Atlas Pipeline Mid-Continent WestTex LLC and Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc. have filed a joint application to build a pipeline to transport natural gas from a proposed Permian Basin cryogenic gas processing plant that is due to go into service early next year.

The two companies are seeking to build a 10.2-mile pipeline in Midland, TX, that would transport 150 MMcf/d of pipeline-quality gas from the processing facility to interconnections with Northern Natural Gas and two intrastate pipelines owned by Atmos Energy Corp. and Enterprise Products Partners LP. The gas would be transported in interstate commerce.

The processing facility (the so-called Driver Plant) is being built in two phases (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2011). The first phase will have the capacity to handle 100 MMcf/d and is expected to enter service in the first quarter of 2013, while the second phase would add another 100 MMcf/d and is targeted for operation in the first quarter of 2014.

Completion of both phases would increase capacity at the partnership’s WestTX facility from 255 MMcf/d to 455 MMcf/d. The entire project is expected to cost about $200 million, the partnership said.

Both the proposed processing facilities and proposed pipeline are to “accommodate increasing natural gas production in the Permian Basin,” the companies told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The pipeline “will provide market access for natural gas supplies processed at the Driver Plant and will provide new supply alternatives to customers in the markets served by the interconnecting pipelines.”

Atlas and Pioneer asked FERC to approve the pipeline project by Oct. 1.

The two companies are joint owners of 3,100 miles of gathering pipelines and three natural gas process plants in Texas. Atlas is the majority owner of the facilities and performs the role of operator, while Pioneer has a 27.2% undivided interest in the facilities.

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