WhiteWater Midstream Says Growing Permian Production Highlights Need for Pipelines

The slump in natural gas prices at the Waha head in Pecos County — briefly falling to negative $2 per Mcf due to pipeline maintenance — underscores the need for more transportation capacity.

“Until we see more capacity, we will see tension,” said Page Portas, ESG manager at Whitewater Midstream. The company is part of a consortium, including MPLX LP, and a joint venture between West Texas Gas and Stonepeak that owns the Whistler pipeline that carries natural gas from Waha to Agua Dulce.

Two investment decisions have been made to increase capacity at Whistler, which will help ease the constraints. Whistler Mainline capacity will increase from 2 billion cubic feet per day to approximately 2.5 billion cubic feet per day with the installation of three new compressor stations. The extension is expected to go live in September 2023.

Second, Whistler announced an agreement with Cheniere Energy that expands its work with Cheniere Energy. The two companies plan to move forward with construction of the ADCC Pipeline, a new 42-inch joint venture pipeline that will stretch 43 miles from the Whistler Pipeline terminus to the Corpus Christi liquefaction facility in Cheniere. It is designed to transport up to 1.7 Bcf per day, expandable to 2.5 Bcf and is expected to be in service in 2024.

But one of the most important decisions WhiteWater has made is to build the Matterhorn Express Pipeline in partnership with MPLX, EnLink Midstream and Devon Energy. The Matterhorn will be designed to transport up to 2.5 billion cubic feet through a 490-mile, 42-inch pipeline from the Waha Header to Katy with multiple upstream connections throughout the Permian Basin, including connections direct to Midland Basin processing facilities via a 75 mile lateral. . There will also be a direct connection to WhiteWater and MPLX’s 3.2 billion cubic feet per day Agua Blanca pipeline.

“We have started a path that is important for the future of the Permian Basin and Texas,” Portas said. She said that everything indicates that the construction preparation process is going smoothly. “People are realizing that natural gas is needed in the United States and around the world,” she observed.

Natural gas plays a vital role now and as the world moves towards a low-carbon future, she added.

This is one of the reasons she is so excited that WhiteWater has joined the Our Nation’s Energy Future (ONE Future) coalition.

“ONE Future’s goal is to look at the entire supply chain and reduce methane intensity,” she said. “Our goals and their goals are well aligned: safety of our staff, safety of the community and safety of the environment.”

As a 6-year-old start-up, WhiteWater is bringing new, updated technology to the coalition and will report its methane intensity results to the coalition’s transmission and storage sector.

Joining the coalition also provides the company with a great opportunity to collaborate and coordinate with communities and with other ONE Future members, she said.

“One of our other goals is to better understand and mitigate climate risks,” she said.

Expanding infrastructure to take natural gas from the Permian Basin is important to Permian Basin operators and to Texas and, ultimately, the nation and the world that demands the fuel. In general, Portis said, the more gas put into pipelines reduces the need for gas flaring and, therefore, reduces emissions.

“We hope to lead the conversation across the country about creating the pipeline safety message,” she said.

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