A trio of backers, including MPLX LP, WhiteWater Midstream and a joint venture between Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and West Texas Gas Inc., have reached a final investment decision (FID) to move forward with the Whistler Pipeline project, which would move 2 Bcf/d of natural gas from Waha, TX, to the Agua Dulce area of South Texas.

The decision to move forward with the design and construction of the project comes after the backers secured sufficient firm transportation agreements with shippers, according to MPLX president Michael Hennigan.

"Whistler is expected to provide reliable residue gas transportation out of the Permian Basin, which is vital to our growing gas processing position and producers in the region," Hennigan said.

The majority of available capacity on the planned pipeline has been secured by long-term transportation agreements. WhiteWater and MPLX expect that the remaining capacity will be fully subscribed in the coming months.

Whistler would consist of 475 miles of 42-inch pipeline, with gas sourced from multiple upstream connections in the Permian Basin, including direct connections to plants in the Midland Basin through a 50 mile, 30-inch pipeline lateral, as well as a direct connection to the 1.4 Bcf/d Agua Blanca Pipeline, a joint venture between WhiteWater, MPLX and Targa. The Agua Blanca Pipeline crosses through the heart of the Delaware Basin, including portions of Culberson, Loving, Pecos, Reeves, Winkler and Ward counties in West Texas.

Whistler would have access in South Texas to the Nueces Header and markets at Agua Dulce, as well as along a northern extension through Corpus Christi to the Houston Ship Channel to serve markets along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Whistler Pipeline is expected to be in service in the third quarter of 2021, pending the receipt of customary regulatory and other approvals. When first announced last August, the cost of the project was estimated at $2.3-2.5 billion.