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Williams Partners planning expansion of its Transco Pipeline system for Louisiana facility

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Williams Partners L.P. announced April 25, along with its subsidiary, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, it would expand the Transco pipeline system to serve the Cheniere Energy Partners L.P. Sabine Pass Liquefaction project being developed in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal will connect U.S. natural gas supplies with global LNG markets, according to the company. Sabine Pass Liquefaction L.C. will be the anchor shipper to provide a transportation level sufficient enough to supply the Gulf Trace project.

"Gulf Trace is a pivotal project at an extremely important time for Transco and the U.S. natural gas industry as a whole," said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners' Atlantic-Gulf operating area. "Gulf Trace is designed to ensure we continue to serve our existing customers who rely on natural gas from the Gulf Coast, while adding a very large, long-term market commitment in an area of Transco's system that is seeing decreased utilization due to changing gas supply patterns in the United States."

According to the company, the Sabine Pass LNG export facilities currently are under construction and scheduled to be completed in phases that could start as early as the fourth quarter of 2015. After its completion, the terminal is expected to be the first large-scale LNG export facility in the United States.

The estimated project cost for Gulf Trace is about $300 million, and the company is targeting early 2017 for the facility to be in service once regulatory approvals are met.

Separate from the Gulf Trace project, Transco is pursuing other large-volume projects to serve growing domestic demand for natural gas. By the end of 2017, Williams Partners expects to add about 3.4 million dekatherms of natural gas transportation capacity from northeast supplies to high-value growth markets with mainline expansions that include the Dalton Expansion Project, Atlantic Sunrise, Leidy Southeast, Virginia Southside and others.

Transco is the nation's largest-volume interstate natural gas pipeline system. It delivers natural gas to customers through its 10,200-mile pipeline network whose mainline extends nearly 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City.