Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) announced today that it delivered a record amount of natural gas on its Transco interstate gas pipeline to meet demand driven by recent cold weather in markets on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Two recently completed expansions of Transco increased natural gas transportation capacity by 475,000 dekatherms per day, enabling the record in December.
The nation's largest-volume natural gas transmission system, Transco delivered a record-breaking 10.83 million dekatherms in its Zones 4-6 market area stretching from Mississippi to New York City on Dec. 12. The new peak-day mark surpasses the previous high of 10.5 million dekatherms set February 17, 2013 for deliveries to those same markets. Transco also set a three-day market area delivery record Dec. 10-12, averaging 10.47 million dekatherms per day. The Dec. 12 record volume represents enough gas to heat nearly 50 million U.S. homes.
"This recent record was primarily driven by increased natural gas demand for home heating by local distribution companies, along with power generation," said Frank Ferazzi, vice president & general manager of Williams' Transco pipeline. "As intended, the timely completions this year of two recent Transco expansion projects are helping meet growing demand in some of the fastest growing markets in the country."
On Nov. 1, Williams Partners placed into full-service its Northeast Supply Link, after bringing half the capacity into service three months ahead of schedule in response to customer demands. The project marks the first major expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline designed specifically to connect Marcellus natural gas supply with Northeastern markets. The expansion provides 250,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm natural gas transportation capacity from Marcellus supplies direct to nearby customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
In June, the partnership placed into service the final phase of the Mid-South Expansion, which when combined with the first phase, provides an additional 225,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm natural gas transportation capacity to growing markets in the Southeast United States. The project provides service to power generators in North Carolina and Alabama as well as a local distribution company in Georgia.
Since 2003, the company has placed into service 21 Transco growth projects, which have increased the system capacity by about 55 percent. To meet future demand for firm natural gas transportation capacity, Williams Partners has previously announced approximately $2.2 billion of Transco growth projects that are expected to be placed into service between 2013 and 2017. The expansions, which consist of 11 projects in nine eastern states, are designed to serve customers' demand for power generation, industries and local distribution. Additionally, Transco received a positive customer response to its recent open season related to the proposed Atlantic Sunrise Project which would be in addition to the already contracted and sanctioned expansion projects.
The Transco pipeline is a 10,200-mile pipeline system that transports natural gas to markets throughout the northeastern and southeastern United States. Current system capacity is approximately 10.15 million dekatherms per day which is enough natural gas to serve the equivalent of more than 42 million homes.