TC Energy Corp. is preparing to expand its natural gas pipeline network to supply molecules to Sempra’s Energía Costa Azul (ECA) liquefaction project under construction on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

On a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings, TC’s CEO Francois Poirier highlighted the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval last month of the proposed 500 MMcf/d North Baja XPress pipeline expansion.

The existing 86-mile North Baja system starts near Ehrenberg, AZ, and ends in Ogilby, CA, on the Mexico border. North Baja delivers gas produced in West Texas and the Rocky Mountains to markets in the western United States and Mexico.

The expansion, with a projected in-service date of April 2023, entails upgrading one compressor station and two metre stations.

The first phase of ECA comprises 3.25 million tonnes per year (mmty) of liquefaction capacity, and is slated to enter operation in 2024

Poirier was joined on the call by TC’s Stanley Chapman III, president for US and Mexico natural gas pipelines. Chapman said that if Sempra sanctions a second phase of ECA, expanding its liquefaction capacity to 12 mmty from 3.25 mmty, “we can further expand our North Baja system.”

Elsewhere in Mexico, TC expects to complete construction of the 886 MMcf/d Tula-Villa de Reyes natural gas pipeline this year, management said. Completion, he added, is “subject to the successful resolution of ongoing negotiations with neighbouring communities to obtain pending land access.”

TC now expects liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from North America to reach 25 Bcf/d by 2030, up more than 90 percent from current levels, according to Poirier. “While the world confronts a serious geopolitical shift, a transition to cleaner energy that also meets the world’s demand is still required,” Poirier said.

“North America and TC Energy will play a critical role in securing the global energy supply, while also transitioning to a lower-carbon future.”

TC connects about 25 percent of gas supply apportioned for US LNG exports through its extensive pipeline network, according to Poirier. “Going forward, we expect to compete for and win our fair share of the growth in the LNG market,” the CEO said. “We continue to evaluate new expansion potentials and execute our portfolio of sanctioned projects.”

So far this year, the second phase of TC’s 1.1 Bcf/d Grand Cheniere Xpress pipeline has entered service, while the 800 MMcf/d Louisiana Xpress pipeline is expected to be fully in service over the coming months. The pipelines serve Lousiana’s Calcasieu Pass and Sabine Pass LNG export facilities, respectively. over the last several weeks, TC has obtained approval from FERC for three pipelines with combined capacity of about 1.4 Bcf/d, all of which are designed to serve LNG exports as well.

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18th May 2022