U.S. midstream giant Energy Transfer LP is looking to expand to new markets with an initial deal to explore a potential liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) development in Panama.

The Dallas-based company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Republic of Panama to jointly study the feasibility of the proposed Trans-Panama Gateway Pipeline development. 

The project scope would include one terminal on the Pacific side of Panama and another on the Atlantic with a pipeline connecting the facilities. This potentially would allow LPG shipments to bypass the Panama Canal. The canal, a vital passage for U.S. exports to Asia, has seen wait times tick up as natural gas shipments have surged.

“The MOU is to study the prospects further and could be an efficient way to...