Texas is going to need more ports for exporting fossil fuels
Enterprise Products Partners CEO Jim Teague said Wednesday that a flood of oil, natural gas and other petroleum products could soon overwhelm ports in Houston and Corpus Christi.Natural gas that is now being flared in the Permian Basin will soon be transported by pipeline and converted to LNG for export.
Speaking at the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference, the pipeline CEO said the volumes of product moving to the Gulf Coast for export were increasing at a fast clip.
"Corpus Christi can't handle what's coming, and Houston can't handle whats coming," he said. "It's not just crude. It's not just LNG. It's all of the above."
Teague recounted how on a recent trip to China he was inundated with buyers for ethane, as the energy sector there seeks to expand its petrochemical manufacturing capacity.
The liquefied natural gas industry wants to become an outlet for the record amount of methane being produced in the Permian Basin, where much of it is being burned off due a lack of pipelines to move it out of the West Texas shale play.This is a snapshot of the growth potential of the energy industry in Texas. At this point, alternative energy is a small insignificant part of that industry. BTW, there is no viable alternative to ethane used in the petrochemical business which makes more than straws.
Methane is the main component of natural gas. During a discussion of Permian Basin pipelines at CERAWeek by IHS Markit, Matt Schatzman, CEO of the Houston LNG terminal developer NextDecade, said flaring is not a long-term option for handling the natural gas produced as a byproduct oil. LNG export terminals proposed along the Gulf Coast, he said, could become an outlet for much of the volume.
NextDecade is one of several liquefied natural gas companies seeking to build export terminals along the Gulf Coast. The company is seeking permission to build Rio Grande LNG in the Port of Brownsville and Galveston LNG in Texas City.
"LNG is going to be a major part of helping to resolve this gas issue so producers can attain flow assurances so they can produce the much more valuable oil, which is driving the economics of the entire development in the Permian," Schatzman said.
Natural Gas: Big Oil aims to kick its dirty methane habit
Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan is already building two pipelines to move natural gas from the Permian to the Gulf Coast. The company's Gulf Coast Express Pipeline is expected to begin moving 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in October while its Permian Highway Pipeline would move another 2 billion cubic feet per day starting in October 2020.