Williams, Boardwalk Pipeline to connect Marcellus, Utica shales to Gulf Coast
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Thursday, March 07, 2013
3/07/13 at 7:18 AM
Local companies are major players in a vital industry
Tulsa-based Williams Cos. Inc. announced Wednesday that it will team with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP on a pipeline system to bring natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shales to the Gulf Coast.
The planned Bluegrass Pipeline initially would offer 200,000 barrels per day of NGL take-away capacity for producers in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Williams said. The new line, which could be in service by 2015, would connect with Boardwalk's Texas Gas Transmission system in Hardinsburg, Ky., and from there make its way to the coasts of Louisiana and Texas for fractionation, export markets and use as feedstock at petrochemical plants.
The Marcellus and deeper Utica are roughly in the same areas of the Northeast. Both are considered gas and liquids-rich fields.
"We are designing Bluegrass Pipeline to provide these two world-class resource plays with access to one of the largest and most dynamic petrochemical markets in the world," Williams CEO Alan Armstrong said. "In turn, this will help producers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia achieve an attractive value for their ethane and other liquids."
Armstrong pointed out that the lagging pipeline and processing infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica areas is slowing drilling efforts by producers and keeping NGL supplies from Gulf Coast markets.
"Given current market dynamics in the northeast, existing liquids systems and local outlets will be overwhelmed by 2016," he said. "Total NGL volumes in the Northeast are expected to exceed 1.2 million barrels per day by 2020."
The joint venture also would convert a portion of the Texas Gas Transmission line from natural gas to NGL transport, including pump stations and related facilities. Williams and Houston-based Boardwalk may also develop a liquefied petroleum gas terminal on the Gulf Coast for potential export to international markets, Williams said.
Williams owns interest in or operates more than 26,000 miles of natural gas, NGL and oil gathering and transport pipeline systems. The company also owns a 68 percent stake and the general partner control in Williams Partners.
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners holds more than 14,000 miles in gas and liquids pipelines and massive underground storage capacity. The partnership is a subsidiary of Loews Corp.
Original Print Headline: Williams, partner to build NGL pipeline
Rod Walton 918-581-8457