Tulsa-based Williams said Friday it achieved early in-service capacity for three key North American natural gas and liquids infrastructure expansions, resulting in earlier-than-expected cash flow in the fourth quarter.


The midstream giant credited “proactive engagement and open communication with stakeholders throughout the permitting and regulatory process, as well as expeditious and Covid-safe project execution” to complete the major projects ahead of schedule and under budget.

“Now more than ever, the essential natural gas infrastructure projects Williams delivers are critical to the United States’ clean energy future, and we take pride in living up to our long-rooted reputation of doing a good job on time,” said CEO Alan Armstrong.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts our team is taking with landowners, environmental groups, the regulatory community and other stakeholders, we are completing the projects that fuel our daily lives in a timely, safe, cost-conscious and environmentally responsible manner.”

Leidy South and Southeastern Trail, which each reached early in-service capacity, extended service on Williams’ Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line, aka Transco. 

Leidy South, an expansion of existing Pennsylvania energy infrastructure, brought 125 MMcf/d of capacity online in November, with the remaining 457 MMcf/d expected to be completed in 2021. The expansion connects Appalachia supplies to demand centers along the Atlantic Seaboard. 

Leidy South has received  key state and federal permits, including a partial notice to proceed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Southeastern Trail, which serves the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, began partial in-service of 150 MMcf/d in November and an additional 80 MMcf/d in December. The balance of the 296 MMcf/d project is expected to come online before the end of March.

The third system, Bluestem Pipeline, is a 120,000 b/d natural gas liquids (NGL) transportation pipeline in the Midcontinent in which Williams partnered with Targa Resources Corp. to link the Conway, KS, and Mont Belvieu, TX, NGL markets.

This 188-mile Bluestem run from Wiliams’ fractionator in Conway and the southern terminus of the Overland Pass Pipeline to an interconnect with Targa’s Grand Prix NGL Pipeline in Kingfisher County, OK. Targa planned a 110-mile extension of the Grand Prix from southern Oklahoma into the Anadarko Basin to connect with the Bluestem line.

Meanwhile, Williams has received a past-due payment of $112 million from bankrupt Chesapeake Energy Corp. after a court approved a resolution last month. The payment was for pre-petition and past-due receivables for midstream expenses per existing contracts. 

Williams reached a global resolution in November to continue treating and moving Chesapeake’s natural gas in the Lower 48. Chesapeake filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June to wipe out $7 billion of debt, and it sold all of its Midcontinent assets in the process. Chesapeake also agreed to not attempt to reject its gathering agreements with Williams. In the Haynesville Shale, Williams plans to reduce its gathering fees in exchange for gaining ownership of a portion of Chesapeake’s South Mansfield producing assets. The assets include 50,000 net mineral acres.