Basin-specific pipeline plans show shale play differences

By North American Shale magazine staff | June 22, 2018

At the heart of every active shale play in North America today is an evolving matrix of gathering and takeaway infrastructure that is crucial to each play’s long-term viability. News of new projects or advanced regulatory and technological requirements shows the state of infrastructure from region to region.

Delaware Basin
3 Bear Energy LLC, a Denver-based midstream provider, has opened a call to producers for a crude gathering line in New Mexico. The crude line could span 60-miles in Lea County, New Mexico. The Hat Mesa System, according to 3 Bear Delaware Operating-NM LLC, already has one major shipper willing to make a long-term acreage dedication. Additional shippers will have the option to commit through volume or acreage.

EPIC Midstream Holdings has also announced a pipeline project that already has major shippers lined up. Apache Corp. and Noble Energy have each agreed to ship crude on a 730-mile pipeline that will move crude from southeastern New Mexico to Corpus Christi, Texas. Apache plans to move 75 mbl/d and Noble will ship 100 mbl/d. The pipeline truly is epic. Once complete, the line could move 590,000 barrels of oil per day through the Permian, Eagle Ford and onto the Texas Gulf Coast.

Right-of-way is 100 percent secured for the first two phases of the system, and construction is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2018.  The crude system is expected to be in service in the latter half of 2019.

“Noble Energy’s strategic agreement with EPIC provides long-term flow assurance for our rapidly growing Delaware Basin oil volumes.  With this agreement, we have further diversified our onshore marketing outlets with access to the Gulf Coast and global markets,” said Gary W. Willingham, Noble Energy’s executive vice president, operations.

In the Bakken, pipeline buildout is still crucial to the play, but the play’s main regulatory state—North Dakota—is working to create a next-generation approach to pipeline construction and long-term viability.

The state’s Industrial Commission recently approved a project led by Hess Corp., Oasis Midstream Partners, Statoil, ONEOK and Goodnight Midstream. Through the North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Council, the group involved in the Intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program will be allowed $1.6 million to advance emerging technology designed to prevent and detect gathering pipeline leaks.

The iPIPE consortium hopes to amass funds needed to facilitate development and demonstration of emerging technology, promote industry engagement or participation and encourage industry-wide adoption of what it believes will be worthy technologies.

In the SCOOP/STACK, Cardinal Midstream III LLC has formed a deal with Camino Natural Resources for its Iron Horse gathering and takeaway system. Along with Travis Peak Resources LLC, the deal will bring more than 150,000 acres to the system. “As we broaden the rich natural gas system, we are also evaluating ways to add complimentary crude and dry gas gathering services,” said Tim Roberts, president of Cardinal.

Cardinal expects to complete the construction of approximately 150 miles of high- and low-pressure natural gas gathering pipeline by the end of 2018. The system also includes multiple compressor stations and the Iron Horse cryogenic gas processing plant. Located in Grady County, the Iron Horse plant is expected to come into service in October 2018