FERC resumes certifying pipeline projects after six-month hiatus

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 111 views 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved three pipeline projects in the northeast, and six of the nine of the largest projects with applications before FERC are located in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The nine projects represent more than 21 billion cubic feet per day of capacity or 63% of the capacity for all pending natural gas pipeline applications. The six largest projects would support liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects, and five would be connected to LNG export terminals. Following are those five, accounting for 429 miles of pipeline and 14.4 billion cubic feet per day of capacity:

  • Rio Bravo Pipeline in Texas
  • Driftwood Pipeline in Louisiana
  • Port Arthur Pipeline — Louisiana Connector in Louisiana and Texas
  • Port Arthur Pipeline — Texas Connector in Louisiana and Texas
  • Gator Express Pipeline in Louisiana

In Oklahoma, the 199-mile Cheniere Midship Pipeline would have 1.4 billion cubic feet per day of capacity, providing natural gas to consumers along the Gulf Coast.

In October, the commission approved the first pipeline projects since February. Between February and August, the commission didn’t have enough commissioners for a quorum, which is three members. In August, the Senate confirmed two commissioners, allowing the commission to have a quorum again. “These confirmations ended a six-month period when FERC was unable to issue certificates to allow construction of interstate energy transmission infrastructure, including natural gas pipeline projects,” according to the EIA. Two more commissioners await a floor vote by the Senate.

Between Feb. 3 and Oct. 24, 12 pre-filing applications have been submitted to the commission for pipeline projects transporting natural gas in the United States, and 50 pipeline projects are in the FERC application process. The capacity of all these projects is about 43 billion cubic feet per day, and includes less than 3,000 miles of new and upgraded pipelines. In the lower 48 states, there are more than 300,000 miles of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines in use.