Marcellus, Utica, DJ Basin shale gas pipeline builders updates

By Luke Geiver | September 19, 2017

Construction to help build a pipeline section to enable Marcellus shale gas producers to reach the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. markets is officially underway. Williams Partners announced this week that the greenfield construction portion of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project began in Pennsylvania. Along with the pipeline construction process, Williams will also build two natural gas compressor stations.

The construction process is part of a multi-year effort on the Transco natural gas pipeline. The pipeline will eventually allow for bi-directional flow.

Alan Armstrong, president and CEO of Williams, said the greenfield portion of the overall project will leverage existing energy infrastructure and “help millions of Americans gain access to affordable Pennsylvania-produced clean-burning natural gas.”

The full Transco pipeline, a $3 billion project, could be in service in mid-2018 and be capable of deliver 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. For heating purposes, most homes require roughly 95,000 cubic feet of natural gas per year.

In the DJ Basin, producers there will also have better access to national markets for their shale gas. Tallgrass Energy Partners has issued an open season call for a natural gas transport pipeline that would connect the DJ Basin to the Rockies Express Pipeline on the Wyoming-Colorado border. The new pipeline section to be called the Cheyenne Connector Pipeline will be able to move 600 MMcf/d. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has already agreed to ship shale gas on the pipeline. The Cheyenne Connector will be a 70-mile, large-diameter pipeline. Western Gas Partners LP is joining DCP Midstream LP in the development of the pipeline.

“We believe this project is another important step in developing and expanding market access to serve our customers and meet their DJ production growth,” said Don Baldridge, president of commercial for DCP.

Energy Transfer Partners is also aiding shale gas producers in the Northeast. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the company’s request to continue horizontal directional drilling along the Rover Pipeline project. The 713-mile pipeline could transport up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to other U.S. markets and the Union Gas Dawn Storage Hub in Ontario, Canada. The project is expected to be completed by Q1 2018.