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Today in Energy

February 24, 2022

Natural gas interstate pipeline capacity additions decrease in 2021

interstate and international interconnection pipeline capacity additions by region
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker
Note: We consider only pipeline projects under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jurisdiction as interstate capacity.

A total of 7.44 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of interstate natural gas pipeline capacity was added in the United States during 2021, according to our recently updated Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker. This amount was the lowest amount of capacity added to interstate transmission since 2016.

Interstate pipelines are those that cross state borders and those that serve export demand―both at pipeline border crossings and at terminals exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). They are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

More than two-thirds of the new interstate natural gas pipeline capacity, or 5.01 Bcf/d, was added to transport natural gas into and within Texas and the Gulf Coast markets, which we define as the South Central region. Most of the additional capacity is intended to serve growing LNG export demand, primarily by better connecting other interstate pipelines with LNG export terminals.

Two of the three major new pipeline projects in the South Central region completed during 2021 improved natural gas delivery to Venture Global’s newly commissioned Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana. These projects were:

  • Venture Global’s TransCameron pipeline, a 1.90 Bcf/d, 24-mile lateral that delivers natural gas to the terminal via interconnections with other interstate pipelines
  • Enbridge’s Cameron Extension Project, a 0.75 Bcf/d expansion on the Texas Eastern Transmission pipeline (TETCO) that connects with the TransCameron pipeline
U.S. south central natural gas infrastructure and new pipelines
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker

The other major project in the South Central region was the Double E pipeline, a 1.35 Bcf/d, 135-mile pipeline that provides new capacity from the producing areas of the Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico to the Waha Hub in West Texas.

The Northeast had the second-most interstate natural gas pipeline capacity additions totaling 1.60 Bcf/d during 2021. About half of this new capacity was associated with two related projects:

  • The 0.58 Bcf/d Leidy South Expansion Project on the Transcontinental Pipeline (Transco) increased pipeline capacity from the Appalachia Basin into East Coast markets.
  • The National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation’s FM 100 Project expanded its system by 0.33 Bcf/d in response to the additional Transco capacity available.

In 2021, no interstate natural gas capacity additions were added in the Southeast region, the Pacific region, or the Gulf of Mexico, nor as part of the interconnections to Mexico.

We update our Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker every quarter. We expect to update the tracker again in the second quarter of 2022.

Principal contributor: Katie Dyl