(Reuters) – At least two exploration and production companies this week urged U.S. federal energy regulators to expedite approval of Cheniere Energy Inc’s proposed $1.025 billion Midship natural gas pipeline in Oklahoma.
Gulfport Energy Corp and Marathon Oil Corp both told the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that Midship is needed because current gas pipeline infrastructure cannot accommodate anticipated demand from the South-Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP) and the Sooner Trend Anadarko Basin Canadian and Kingfisher (STACK) plays in the Anadarko basin in Oklahoma.
“Delays in the project’s timely commencement of construction would create a detrimental delay in the ability of large quantities of stranded gas to reach the market, adversely impacting producers, shippers and consumers,” Gulfport said in a filing with FERC made available on Wednesday.
Cheniere wants to construct and operate about 234 miles (377 km) of new pipeline, three compressor stations, a booster station and other facilities in Oklahoma.
Cheniere has said it was targeting completion of the project in early 2019.
The Midship project is designed to deliver 1.44 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of gas from the STACK and SCOOP plays to existing pipelines near Bennington, Oklahoma, for transport to Gulf Coast and southeast markets where demand for the fuel for domestic consumption and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export is growing.
One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to fuel about five million U.S. homes for a day.
Total U.S. LNG export capacity is expected to jump to 8.8 bcfd in 2019, 10.1 bcfd in 2020 and 10.8 bcfd in 2021 from 3.8 bcfd in 2018, which should make the country the third-biggest LNG exporter by capacity in 2019.
Most of the U.S. LNG export terminals, including Cheniere’s Sabine Pass in Louisiana, are located or being built along the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana and Texas.
Cheniere filed an application to build Midship in May 2017.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Susan Thomas