Pipelines key to cutting methane emissions

Jan. 15—Texas' 417,513 miles of intrastate oil and gas pipelines are crucial are to solving the state's problem with methane emissions and flaring and the presidents of the Texas Pipeline and Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners associations say there is an all-out effort to add what's needed.

"An adequate pipeline infrastructure for Texas and the nation is absolutely vital to our national security, Americans' pocketbooks and a stable, reliable power generation mix to fuel our homes and businesses," TPA President Thure Cannon said from Austin.

"Texas pipeline operators are doing all they can to add new capacity to pipeline infrastructure and encourage state legislators and regulators to make increasing takeaway capacity a major priority for 2023."

Cannon said the large-diameter Matterhorn Express Pipeline, slated to be operational in the third quarter of 2024, will move up to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Permian Basin to Katy, 30 miles west of Houston.

In its third quarter earnings call report last year, Targa Resources announced that it would lay the Daytona Line to move 400 million barrels per day of natural gas liquids like ethane, propane, butane, isobutane and pentane. "Daytona makes sense for TRGP as it rapidly grows its Permian gathering and processing systems and NGL production," Cannon said.

"Recently completed lines from the Basin including the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline, Permian Highway Pipeline and Whistler Mainline all span west to east, connecting the Permian with either the Katy or Agua Dulce hubs," he said.

The Kinder Morgan Corp. owns the Permian Highway, sending gas from the Waha Header near Coyanosa, 64 miles southwest of Odessa, to Katy, the Gulf Coast and Mexico. The Whistler Mainline is a 42-inch-wide, 450-mile-long joint venture of the WhiteWater, MPLX, WTG and Stonepeak companies that runs from the Waha to Agua Dulce in South Texas.

TIPRO President Ed Longanecker says the concept has garnered backing at the federal level where the U.S. Energy Information Administration says natural gas production will go up nationally by 2 percent more this year than it did in 2022, "in both cases 10 percent more than pandemic levels.

"The major driver of natural gas production growth is more drilling in the Haynesville Region, which covers East Texas and Louisiana, and the Permian Basin," Longanecker said.

"Expansion projects to increase pipeline infrastructure played a major role in raising the U.S. production of natural gas. As such, it is important for lawmakers and regulators to support expanding the U.S. pipeline system to keep on track with progress."

Longanecker said the EIA acknowledged this concept by saying, "The pace at which these projects are completed is a notable uncertainty in our forecast and delays could result in lower production than we expect."

"Without adequate takeaway capacity such as new pipelines, producers cannot safely increase production to meet rising demand," the TIPRO leader said.