Williams, Boardwalk announce Marcellus-US Gulf NGL pipeline

Williams Cos., Tulsa, and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP have proposed a joint-venture NGL pipeline system to transport Marcellus and Utica shale mixed NGLs to US Gulf Coast petrochemical and export markets. The project will combine new pipeline with a portion of Boardwalk’s existing Texas Gas Pipeline, allowing a second-half 2015 in-service date.

The Bluegrass Pipeline would provide 200,000 b/d of mixed NGLs take-away capacity in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, expandable to 400,000 b/d by adding pumping capacity if demand warrants. The system would access petrochemical facilities and product pipelines along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas, where Williams and Boardwalk are also exploring development of a new export LPG terminal and related facilities.

Bluegrass would include building a new NGL pipeline to a Hardinsburg, Ky., interconnect with Boardwalk’s Texas Gas Transmission LLC system and converting a portion of Texas Gas from Hardinsburg to Eunice, La. (the TGT Loop Line) to NGL service. The companies also plan to build a new large-scale fractionation plant and expanding NGL storage facilities in Louisiana and a new pipeline connecting these facilities to the converted TGT Loop Line.

Williams said current market dynamics in the US Northeast would overwhelm existing liquids systems and local outlets by 2016, predicting total NGL production in the region to exceed 1.2 million b/d by 2020. The company sees Bluegrass as helping to relieve this pressure by bringing Utica and Marcellus NGLs to gulf petrochemical processes.

Boardwalk plans to file an abandonment application with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the TGT Loop Line by May 1 with the abandonment process estimated to take 9-12 months.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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