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Interstate pipelines are being used throughout North America to safely connect the country’s vast supply of natural gas with faraway markets and service areas. Though they account for just a portion of some 3 million miles of gas pipelines in the U.S. and Canada, interstate pipelines play an indisputable role in the overall energy cycle. The two nations share a closely intertwined gas transmission network that benefits both the U.S. and Canada.
Here are some of the largest interstate gas pipeline players and the major systems that they operate:
1.) Enbridge Inc.
Enbridge Inc. ranked first on the 2019 Midstream 50 list of the sector’s largest players, published by Midstream Business.
Its BC Pipeline system stretches from Fort Nelson in northeast British Columbia and from Gordondale, near the British Columbia-Alberta border, south to the Canada-U.S. border at Huntingdon, British Columbia/Sumas, Wash., outside Vancouver. The 1,776-mile BC Pipeline system serves markets throughout British Columbia, the U.S. Pacific Northwest and beyond.
It has a 2.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) capacity.
The Southeast Supply Header (SESH) links the onshore gas supply basins of East Texas and North Louisiana to Southeast markets, now predominantly served by offshore gas supplies from the Gulf of Mexico. The 287-mile pipeline extends from the Perryville Hub in northeastern Louisiana to the Gulfstream Natural gas pipeline system in Mobile County, Ala. A joint venture between subsidiaries of Enbridge Inc. and Enable Midstream, SESH interconnects with a variety of interstate natural gas pipelines, providing additional supply opportunities for markets in the southeast and northeast U.S. It has a peak capacity of 1.1 Bcf/d.
The Big Sandy Pipeline interconnects with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline system. It serves as a link between the Huron Shale and Appalachian Basin’s gas supplies and markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The 67-mile line, which has a 0.23 Bcf/d capacity, is located in eastern Kentucky.
Enbridge’s Alliance Pipeline system consists of a 2,391-mile integrated U.S. and Canadian gas gathering and transmission pipeline system that delivers gas from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and the Williston Basin to the Chicago market hub. The U.S. portion of the system includes 967 miles of infrastructure. Enbridge has a 50% ownership interest in the Alliance Pipeline.
The Texas Eastern Transmission line links Texas and the Gulf Coast with Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets. The 9,071-mile line can transport 11.69 Bcf/d of gas. It connects to Enbridge’s East Tennessee Natural Gas Pipeline and its Algonquin Gas Transmission system.
LNG-sourced gas travels throughout New England and Atlantic Canada on Enbridge’s Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline. The 887-mile line runs from Nova Scotia to the Algonquin Gas Transmission Hubline near Beverly, Mass. It has a capacity of 0.83 Bcf/d in the U.S. and 0.55 Bcf/d in Canada.
About 3.08 Bcf/d of gas travels through 1,140 miles of pipeline on the Algonquin Gas Transmission system. Product passes through New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts before connecting to the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline and the Maritimes & Northeast pipelines.
Spanning 348 miles from Joliet, Ill., to Sarnia, Ont., the Vector Pipeline delivers gas to local distribution and end-user customers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. The system has an average capacity of 1.3 Bcf/d.
The 517-mile Sabal Trail Transmission LLC transports more than 1 Bcf/d of gas through Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Gas is delivered to Florida Power & Light Co. and Duke Energy Florida. The project is a joint venture of Enbridge Inc., NextEra Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp.
2.) Energy Transfer Partners
Energy Transfer holds the No. 2 position on the Midstream 50.
It owns and operates about 12,200 miles of interstate gas pipelines that have a total capacity of about 10.3 Bcf/d. Through its joint venture interests, the company has another 6,750 miles of pipelines and 10.5 Bcf/d of transportation capacity.
Its 2,614-mile Transwestern Pipeline spans the Permian Basin in West Texas and eastern New Mexico, the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado, and the Anadarko Basin in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. With a 2.1 Bcf/d capacity, the system can connect with Texas and Midcontinent pipelines and gas market hubs, as well as major western markets in Arizona, Nevada and California.
The 195-mile Tiger Pipeline passes through the central Haynesville Shale and ends near Delhi, La. With a 2.4 Bcf/d capacity, the line interconnects to numerous interstate pipelines at various points in Louisiana.
With a capacity of 2 Bcf/d, Energy Transfer’s Sea Robin Pipeline includes two offshore Louisiana gas supply pipelines that travel 120 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. It serves the Henry Hub in Louisiana, a key pipeline interconnection and gas market pricing point.
Energy Transfer also operates several interstate pipelines that it has partial interests in.
The Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) system includes 5,344 miles of pipelines running from South Texas through the Gulf Coast region to South Florida. With a 3.4 Bcf/d mainline capacity, the FGT delivers more than 60% of the natural gas consumed in Florida, making it the premier transporter of gas to the state’s energy market.
The Panhandle Eastern Pipeline runs from producing areas in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and the Midcontinent region’s Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma and Kansas, to Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan markets. It includes about 6,400 miles of pipeline and has a 2.8 Bcf/d capacity. It is owned by an ETP Holdco subsidiary.
Trunkline Gas Co.’s transmission system extends about 1,400 miles from the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast regions through Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. It has a 0.9 Bcf/d capacity. The pipeline is owned by an ETP Holdco subsidiary.
The 185-mile Fayetteville Express pipeline originates near Conway County, Ark., and moves east toward Panola County, Miss., with multiple interconnections along the route. It has a 2 Bcf/d capacity.
A comparatively new player built to move gas out of the booming Marcellus and Utica plays, Rover Pipeline can transport 3.25 Bcf/d from processing plants in West Virginia, eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania for delivery to other pipeline interconnects in Ohio and Michigan. From there, the 713-mile line distributes gas to markets throughout the U.S. and Ontario.
3.) TC Energy
TC Energy ranks No. 5 on the Midstream 50.
If you haven’t heard, TransCanada Corp. recently changed its name to TC Energy. But one thing hasn’t changed: With more than 57,000 miles of pipeline, it remains one of North America’s largest gas pipeline networks.
Measuring 10,600 miles in length, TC Energy’s ANR pipeline is one of North America’s largest gas pipeline systems. It runs from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. The pipeline has a peak delivery capacity of more than 6 Bcf/d.
Running 302 miles from Wyoming and Montana to North Dakota, the Bison Pipeline offers 407 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of operational capacity. Once the pipeline reaches North Dakota, it connects with other interstate pipelines.
The 3,368-mile Columbia Gulf Transmission Pipeline is connected to every major pipeline system along the Gulf Coast. With a 1.7 Bcf/d capacity, it serves markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Columbia network consists of 12,000 miles of pipelines that transport about 3 Bcf/d of gas to 10 states from New York to the Gulf of Mexico.
Operating in Indiana and Ohio, the 202-mile Crossroads Pipeline brings Canadian and U.S. gas to Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. It has multiple interconnects that allow it to access gas produced in the Rockies, Gulf Coast, Permian and Canada. It has 300 MMcf/d capacity.
The Gas Transmission Northwest system transports Canadian gas to Washington, Oregon and California communities. The 1,353-mile line has 2.9 Bcf/d capacity.
The 2,115-mile Great Lakes Gas Transmission pipeline links western Canada supply to markets in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Eastern Canada. Its average capacity is 2.4 Bcf/d.
The 416-mile Iroquois Gas Transmission System runs from Waddington, N.Y., on the Canadian border through New York and western Connecticut before ending in the Bronx, N.Y. The system is a limited partnership of four U.S. and Canadian companies. Its capacity is dependent on pipeline conditions.
TC Energy’s NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) System connects Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCS) production to markets throughout Canada and the U.S. The 15,266-mile line delivers about 11 Bcf/d of gas to markets in Alberta, British Columbia, the U.S. Pacific Northwest, California, the Midwestern U.S. and Eastern Canada.
The Northern Border Pipeline serves as a link between WCS gas reserves and the Midwestern U.S. market. The 1,250-mile line brings 2.4 Bcf/d to Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and the Chicago area.
Running 305 miles through Oregon, California and Nevada, the Tuscarora Pipeline delivers 0.23 Bcf/d of gas from the WCS, Rocky Mountains and U.S. basins.
4.) Kinder Morgan Inc.
Kinder Morgan Inc. ranked No. 3 on the latest Midstream 50 list.
Kinder Morgan operates—or owns an interest in—about 70,000 miles of gas pipelines, making it the largest gas pipeline network in North America.
Through the 11,750-mile Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP), some 7.5 Bcf/d can move from Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico and South Texas to the northeastern U.S. Destinations include New York City and Boston.
The TGP recently completed a number of expansions. Its Broad Run expansion helped create 790,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of incremental firm transportation capacity from the southwest Marcellus and Utica plays to delivery points in Mississippi and Louisiana. Its Southwest Louisiana Supply Expansion project added 900,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation capacity from multiple supply basins to the Cameron LNG export facility. Finally, the TGP Lone Star Expansion projected provided 300,000 Dth/d of incremental firm transportation capacity from various Mississippi receipt points to Cheniere Energy’s brand-new Corpus Christi LNG facility in Texas.
A joint venture between Kinder Morgan and Energy Transfer, the 512-mile Midcontinent Express Pipeline begins near Bennington, Okla., near the Oklahoma-Texas border, and passes through northern Louisiana and central Mississippi to an interconnect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline System in Butler, Ala. It has a 1.8 Bcf/d capacity.
Southern Natural Gas’s 6,900-mile pipeline system runs from gas supply basins in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. The system was recently expanded in Georgia to provide 370,000 Dth/d of incremental, long-term firm transportation capacity to the Southeast market. Meantime, the Elba Express and SNG expansion added 54,000 Dth/d of incremental gas transportation for markets in Georgia, South Carolina and northern Florida.
Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline’s 410-mile route begins near the Wyoming-Colorado border and runs through south-central Kansas. With an 0.8 Bcf/d capacity, Cheyenne Plains serves markets in the Midwest with connections to several Midcontinent pipelines in south-central Kansas.
The 4,350-mile Colorado Interstate Gas system moves gas from production areas in the U.S. Rocky Mountains to customers in Colorado and Wyoming. It indirectly serves customers in the Midwest, Southwest, California and Pacific Northwest with a 5.15 Bcf/d capacity.
Stretching 10,140 miles, the El Paso Natural Gas pipeline system transports gas from the San Juan, Permian and Anadarko basins to California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Northern Mexico.
Ruby Pipeline is a 680-mile system that can deliver up to 1.5 Bcf/d from Wyoming to Oregon, ultimately providing gas to consumers in California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.
The Wyoming Interstate 850-mile pipeline system runs from western Wyoming to northeast Colorado, with several lateral pipelines that extend from various interconnections along the mainline into western Colorado, northeastern Wyoming and eastern Utah.
6.) The Williams Cos. Inc.
Williams ranks No. 6 on the Midstream 50.
Williams owns and operates three interstate pipelines, including Transco, the nation’s largest-volume gas pipeline system. Transco delivers natural gas to customers through its approximately 10,000-mile pipeline network, which has a mainline that extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City. The system is a major provider of gas services that reach U.S. markets in 12 Southeast and Atlantic Seaboard states, including major metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
It has a capacity of 16.9 Dth/d.
Williams’ Northwest Pipeline, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, provided the first gas service to the U.S. Pacific Northwest. It continues to serve as a primary artery for the transmission of natural gas to the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain Region. It began as a 1,500-mile pipeline in the 1950s but has since grown to become an approximately 4,000-mile bi-directional transmission system crossing the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Northwest’s bi-directional system provides access to British Columbia, Alberta, Rocky Mountain and New Mexico San Juan Basin gas supplies.
Finally, the 745-mile Gulfstream interstate transmission pipeline delivers gas diagonally across the Gulf of Mexico from Mobile County, Ala., to meet Florida’s rapidly growing residential and power needs. Williams owns 50% of Gulfstream. Spectra, an Enbridge affiliate, and its affiliates own the other 50%. Williams serves as Gulfstream’s operator. Capacity is 1.31 Bcf/d. It is the Gulf of Mexico’s largest pipeline.
7.) Tallgrass Energy LP
Tallgrass is No. 25 on the Midstream 50. Tallgrass Energy LP’s natural gas transportation systems include more than 6,800 miles of pipeline.
Its 1,700-mile Rockies Express (REX) pipeline stretches from Colorado and Wyoming to eastern Ohio, with access to major gas supply basins in the Rocky Mountain region to the west, and Ohio and Pennsylvania fields at its east end. Bi-directional, it boasts about 1.8 Bcf/d of west-to-east capacity and about 2.6 Bcf/d of east-to-west capacity, totaling about 4.4 Bcf/d of daily long-haul capacity.
The 450-mile Trailblazer Pipeline begins along the Wyoming-Colorado border and extends to Beatrice, Neb., interconnecting with large interstate pipelines that transport gas to major consumer markets, such as Chicago, the upper Midwest and the Northeast.
Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission’s (TIGT’s) 4,650-mile line serves Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Missouri. The combined TIGT and Trailblazer transportation capacity is about 2 Bcf/d.
Projects underway include the Cheyenne Connector, a 70-mile pipeline designed to move gas from processing facilities in the D-J Basin in Weld County, Colo., to the REX Cheyenne Hub on the Colorado-Wyoming border. Its initial capacity will be 0.6 Bcf/d. The line is expected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2019.
8.) Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP
Formerly one of the top-ranked firms on the Midstream 50, Boardwalk left the roster in 2018 when parent Loews Corp. bought Boardwalk’s remaining publicly traded MLP units and took the firm private.
Through its subsidiaries, Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP owns and operates about 13,880 miles of interconnected gas pipelines that serve customers throughout the country.
Texas Gas Transmission LLC’s 5,980-mile pipeline averages 2.4 Bcf/d. It begins in Louisiana and travels through Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, with smaller lines extending into Illinois. Its market areas span eight states in the South and Midwest.
The 7,275-mile Gulf South Pipeline Co. moves about 2.8 Bcf/d from basins between Texas and Alabama to markets in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast through interconnections with third-party pipelines. Markets served include New Orleans, La., Jackson, Miss., Mobile, Al., and Pensacola, Fl.
Beginning near Sherman, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, and extending to Perryville, La., Gulf Crossing Pipeline Co. provides takeaway capacity from the Barnett Shale in Texas and the Caney/Woodford Shale in Oklahoma. With a 1.1 Bcf/d capacity, the 375-mile system indirectly serves markets in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast.
9.) ONEOK Inc.
ONEOK ranked No. 10 on this year’s Midstream 50.
ONEOK’s interstate pipelines transport gas through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. It owns about 1,452 miles of transmission pipe with about 3.2 Bcf/d of peak transportation capacity.
The Guardian Pipeline runs from the Chicago Hub near Joliet, Ill., to Green Bay, Wis. The 252-mile system has 1,287 Dth/day capacity and accesses all the major North American supply basins.
Viking connects with major pipeline systems—including TransCanada, Northern Natural, Great Lakes Transmission, and ANR—and serves strategic markets in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Midwestern Gas Transmission is a 350-mile pipeline that runs from Portland, Tenn., to Joliet, Ill., connecting with other major interstate systems along the way. It has a 0.65 Bcf/d capacity.
Its Roadrunner and ONEOK WesTex systems move Permian Basin gas south to the U.S.-Mexico border and to domestic customers. Roadrunner has some 200 miles of pipeline, designed to transport up to 0.64 Bcf/d, most of which goes to Mexico.
10.) Dominion Energy Inc.
Dominion Midstream Partners, another Midstream 50 mainstay, was rolled into its parent, Dominion Energy, early this year.
Dominion’s Salt Lake City-based Questar Pipeline owns and operates 1,888 miles of pipeline with total capacity of 2,530 Dth/d. Its interstate system is based in the Rocky Mountains near large gas reserves in six major producing areas, including the Greater Green River, Uinta and Piceance basins. It transports gas from those areas to other major pipeline systems for delivery to markets in the West and Midwest.
Overthrust Pipeline delivers gas to eastern and western markets through its 261-mile, 2,400 Dth/d system. It provides transportation services for producers in multiple Rockies-producing basins with interconnects to several major pipeline systems. A 43-mile loop between Kanda and Blacks Fork in Wyoming was completed in 2011, increasing firm capacity by 800 Dth/d for deliveries to the west and 50,000 Dth/d for deliveries to the east.
11.) EQM Midstream Partners
With primary ownership by parent EQT Corp., EQM ranks No. 20 on the Midstream 50.
EQM Midstream Partners has a significant ownership interest in, and will operate, the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which is currently more than 85% complete and targets an in-service date of mid-2020. MVP spans about 300 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. MVP is expected to provide up to 2 Bcf/d of firm transmission capacity to markets in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the U.S.
The MVP Southgate project is a proposed 70-mile interstate pipeline that will extend from the MVP at Pittsylvania County, Va., to new delivery points in Rockingham and Alamance counties in North Carolina. The project is backed by a 0.3 Bcf/d firm capacity commitment from PSNC Energy. The project has a targeted in-service date of fourth-quarter 2020.
EQM’s 950-mile Equitrans Pipeline system is a major transmission system serving the booming Marcellus and Utica plays. It connects to seven interstate pipelines and local distribution companies and has a total throughput capacity of approximately 4.4 Bcf per day.
Michelle Thompson is a freelance writer based in Orange County, Calif., and specializes in energy topics.
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