ETC Tiger Pipeline Project, United States of America

The Tiger Pipeline is a 195 mile project to transport natural gas from the Haynesville Shale play in East Texas to Louisiana, US. Construction of the pipeline began in June 2010 and it became operational in December 2010.

The pipeline had an initial capacity to transport two billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas per day from the production areas of Haynesville Shale and Mid-Bossier Shale in north-west Louisiana, and the East Texas to Midwestern and Eastern markets.

The Tiger pipeline was initially 175 miles. It was extended by 20 miles in August 2011. The extended pipeline has increased the total capacity of the pipeline to 2.4bcf per day. The estimated cost of the expansion was $193m.

The Tiger Pipeline was laid from Catharage in East Texas to Delhi in Louisiana. The construction contract for the project was awarded to two contractors: Henkels & McCoy laid the pipeline for 78 miles, and Michels Corporation laid the remaining 97 miles. The 78-mile section has a maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of 1,160 pounds per square inch (psig), while the 97 mile section has an MAOP of 1,220psig.

Tiger Pipeline route

"The ETC Tiger Pipeline has a capacity of two billion cubic feet per day."

The 42in-diameter Tiger pipeline begins at the Carthage Hub. The starting point of the pipeline interconnects with the Houston pipeline in Panola County, East Texas. The pipeline then extends towards the east to end in Delhi, Lousiana.

The first 78 mile section ends at the compressor station in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The 97 mile section begins at this station and ends at Franklin Parish, Louisiana. The pipeline interconnects one intrastate and seven interstate pipelines.

About 98% of the pipeline is within the energy corridor, parallel to Carthage-Perryville pipeline owned by CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission, and the East Texas-Mississippi pipeline of Gulf South.

Project construction

Construction of the Tiger Pipeline is being undertaken in four spreads. Henkels & McCoy is responsible for Spread 1 and Spread 2, while Michels will take up Spread 3 and Spread 4.

At the end of May 2010, the pre-construction inspection work and flagging of the right-of-way was underway in all four spreads. Equipment was mobilised to various yards in the spreads. In June 2010, the FERC approved ETC's request to begin construction for the Bee Bayou horizontal directional drill.

Henkels & McCoy awarded the contract for the non-destructive examination (NDE) of the pipeline to AUT Specialists in June 2010.

Tiger infrastructure

The Tiger Pipeline has four compressor stations: the Carthage compressor station, the Cannisnia Compressor Station, the Bienville compressor station and the Chatham Compressor Station. The four stations have a total capacity of 119,680hp.

"The 42in-diameter pipeline begins at the Carthage Hub and ends in Perryville, Louisiana."

The Carthage station is located in Panola County, Texas, and has a capacity of 18,940hp. The Cannisnia station in Red River Parish, Louisiana, has a capacity of 29,275hp.

The Bienville station in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, will have 42,190hp capacity and the Chatham station in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, will have a capacity of 29,275hp.

The compressors in the stations run on combustion engines. Erosion control devices are maintained at all the stations.

In addition to the compressor stations, the pipeline's infrastructure includes 15 mainline valves, launchers and receivers for in-line inspection. Smart pigs are used for internal inspection and cleaning of the pipeline. A bi-directional meter is installed at the Houston Pipeline interconnection in addition to eight receipt meters and seven delivery meters.

Tiger Pipeline extension

The expansion project was submitted for approval to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in June 2010 and was given certificate order in February 2011.

The 20 mile long, 42in-diameter pipeline looping transports gas to Petrohawk Energy Corporation in Haynesville Shale. The extended pipeline has a capacity of 400,000mcf per day.

The expanded section has two loops. Loop1 extends 8.2 miles in Bienville and loop 2 extends 12.3 miles in Jackson and Ouachita Parish in Louisiana.

Both loops were installed at a distance of 20ft from the existing pipeline.

The project has also increased the compression of Cannisnia, Bienville and Chatham compressor stations by 30,565hp.

Supply contracts

"The Tiger Pipeline caters to the northeast, southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest markets."

The Tiger Pipeline caters to the north-east, south-east, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest markets. ETP sold the entire capacity of 2.4bcf over long-term contracts of ten to 15 years. It signed a contract with Chesapeake Energy Marketing to transport 1bcf per day for 15 years.

A ten-year contract was signed with EnCana Marketing to transport up to 500,000 decatherms of gas per day (Dth). Another ten-year contract was signed with an unnamed shipper for 300mcf, with Questar for 100,000Dth per day, Shell Energy North America for 300,000Dth per day and BG Energy Merchants for 100,000Dth per day.

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