Columbias Xpress Projects Look to Bump Capacity in Big Way


Columbia Gulf Transmission’s Rayne Xpress Expansion (RXE) is designed to expand capacity on Columbia Gulf’s existing mainline pipeline system by 621 MMcf/d in a north-to-south direction. It runs from Leach, KY to the Gulf Mainline pool, located just south of Inverness Compressor Station in Humphreys County, MS.

While the project itself consists only of capacity generated by two new compression stations in Kentucky, backhaul agreements along the existing mainline bring the reversal capacity to 1.05 Bcf/d.

RXE is expected in-service by Nov. 1, 2017. It is the first of two projects scheduled to expand the capability of Columbia Pipeline Group’s southern subsidiary.

The second project, Gulf XPress (GXP), is designed to add 860 MMcf/d to the pipeline by November 2018. GXP consists of seven new compressor stations on Columbia Gulf’s mainline and could potentially include the installation of additional HP at Grayson CS, which will be previously constructed as part of RXE. Filing is expected in the second quarter of 2016,

Both of these projects complement Columbia Gas Transmission’s XPress projects: Leach Xpress (LEX), Mountaineer Xpress (MXP) and WB Xpress (WBX). MXP is an echo of LEX in much the same way that GXP is of RXE, in that one project leads with new capacity and the second expands upon that, funneling gas from all over Appalachia south to the hungry industry and LNG-laden Gulf Coast markets.

LEX consists of 131 miles of greenfield pipeline, beginning at Mark West’s Majorsville processing plant in West Virginia and stretching west across Ohio to join with Columbia Transmission’s R System, which takes gas south to Leach, KY for delivery to Columbia Gulf.

New compressors along the route will allow for 1.5 Bcf/d of gas, 90% of which is contracted to four shippers by November 2017. MXP expands even further upon that capacity, offering 2.7 Bcf/d of firm transportation capacity from existing or future points of receipt along or near Columbia’s system, including Clarington, OH, southwestern Pennsylvania and central West Virginia.

New MXP facilities, scheduled for November 2018, will include 150 miles of greenfield high-pressure pipeline from Columbia’s existing system at or near the MarkWest Majorsville processing facility, running south to or near MarkWest’s Sherwood processing facility and stretching to the existing SM System located between Broad Run and Leach, KY, where looping along the system will add 2.2 Bcf/d of capacity.

While WBX is an exception to the funnel south, it is no less a monster project, taking 1.3 Bcf/d of gas from south-central West Virginia along 30 miles of new pipeline and 7 upgraded compressor stations to markets in western West Virginia and northern Virginia.

Scheduled to commence service alongside GXP and MXP in November 2018, WBX will contribute to a massive shift in Appalachian natural gas export to the south and east.

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