Williams Partners LP and its wholly owned subsidiary Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco) plan to build Gulf Trace, a 1.2-million dekatherm/day (1.16 bcfd) expansion of the Transco pipeline system to serve Cheniere Energy Partners LP’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction project being developed in Cameron Parish, La. Sabine Pass Liquefaction LC will be Gulf Trace’s anchor shipper. Williams will hold a binding open season, scheduled to end May 8, to gauge additional market interest in the expansion.
The Gulf Trace project will make Transco’s production-area mainline and southwest Louisiana lateral systems bidirectional from Station 65 in St. Helena Parish, La. to Cameron Parish, La. In addition to the pipeline reversal, Williams plans to add an 8-mile 36-in. OD lateral pipeline and two compressor stations to provide firm transportation service to Sabine Pass LNG.
Williams estimates Gulf Trace will cost about $300 million, with a target in-service date of early 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Sabine Pass LNG export plant is under construction and scheduled to be completed in phases starting as early as fourth-quarter 2015. Once complete, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal will be the first large-scale LNG export site operating in the US. Sabine Pass Liquefaction’s project is supported by long-term contacts with several LNG off-take shippers, including GAIL (India) Ltd., BG Group, and Gas Natural Fenosa (OGJ Online, Dec. 12, 2011).
Unrelated to Gulf Trace, Williams said it is pursuing several other large-volume projects to serve growing domestic demand for natural gas. By yearend 2017, Williams Partners expects to add roughly 3.4 million dekatherms (3.3 bcfd) of natural gas transportation capacity delivering northeast supplies via expansions including the Dalton Expansion Project (OGJ Online, June 1, 2012), Atlantic Sunrise (OGJ Online, Feb. 21, 2014), Leidy Southeast (OGJ Online, Aug. 3, 2012), Virginia Southside (OGJ Online, Nov. 22, 2013), and others.