Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners have executed a
joint venture agreement to develop several projects that
would increase supply of natural gas liquids (NGLs) for US
In a deal announced Wednesday, the companies announced
further plans for the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, a project that would transport natural
gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to the
rapidly expanding petrochemical and export complex on the US
Gulf Coast, as well as the developing petrochemical market in the
Phase one of the proposed pipeline would provide producers
with 200,000 bpd of mixed NGLs take-away capacity in Ohio,
West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Phase two would increase
capacity to 400,000 bpdto meet market demand, primarily by
adding additional liquids pumping capacity.
The pipeline would
deliver mixed NGLs from these producing areas to proposed new
fractionation and storage facilities, which would have
connectivity to petrochemical facilities and product pipelines
along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would include constructing a
new NGL pipeline from producing areas in Ohio, West Virginia
and Pennsylvania to an interconnect with Boardwalk's Texas Gas
system in Hardinsburg, Ky. From that point to Eunice,
Louisiana, a portion of Texas Gas would be converted from
natural gas service to NGL service.
The joint venture would also include constructing a new
large-scale fractionation plant and expanding natural
gas liquids storage facilities in Louisiana and
constructing a new pipeline connecting these facilities to the
converted Texas Gas line in the Eunice area.
Williams and Boardwalk are also exploring development of a new
export liquefied petroleum gas terminal and related facilities on the Gulf Coast to
provide customers access to international markets.
By combining new construction with an existing
pipeline, Williams and Boardwalk believe that the Bluegrass
Pipeline could be placed into service and begin serving
customers sooner than other options.
"This timely joint venture with Boardwalk would link two
liquids-rich resource plays in the Northeast US with the
expanding petrochemical industry on the Gulf
Coast, providing producers in Ohio, West Virginia and
Pennsylvania with the ability to access large and growing
markets," said Alan Armstrong, CEO of Williams.
"The large scale solution has many advantages including an
early in service date, lower environmental impact, lower cost
and lower permitting risk," he added.
Williams and Boardwalk said they are engaged in comprehensive
project development planning
including project design, cost estimating, economic and risk
analysis, customer contracting, permitting and other legal and
regulatory approvals and right-of-way acquisition.
Williams and Boardwalk expect that the planned project could be
placed into service in late 2015, assuming all necessary
conditions are met.
"We are pleased to have formalized this joint venture with
Williams to develop an industry solution of connecting prolific
Marcellus and Utica liquids production to the markets where
these products are in high demand," said Stan Horton, CEO
"The Bluegrass Pipeline project provides an opportunity to
leverage our liquids assets in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area
and repurpose a portion of Texas Gas without impacting our firm
service to existing natural