Future Role Of Natural Gas And Shale Revolution Dominate At P&GJ’s 2010 Pipeline Opportunities Conference

P&GJ’s 2010 Pipeline Opportunities Conference
By Rita Tubb, Managing Editor | June 2010 Vol. 65 No. 6

Turning to the Marcellus Shale, McKerlie views the supply as a suite of projects that will come on in time to meet existing demand. One of these is his company’s Team 2012 project that involves a 200,000 Mcf/d expansion of the existing Texas Eastern Transmission system to deliver additional Appalachian and Marcellus Shale natural gas supplies to markets in the Northeast that is on track for service in November 2012.

He said the company’s New Jersey-New York expansion involves an extension to the Texas Eastern system to move gas from the Algonquin system to Marcellus receipt points and then to Manhattan.
“It is a buildable project that will take about two years to construct, including a crossing of the Hudson River. We look forward to putting it into service in 2013. The facilities themselves have some compression reversals, pipe that will be lifted and replaced and the obvious extension that goes from our existing system up to New Jersey and under the Hudson River to Manhattan,” he said.

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El Paso’s Tom Price, vice president, Marketing & Business Development, offered an extensive look on the progress of the Ruby Pipeline, a 675-mile system connecting the Opal Hub in southwestern Wyoming to the Malin Hub in Oregon. It will have four receipt points and four delivery points. It will interconnect with the Paiute Pipeline which serves northern Nevada and the Reno area. In Malin, it will have access to Tuscarora, also serving Reno, GTN, serving the Pacific Northwest and the CTT backbone system of PG&E that serves northern California.

Price said much had changed since they started marketing Ruby. In 2009 alone more than 5.4 Bcf of new pipeline capacity was built crossing the divide of the eastern vs. western market. “When you add on the additional LNG and development of Marcellus, we feel there is basically an oversupply push and project push east,” he said. “When you look nationally at the development of the shales, Ruby is the only major project that continues to head west which we feel is going to be the premium market for the Rocky Mountain supplies.”

Price said a unique characteristic about Ruby was the early decision to make it a green or carbon-neutral pipeline. This was done in a collaborative effort between El Paso’s shippers and developers to minimize the carbon footprint by using internal coating and techniques to minimize friction losses. “Also, we will be using e-tags to offset any CO2 produced during the operation of the pipeline to achieve carbon neutrality,” he said.