Kinder Morgan announces 430-mile, Permian gas pipeline

Houston’s Kinder Morgan said Wednesday it plans to build a 430-mile natural gas pipeline from West Texas’ Permian Basin to the Corpus Christi region.

The project is designed to capitalize off of increasing Permian oil and gas production to carry more gas to the Texas Gulf Coast, where it can be consumed locally, refined and exported, or shipped to Mexico. The 42-inch pipeline, which could be completed in late 2019, would specifically trek from Waha, Texas to Agua Dulce, which is just west of Corpus Christi.

Although everyone in the Permian is drilling for oil, most of the wells drilled also produce associated natural gas liquids. That extra gas is why producers don’t need to drill specifically for gas in West Texas.

The project costs are not being revealed. The proposed Gulf Coast Express Pipeline Project can tap into Kinder Morgan’s existing Permian-area pipeline network, as well as Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ new Trans-Pecos Pipeline, which will ship gas from West Texas to Mexico.

The growing petrochemical sectors in the Houston and Corpus Christi areas are consuming more natural gas for feedstock, while new Gulf Coast liquefied natural gas projects need gas to convert into LNG for exporting. Also, Mexico increasingly relies on Texas shale gas for electricity generation.

Kinder Morgan already is expanding existing pipeline from Texas and Arizona into Mexico. Likewise, Energy Transfer, as well as Canadian pipeline giants Enbridge and TransCanada are all building new gas pipelines into Mexico.

Kinder Morgan said it is seeking customers to secure contracts for the pipeline’s use from now through April 20.