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    Interstate gas pipe additions in 2021 lowest since 2016


Lack of access to new capacity is pushing consumer natural gas prices higher.

by: Dale Lunan

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Interstate gas pipe additions in 2021 lowest since 2016

Only about 7.4bn ft3/day of interstate natural gas pipeline capacity was added in the US last year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said February 24, the lowest annual total since 2016.

More than 65% of the total – just over 5bn ft3/day – the EIA said in its latest Natural Gas Pipeline Projects Tracker, was added to move gas to and within Texas and the US Gulf Coast markets, which the agency defines as the south central region and which is seeing steadily growing demand from LNG export projects.

Two of the three major projects completed in the south central region in 2021 provide enhanced supply capabilities to Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG project in Louisiana, while the third provides 1.35bn ft3/day of new capacity from the southeastern New Mexico portion of the Permian Basin to the Waha Hub in Texas.

In the US Northeast, where lack of access to interstate capacity has sent natural gas prices in New England soaring to record highs, only about 1.6bn ft3/day of new capacity was added in 2021. 

Interstate capacity additions reached 25.2bn ft3/day in 2018, the EIA’s tracker shows, but have declined steadily since then, to 15.1bn ft3/day in 2019 and to 10.3bn ft3/day in 2020.