Natural gas pipeline capacity is expected to increase between 16 billion cubic feet per day and 17 billion cubic feet per day in the United States in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Most of the new capacity will be used for additional takeaway capacity out of supply basins.
Of the 134 active natural gas pipeline projects, 46 have started operating or will start to operate in 2019. These projects increase deliveries by pipeline to Mexico or to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities in the Gulf Coast region. More than 40%, or 7.2 billion cubic feet per day, of the new pipeline capacity delivers natural gas to locations in the South Central region, which includes states such as Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Many of the projects will provide additional takeaway capacity out of the Permian Basin in western Texas or enable additional Permian natural gas production to reach the interstate pipeline system.
Some of the new pipeline capacity includes the 2 billion cubic feet per day Gulf Coast Express Pipeline of Kinder Morgan; the 1 billion cubic feet per day Roadrunner Eastbound Expansion and the 300 million cubic feet per day WesTex Expansion, both of ONEOK; and the 320 million cubic feet per day Northern Delaware Basin Expansion Project of El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline.
Other natural gas pipeline projects that are expected to be completed in the South Central region this year will deliver natural gas to demand centers, such as the LNG export facilities on the Gulf Coast. The 1.4 billion cubic feet per day MIDSHIP Pipeline of Cheniere is under construction and will connect natural gas supply from Oklahoma to the Sabine Pass LNG facility in Louisiana. The 400 million cubic feet per day Stratton Ridge Expansion of Texas East Transmission Co. was completed in the second quarter of 2019 and will allow for more deliveries to the Freeport LNG facility on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The 2.6 billion cubic feet per day Valley Crossing Pipeline moves natural gas from the South Central region to Mexico and connects to the new Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline, a 497-mile underwater project. Both were completed in 2019 and transports U.S. natural gas to the southern Mexican state of Veracruz.
The Northeast region added the second-most natural gas pipeline capacity in 2019, and it provides additional outlets for natural gas produced in the Appalachian Basin. Most of these projects were originally expected to be completed in 2018. The largest projects in the region include the 223 million cubic feet per day Eastern System Upgrade Project of Millennium Pipeline and the 190 million cubic feet per day Riverdale South to Market Project of Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.