June 2024, Vol. 251, No. 6

Editor's Notebook

Editor’s Notebook: Permian’s New Kid on the Block?

By Michael Reed, Editor-in-Chief

(P&GJ) — As the 580-mile Matterhorn Express prepares to go into service next quarter, a new long-haul gas pipeline is looking to step forward as the next major Gulf Coast midstream project.

DeLa Express, an affiliate of Moss Lake Partners, has taken its first big step, asking FERC to begin the Pre-Filing Review Process for its proposed DeLa Express Project.  

If completed, the 42-inch, 690-mile pipeline would transport liquids rich-Delaware Basin natural gas to markets in and around Lake Charles, Louisiana. The plan includes five laterals, eight compressor stations and several meter stations.  

The project is designed to address increased export demand for natural gas liquids (NGL) as European nations continue to limit imports from Russia. As part of the project, Moss Lake hopes to build an NGL export facility in the Hackberry, Louisiana parish of Cameron.  

The DeLa pipeline, according to the plans, would provide 2 Bcf/d of capacity from the Permian Basin to Port Arthur, Texas, and Cameron Parish, Louisiana. More than 95% of the pipeline route is co-located with or parallel to existing utility rights of way, the company has said. 

NGLs are part of a wet, natural gas flow, which is separated into a liquid mixture through a cooling process. With the use of heat and pressure, the mixture splits into fuels such as propane, ethane and butane. These differ from liquid natural gases (LNG), usually methane, can be liquified by reducing temperature levels.  

Moss Lake, a private midstream investor, headquartered in Houston, said it hopes to have the project certified by April 2026 and in-service in the second quarter of 2028, eventually shipping as much as 2 Bcf/d of natural gas. 

The proposed timeline for the project, outlined by the company as a series of key milestones, has already conducted public open houses in May and is continuing the process in June. Moss Lake has also developed a preliminary public participation plan to assist with stakeholder communications and the dissemination of public information throughout the project’s lifecycle. 

If all goes well, DeLa Express said it will file its Section 7 application in February 2025, in anticipation of receiving FERC certification. 

Of course, before we get to that point the pipeline will have to attract customers. Unlike most other recently proposed pipelines, such as the Apex Pipeline, the DeLa will be crossing state lines into Louisiana. In this scenario, shipments could bypass some anticipated Permian bottlenecking, en route to the Gulf.  

One positive the project has going for it is that the administration’s LNG permitting pause on new facilities does not affect Hackberry NGL, because it will load NGL products on ocean-going ships for exportation to U.S. trading partners. 

Another plus is that Moss Lake also plans to supply LNG facilities along the Gulf Coast with low-nitrogen feed gas.  

“Hackberry’s NGL proposed export facility will have significant freight advantages over the long-term due to its close proximity to the ocean, and the fact that there is significantly less congestion than at other ports in the U.S. Gulf Coast, some of which is due to the natural geography of the area,” Jeff Frase told The American Press of Lake Charles, Louisiana.  

With producers likely to fill capacity on the Matterhorn faster than initially expected some constraints in Permian are likely to occur until the 155-mile Saguaro Connector pipeline, connecting to Mexico Pacific’s in-development Saguaro LNG export facility, comes online in 2029. 

An open season for the DeLa pipeline is expected by June. 

Related Articles


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}