Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp. are partnering to construct a 178-mile, 42-inch diameter pipe that would connect emerging Haynesville Shale natural gas production to Louisiana’s interstate pipeline network.

According to Dallas-based ETP and Chesapeake Energy Marketing Inc., the proposed Tiger Pipeline would have an initial throughput capacity of at least 1.25 Bcf/d and would connect to ETP’s dual 42-inch diameter pipe system near Carthage, TX. From Carthage, the pipe would extend through the heart of the Haynesville Shale in northwestern Louisiana to Delphi, LA. There, gas supplies could interconnect with “at least” seven interstate pipes, the companies said.

“Chesapeake believes the Haynesville Shale has the potential to become the largest producing field in the country,” said Chesapeake CEO Aubrey K. McClendon. “Significant capacity must be built to ensure the deliverability of natural gas from this rapidly expanding area…”

Chesapeake, which is one of the largest leaseholders in the play, committed to a 15-year agreement with ETP for around 1 Bcf/d of firm transportation capacity.

“Critical infrastructure is needed to relieve growing constraints near the Carthage Hub and to provide takeaway capacity from the Haynesville Shale,” said ETP COO Mackie McCrea. “The Tiger Pipeline project is another example of how our partnership works with successful producers like Chesapeake to consummate pipeline opportunities.”

Based on the results of an open season, the pipeline’s initial throughput capacity could be increased up to 2 Bcf/d, ETP noted. The pipeline project is expected to cost $1-1.2 billion to construct, depending upon the final throughput capacity design, with costs to be incurred over a three-year period. Pending regulatory approvals, the pipe could be in service by mid-2011.

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