Williams, Boardwalk to build US shale NGL pipeline


Williams Cos. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners unveiled plans to form a joint venture that would develop a pipeline project to transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to the petrochemical and export complex on the US Gulf Coast and the petrochemical market in the Northeast US.

The proposed "Bluegrass Pipeline" design would provide producers with 200,000 bpd of mixed NGLs take-away capacity in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

It 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.

"We are designing Bluegrass Pipeline to provide these two world-class resource plays with access to one of the largest and most dynamic petrochemical markets in the world," Williams CEO Alan Armstrong said.

"The current infrastructure challenge with natural gas liquids in the Northeast is slowing drilling and isolating liquids supplies from the robust markets in the Gulf that are poised to grow substantially over the next five years."

For its part, Boardwalk noted the project is consistent with its long-term growth strategy of diversifying within the midstream energy sector and leveraging newly acquired liquids infrastructure assets at Boardwalk Louisiana Midstream, which would provide a critical footprint for the downstream fractionation and storage portion of this project.

Williams and Boardwalk said they 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.

The companies noted the proposed pipeline could be increased to 400,000 bpd to meet market demand.

By combining new construction with an existing pipeline, Williams and Boardwalk said they believe the Bluegrass Pipeline can be placed into service and begin serving customers sooner than other options.

The companies expect to sanction the project this year and place the planned project into service in the second half of 2015.

Dow Jones Newswires

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