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The Race for NatGas

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Houston Startup Plans $2 Billion Permian Pipeline

August 9th 2017

Oil Pipes2

Houston pipeline startup Permico Energia hopes to build a $2 billion natural gas liquids pipeline across Texas from the booming Permian Basin to refining and port access near Corpus Christi.

The pipeline project includes building a fractionator near Corpus Christi to separate the NGLs into individual products - ethane, propane and butane - as well as products pipelines to carry the ethane and more to Houston-area markets like Mont Belvieu. The products typically are exported sold to the petrochemical sector and heating markets.

For a privately owned startup without projects under its belt and a massive price tag, full financing could still be quite a ways off. However, Permico co-founder and CEO Jeff Beicker said the company has funding commitments from unnamed South Korean investment banks and pension fund institutions. The company said it has about $800 million committed by Korean pension funds, but Permico isn't naming the funds.

He indicated Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corp. is the lead bank providing loans. 

"We have enjoyed a positive reception from both sides of the pipe and are currently negotiating long term producer and industrial partner contracts," Beicker added.

Permico isn't proving further financial details at this time.

The company's name is Spanish for "Permian." The proposed 510-mile pipeline system also would connect to South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale as it makes its way to Corpus Christi. The fractionator would be built to process 300,000 barrels a day.

Despite the lack of details on the financing plans, Permico said construction is tentatively slated to start by the end of June 2018 and go into service in 2020. Permico is attempting to add to the bevy of proposed pipeline projects moving from west to east Texas to capitalize off of the Permian's ongoing oil boom. The oil fields also have associated natural gas liquids that are produced from most of the wells. Houston pipeline giant Kinder Morgan already is planning to build a massive natural gas network from Permian to Corpus Christi. Likewise, Houston's Enterprise Products Partners is constructing a huge NGL pipeline from the Permian to Houston.

Beicker is a longtime energy veteran of companies like Marlin Midstream and Royal Dutch Shell. One of his co-founders, John Porter, was the global head of energy infrastructure for the CBRE commercial real estate firm.

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