RBN Energy: existing and planned natural gas pipelines out of the Permian.
Permian gas pipeline takeaway capacity now totals about 11 Bcf/d. That may sound like plenty, given that gas production in the region is still well below 7 Bcf/d. But under RBN’s Growth Scenario forecast, Permian gas production rises to 8 Bcf/d in 2018 and, more troublesome yet, a number of the existing and new pipes to Mexico will be running far less than full because of south-of-the-border delays in completing Mexican pipelines and gas-fired power plants.
That means the Permian may be on the brink of being constrained from a pipeline takeaway capacity perspective — a situation that could lead to price-differential spikes until new gas pipeline capacity comes online. New gas takeaway capacity from the Permian to the Agua Dulce Hub is under development; for example, there is NAmerico Partners’ proposed Pecos Trail Pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s planned Gulf Coast Express — but these pipes wouldn’t be available until 2019, too late to avert what could be a 2018 takeaway crunch.
To understand the gas-takeaway challenges the Permian faces, it is important to understand the many pipeline systems already in operation in the region, how they fit together, and where gas out of the Permian flows.
Most of the gas exiting the region flows through the Waha Hub in Pecos County, TX (the southern part of the Permian’s Delaware Basin); the rest leaves via the El Paso-Permian Hub.
Today we begin a pipe-by-pipe review of the major gas pipeline systems that connect to Waha and the El Paso-Permian hubs — a review that will describe the pipes and their history as well as the markets they serve and the volumes that typically flow on them.