Williams is developing an open-access pipeline that will transport ethylene supplies from our existing Mont Belvieu ethylene hub to customers in the Houston Ship Channel area. For this project, we plan to utilize approximately 22 miles of existing, Williams-owned pipelines, 76 miles of existing leased pipeline and install approximately 3 miles of new pipeline. The pipeline system will traverse Harris, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange counties in the eastern Texas gulf coast, between the Houston ship channel to Louisiana. The project completion date is to be determined.
In recent years, natural gas production has increased significantly with the tapping of shale plays in North America. At the same time, the volume of associated liquids found in natural gas has also increased. Demand for natural gas liquids (NGLs) by agriculture, petrochemical, and plastics industries, as well as refining and home heating, is growing due to the abundance of lower-cost natural gas feedstock available today in the U.S.
Most of these NGLs make their way to the U.S. Gulf Coast region to be used in the petrochemical industry. Mont Belvieu is a major hub for NGL storage in the U.S.
This proposed pipeline will serve as an open-access or common-carrier pipeline for any companies in the area who use/sell ethylene as part of their business. Today, capacity of existing ethylene pipelines and access to such pipelines is limited.
Companies in the Gulf Coast area are enjoying the lower-cost feedstock made available with natural gas and associated liquids production and development. Companies in this region of the country are making investments in their businesses and facilities, which translates into new jobs and economic growth.
Using this abundant, domestically produced product for U.S. industries increases the number of products that are made in America. At the same time, because of its abundance, the opportunity to export helps relieve some of our country’s trade deficit.
Working with Landowners
Williams will work in good faith with landowners along the proposed route while also coordinating with regulatory agencies to meet local, state and federal requirements applicable to the project. Initial landowner contacts will involve completing environmental and civil surveys. These surveys, and our subsequent discussions with landowners and other stakeholders in the area, are an important part of the process of further refining the route.
This stage of project planning provides important feedback on landowner, environmental, and community growth plans and other local issues as we strive to confirm the most appropriate route to meet the energy needs of this region while minimizing community and environmental disruption to the extent practical.
Protecting Precious Resources
Williams’ highest priority is the protection of the public, our employees and the environment in which we all live and work. We have a history of designing, constructing and operating safe and reliable pipeline systems. The proposed pipeline will be inspected, tested and monitored to ensure its integrity will meet or exceed all applicable state and federal safety standards. We are committed to protecting the environment while meeting the growing demand for natural gas and NGLs and helping move the country toward energy independence.
What are NGLs?
The natural gas used to generate electricity or to heat our homes is mostly methane, the simplest form of hydrocarbon. But natural gas as it is produced at the wellhead may include other hydrocarbons, such as ethane, propane, butane, isobutane and pentanes. Collectively, these hydrocarbons are called natural gas liquids, or NGLs. Natural gas processing facilities remove NGLs from the gas stream so they can be recovered and used separately.
NGLs have their own unique properties that make them suited to a specific use — for example, propane is used in backyard grills and home heating systems. Petrochemical plants are the largest consumers of NGLs, which use them in the manufacturing of plastics. Ethylene is widely used in the chemical industry. It is also used in agriculture to force the ripening of fruits. Polyethylene of various types consume more than half of the world’s ethylene supply. Polyethylene is the world’s most widely used plastic, primarily used to make films for packaging, plastic bags and trash liners.
|Pipeline size||Varies from 4” to 10” based on location|
|Distance (approx.)||101 miles|
|Existing pipeline||22 miles|
|New build||3 miles|
|Standard easement width||50 feet w/additional 50 feet of temporary workspace|
|Estimated project completion||TBD|