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Wet and Wild: DeLa Express Brings NGLs to Doorstep of Gulf Coast Fracs

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Moss Lake Partners has surprised the market with its DeLa Express pipeline to move Permian natural gas to Port Arthur, TX and Cameron Parish, LA markets. The proposed rich-gas project could also shake up NGL markets by moving supply directly to fractionators and export terminals near the Gulf Coast.

East Daley Analytics reviewed the new DeLa Express proposal on Tuesday (April 16). Moss Lake has filed for a 690-mile pipeline that could move up to 2 Bcf/d of ‘wet’ gas from the Permian Basin to Gulf Coast demand centers, according to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The project would also provide access to Hackberry NGL, Moss Lake’s affiliated NGL export project.

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Downstream NGL assets located in Cameron Parish, LA include Targa Resources’ (TRGP) Lake Charles fractionator with nameplate capacity of 55 Mb/d, according to East Daley Analytics’ NGL Network Model. The Lake Charles frac splits ethane and propane for the local petrochemical market. Moss Lake’s NGL project also could access international markets via liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports.

DeLa Express is in the early days and reminds EDA of the Bluegrass Pipeline and Moss Lake joint venture formed between Williams (WMB) and Boardwalk Pipeline more than a decade ago. The partners designed the project to transport growing NGL supply from the Northeast to a new fractionator, expanded NGL storage facilities, and an LPG export terminal. The companies ultimately dissolved the JV in September 2014 due to a lack of customer commitments; interest in the project waned as WTI oil prices declined from more than $105/bbl in June ’14 to the $30s by January ‘16.

Overseas demand is strong for US LPGs, and dock space is tight at the few Gulf Coast terminals equipped to load LPG cargoes. New export projects from Energy Transfer (ET) and Enterprise Products (EPD) will help meet demand for growing LPG supply from the Permian in the near term. Based on EDA’s NGL Network Model, those projects will add 730 Mb/d of capacity and ease export tightness until 2027, when growing NGL supply will catch up with infrastructure capacity once again.

As noted in the FERC filing, DeLa Express has a planned in-service date of July 2028. Whether Moss Lake or another party, EDA expects the industry will require more investments in export dock capacity to manage steady growth in supply. – Rob Wilson, CFA Tickers: ET, EPD, TRGP, WMB.


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