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Williams looks at Transco, Haynesville as potential RSG plays

Highlights

Haynesville is 'lower intensity basin', has proximity to water

Wave of midstream interest in certified gas continues

Midstream operator Williams has identified Transco Pipeline and the Haynesville Basin as potential target areas for responsibly sourced gas development, the company's director of New Energy Ventures said at the LDC Gulf Coast Forum Oct. 12.

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While the industry has yet to coalesce around a standardized definition for RSG, or certified gas, it generally involves certification by an independent third-party as meeting certain environmental, social, and governance standards. Methane emissions are frequently a key metric in certification.

"Our big utility customers and power customers on Transco are asking for this sort of product," Angela John, director for Williams' New Energy Ventures, said.

About the Haynesville, John highlighted the basin's natural lower emissions intensity profile and geographic location as key reasons for Williams' interest. In addition to Transco Pipeline, which traverses Louisiana and Texas on its 10,000 miles of pipe that extends into the Northeast, Williams owns and operates substantial gathering and processing assets in the Gulf of Mexico states.

The Haynesville has emerged as a major potential certified gas corridor in recent months, bolstered by producer certification commitments and its proximity to Gulf Coast LNG export terminals.

Earlier in the Oct. 12 conference, DT Midstream Vice President for the South Region Paul Teske laid out the operator's proposal to create a carbon-neutral "wellhead-to-water" pathway for gas to travel from the Haynesville to LNG export terminals and industrial customers along the US Gulf Coast.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners' Director of Marketing and Business Development Brent Beitler also teased the midstream company's interest in pursuing a similar plan in Louisiana as DT Midstream in his conference presentation's Q&A session.

Should midstream operators provide a dedicated or more environmentally friendly route for certified gas to move to the water, ample certified gas production will likely be available.

Chesapeake Energy, its pending acquisition Vine Energy, and Tokyo Gas's TG Natural Resources have all sought out certification for Haynesville production volumes in the last three months. Between the three producers, nearly 2 Bcf/d of gas is anticipated to complete its certification by the end of 2021.

Midstream interest in certified gas grows

Historically, movement in the certified gas space has been driven by producers; however, midstream operators have recently entered the fray.

On Sept. 28, Tallgrass Energy announced that it would seek out Project Canary certification of its bidirectional 4.4 Bcf/d Rockies Express Pipeline. Continuous methane emissions monitoring sensors will be placed on all 22 of REX's compressor stations.

Just a week prior on Sept. 21, Kinder Morgan partnered with Southwestern Energy to transport the Appalachia producer's certified gas along Tennessee Gas Pipeline into demand markets in the Northeast.

The recent announcements reflect two potential methods of midstream participation: certifying the pipeline infrastructure itself or setting aside dedicated capacity to transport certified gas molecules.

When asked which approach Williams might favor, John replied that the company is "still trying to figure out commercialization" and emphasized Williams' commitment to cost efficiency.