INTRASTATE TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE SEGMENT
Natural gas transportation pipelines receive natural gas from other mainline transportation pipelines, storage facilities and gathering systems and deliver the natural gas to industrial end-users, storage facilities, utilities and other pipelines. Through our intrastate transportation and storage segment, we own and operate approximately 7,500 miles of natural gas transportation pipelines with approximately 14.1 Bcf/d of transportation capacity and three natural gas storage facilities located in the state of Texas.
Through ETC OLP, we own the largest intrastate pipeline system in the United States with interconnects to Texas markets and to major consumption areas throughout the United States. Our intrastate transportation and storage segment focuses on the transportation of natural gas to major markets from various prolific natural gas producing areas through connections with other pipeline systems as well as through our Oasis pipeline, our East Texas pipeline, our natural gas pipeline and storage assets that are referred to as the ET Fuel System, and our HPL System, which are described below.
Our intrastate transportation and storage segment’s results are determined primarily by the amount of capacity our customers reserve as well as the actual volume of natural gas that flows through the transportation pipelines. Under transportation contracts, our customers are charged (i) a demand fee, which is a fixed fee for the reservation of an agreed amount of capacity on the transportation pipeline for a specified period of time and which obligates the customer to pay even if the customer does not transport natural gas on the respective pipeline, (ii) a transportation fee, which is based on the actual throughput of natural gas by the customer, (iii) fuel retention based on a percentage of gas transported on the pipeline, or (iv) a combination of the three, generally payable monthly.
We also generate revenues and margin from the sale of natural gas to electric utilities, independent power plants, local distribution companies, industrial end-users and marketing companies on our HPL System. Generally, we purchase natural gas from either the market (including purchases from our marketing operations) or from producers at the wellhead. To the extent the natural gas comes from producers, it is primarily purchased at a discount to a specified market price and typically resold to customers based on an index price. In addition, our intrastate transportation and storage segment generates revenues from fees charged for storing customers’ working natural gas in our storage facilities and from managing natural gas for our own account.
The following details our pipelines and storage facilities in the intrastate transportation and storage segment.
ET Fuel System
Capacity of 5.2 Bcf/d
Approximately 2,770 miles of natural gas pipeline
Two storage facilities with 12.4 Bcf of total working gas capacity
The ET Fuel System serves some of the most prolific production areas in the United States and is comprised of intrastate natural gas pipeline and related natural gas storage facilities. The ET Fuel System has many interconnections with pipelines providing direct access to power plants, other intrastate and interstate pipelines, and is strategically located near high-growth production areas and provides access to the Waha Hub near Midland, Texas, the Katy Hub near Houston, Texas and the Carthage Hub in East Texas, the three major natural gas trading centers in Texas.
The ET Fuel System also includes our Bethel natural gas storage facility, with a working capacity of 6.4 Bcf, an average withdrawal capacity of 300 MMcf/d and an injection capacity of 75 MMcf/d, and our Bryson natural gas storage facility, with a working capacity of 6.0 Bcf, an average withdrawal capacity of 120 MMcf/d and an average injection capacity of 96 MMcf/d. All of our storage capacity on the ET Fuel System is contracted to third parties under fee-based arrangements that extend through 2017.
In addition, the ET Fuel System is integrated with our Godley processing plant which gives us the ability to bypass the plant when processing margins are unfavorable by blending the untreated natural gas from the North Texas System with natural gas on the ET Fuel System while continuing to meet pipeline quality specifications.
Capacity of 1.2 Bcf/d
Approximately 600 miles of natural gas pipeline
Connects Waha to Katy market hubs
The Oasis pipeline is primarily a 36-inch natural gas pipeline. It has bi-directional capability with approximately 1.2 Bcf/d of throughput capacity moving west-to-east and greater than 750 MMcf/d of throughput capacity moving east-to-west. The Oasis pipeline has many interconnections with other pipelines, power plants, processing facilities, municipalities and producers.
The Oasis pipeline is integrated with our Southeast Texas System and is an important component to maximizing our Southeast Texas System’s profitability. The Oasis pipeline enhances the Southeast Texas System by (i) providing access for natural gas on the Southeast Texas System to other third party supply and market points and interconnecting pipelines and (ii) allowing us to bypass our processing plants and treating facilities on the Southeast Texas System when processing margins are unfavorable by blending untreated natural gas from the Southeast Texas System with gas on the Oasis pipeline while continuing to meet pipeline quality specifications.
Capacity of 5.3 Bcf/d
Approximately 3,800 miles of natural gas pipeline
Bammel storage facility with 52.5 Bcf of total working gas capacity
The HPL System is an extensive network of intrastate natural gas pipelines, an underground Bammel storage reservoir and related transportation assets. The system has access to multiple sources of historically significant natural gas supply reserves from South Texas, the Gulf Coast of Texas, East Texas and the western Gulf of Mexico, and is directly connected to major gas distribution, electric and industrial load centers in Houston, Corpus Christi, Texas City and other cities located along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The HPL System is well situated to gather and transport gas in many of the major gas producing areas in Texas including a strong presence in the key Houston Ship Channel and Katy Hub markets, allowing us to play an important role in the Texas natural gas markets. The HPL System also offers its shippers off-system opportunities due to its numerous interconnections with other pipeline systems, its direct access to multiple market hubs at Katy, the Houston Ship Channel and Agua Dulce, and our Bammel storage facility.
The Bammel storage facility has a total working gas capacity of approximately 52.5 Bcf, a peak withdrawal rate of 1.3 Bcf/d and a peak injection rate of 0.6 Bcf/d. The Bammel storage facility is located near the Houston Ship Channel market area and the Katy Hub and is ideally suited to provide a physical backup for on-system and off-system customers. As of December 31, 2015, we had approximately 9.3 Bcf committed under fee-based arrangements with third parties and approximately 40 Bcf stored in the facility for our own account.
East Texas Pipeline
Capacity of 2.4 Bcf/d
Approximately 370 miles of natural gas pipeline
The East Texas pipeline connects three treating facilities, one of which we own, with our Southeast Texas System. The East Texas pipeline serves producers in East and North Central Texas and provided access to the Katy Hub. The East Texas pipeline expansions include the 36-inch East Texas extension to connect our Reed compressor station in Freestone County to our Grimes County compressor station, the 36-inch Katy expansion connecting Grimes to the Katy Hub, and the 42-inch Southeast Bossier pipeline connecting our Cleburne to Carthage pipeline to the HPL System.
RIGS Haynesville Partnership Co.
Capacity of 2.1 Bcf/d
Approximately 450 miles of natural gas pipeline
The Partnership owns a 49.99% general partner interest
RIGS is a 450-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas from northwest Louisiana to downstream pipelines and markets.