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Energy Transfer Completes Expansions in Texas, New Mexico

Energy Transfer Partners LP last Monday said it completed two natural gas projects that add 875 MMcf/d of capacity to its existing transmission systems -- the 42-inch diameter Carthage Loop pipeline in Texas and the 36-inch diameter San Juan Loop pipeline in New Mexico.

The 32-mile Carthage Loop pipe, which extends from Minden, TX, to Carthage, TX, will provide shippers with an additional 500 MMcf/d of capacity out of the rapidly expanding production areas of Texas, including the Barnett Shale and Bossier Sands. Energy Transfer is the largest transporter of natural gas out of the two basins.

The Carthage Loop connects to Energy Transfer's extensive intrastate pipeline network, providing customers with access to major market hubs in Texas, including the Carthage Hub in East Texas. The previously announced 160-mile, 42-inch diameter Texas Independence Pipeline, scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2009, will connect to the Carthage Loop, Energy Transfer said (see NGI, April 7).

The 26-mile San Juan Loop pipeline expansion will provide an additional 375 MMcf/d of capacity to Transwestern Pipeline's existing 1.6 Bcf/d. Transwestern is a subsidiary of Energy Transfer. The 131-mile San Juan Lateral pipeline extends from Ignacio, CO, to Thoreau, NM, and transports natural gas out of the San Juan Basin producing areas located in northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado.

The San Juan Loop is the first phase of the previously announced Phoenix Expansion project, which calls for the construction of a new 260-mile Phoenix Lateral pipeline designed to serve both residential and industrial customers in the high-growth Phoenix market. The lateral is expected to be in service later this year, according to Energy Transfer (see NGI, Nov. 9, 2007).

The completion of these latest projects comes one month after Energy Transfer completed two other projects -- the 135-mile, 36-inch diameter Paris Loop pipeline and 25-mile, 36-inch diameter Maypearl-to-Malone pipeline -- that raised its transportation capacity out of the prolific Barnett Shale of North Texas to more than 3.5 Bcf/d (see NGI, Aug. 11).

The Paris Loop originates near Eagle Mountain Lake in northwest Tarrant County, TX, and connects to Energy Transfer's Houston Pipe Line system near Paris, TX. It immediately provided customers with more than 400 MMcf/d of capacity out of the Barnett Shale and was expected to accommodate 900 MMcf/d by the end of the first quarter 2009.

The Maypearl-to-Malone pipeline extends from Energy Transfer's system near Maypearl, TX, to its 42-inch diameter pipeline near Malone, TX. The expansion links an additional 600 MMcf/d of capacity out of the Barnett Shale to markets currently accessed by the Energy Transfer pipeline network.

The projects are part of Energy Transfer's overall expansion efforts. The company said it plans to bring on-line more than 700 miles of natural gas pipelines this year, with more than 500 miles of pipeline expected to be completed in Texas alone. Other projects expected to come on-line later this year include the Southern Shale, Cleburne-to-Tolar and the Katy Loop pipelines in Texas, as well as the Phoenix Expansion in Arizona, according to Energy Transfer.

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