When Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) dubbed its pipeline designed to transport natural gas from West Texas to the Gulf Coast the Gulf Coast Express (GCX), it might not have suspected that “express” would be so appropriate. Then again, it is a company that has bolts of lightning in its corporate logo.
KMI announced that the GCX pipeline has begun full commercial service delivering natural gas from the Waha area in West Texas to Agua Dulce near the Texas Gulf Coast nearly a week before it was expected to go into service. Fully subscribed under long-term contracts, GCX provides approximately 2.0 bcfd of incremental natural gas capacity to the Texas Gulf Coast markets, which is expected to help relieve existing Permian Basin gas takeaway constraints and help reduce natural gas flaring.
The estimated in-service date for the GCX project was originally Oct. 1 and the pipeline began operating Sept. 25.
“We are pleased to place GCX in service safely and ahead of schedule for our customers, helping to unlock tremendous value for the state of Texas,” said Sital Mody, Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Midstream president. “I amvery proud of our team’s ability to execute. We had over 3000 contractors deployed at times and more than six million contractor hours worked – all without a major safety incident during the construction phases of the project.
“With natural gas supplies projected to rise over the next 20 years from supply basins such as the Permian, our strong network of pipelines provides the ability to connect this supply to the growing markets along the Gulf Coast. We look forward to delivering on additional infrastructure projects in the months to come.”
The GCX Mainline portion of the project consists of approximately 447.5 miles of 42 in. pipeline with associated compression, all originating at the Waha Hub near Coyanosa, Texas, in the Permian Basin, and terminating near Agua Dulce, Texas, near the Gulf Coast. The GCX Midland Lateral portion of the project consists of approximately 50 miles of 36 in. pipeline and associated compression to transport natural gas processed at facilities owned by Targa, as well as facilities owned jointly by Targa and Pioneer Natural Resources (Pioneer), and provide a connection with the proposed GCX Mainline.
Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, a subsidiary of KMI, owns a 34% interest in GCX and is the operator of the pipeline. Other equity holders include Altus Midstream, DCP Midstream and an affiliate of Targa Resources.