 1,500 hp Compressor Station 32 in Wharton County.
Also part of the project, Transco would:
- Install piping and valve modifications to add bidirectional flow to its mainline in Wharton and Hardin counties;
- Add an interconnect with Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Corpus Christi LNG terminal in San Patricio County; and
- Decommission its Compressor Station 20 in Refugio County, TX.
Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC and Osaka Gas Trading and Export LLC have committed to the capacity on Gulf Connector, which Transco plans to bring online in two phases.
Phase 1, adding 75,000 Dth/d, is scheduled for service in 2H2018, with Phase 2, including the remaining 400,000 Dth/d of designed capacity, coming online by 2019, according to Transco parent company Williams.
Freeport LNG Development LP filed an application with FERC over the summer to build and operate a fourth liquefaction train at its facility near Freeport, TX. The initial three liquefaction trains of the project are under construction and are scheduled to begin operations sequentially between 4Q2018 and 3Q2019, the company has said.
Cheniere management said in August that construction on the first two trains at its Corpus Christi LNG project was about 70% complete as of the end of June.
With global natural gas demand expected to continue increasing, LNG exports are on track to be the largest source of carbon emissions growth for the biggest oil and gas companies by 2025, according to a recent analysis from Wood Mackenzie.