Transco Pipeline

Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, commonly known as Transco Pipeline, is a US-based company which deals with the supply of natural gas.

Transco Pipeline is one of the three interstate pipelines governed by Williams. The pipeline extends from South Texas to New York City, catering to the needs of a number of local distribution companies, large commercial companies, and electric power plants in the southeastern and northeastern United States.

The company was borne from the energy crisis in the 70s and has lived up to its promise to provide oil and gas to the citizens of the United States to date.

The ‘then’ largest and longest pipeline was constructed in 1949 by wealthy Texans who came together to form what is now known as Transcontinental Gas Pipeline. It was first headed by Claude Williams.

The project, which covered about 1,832 miles from Texas to New York City, now boasts of a length of 10, 500 miles, (stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to New York City) with 52 compressor stations and 5 field division locations (Cypress, Atlanta, Charlottesville, Princeton, and Palmetto Divisions).

Since its first delivery to Danville, Virginia in 1950, the company has been focused on connecting low-cost natural gas supplies high demand centers, accounting for about 10% of natural gas used in the United States.

Notable Events

In 1957, the company acquired its first offshore pipeline (stretching 21 miles off the coast of Louisiana) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Following its acquisition of a natural gas storage field in Pennsylvania, the company’s daily deliveries had a tremendous spike from less than 350 million cubic feet to over one billion cubic feet in 1958.

Fast forward 15 years later, the multi-million dollar company was incorporated as a holding company, with Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Corporation as one of its subsidiaries.

The company pulled off a big project the same year (1973) when it teamed up with National Iranian Oil Company in a $650 million joint venture. The aim of the joint venture was to bolster the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry by processing natural gas products in Iran and converting the processed products into pipeline-quality gas for the consumption of Americans.

Following the cancellation of the project in 1974, Transco had to discontinue its oil and gas exploration projects in Canada.

The company entered another joint venture, in 1975, with McMoRan Exploration Company. This time the venture was focused on gas exploration along the gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas. Later that year, the company alongside United Gas Pipeline Company applied for the approval of the Federal Power Commission (FPC) to build an offshore pipeline aimed at transporting natural gas from the High Island area in the gulf, off the Coast of Texas.

Transco was compelled to cut back on gas deliveries during the winter of 1974-1975 due to a significant decline in natural gas supplies. This raised lots of dust, forcing the company to begin a thorough search of other sources of gas supplies.

During the gas exploration project with McMoRan and Mesa Petroleum Company in 1977, Transco Exploration Company, one of Transco’s subsidiaries, discovered three gas reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico. The unit then collaborated with Texaco Inc. to produce oil and gas from a tract in the gulf.

Later that year, the exploration arm of Transco entered into a new joint venture with McMoRan and three other oil producing companies to scour federal waters in the gulf for oil and gas.

As the search deepened, Transco Exploration discovered commercial quantities of gas off the Texas coast in 1979.

The parent company, which gave up on coal-mining business in 1991, delved into other energy businesses, including coal, in 1979. This earned it the name Transco Energy Company in 1982.

Transco in the early 1980s was a far cry from what it was in the 70s. At this time, the company has accumulated a huge amount of gas than it could sell. This was, in part, due to the fall in oil prices that made most of its customers turn to fuel oil instead of natural gas. Transco Energy Company had to convert its exploration arm into a limited partnership – Transco Exploration Partners Ltd. (TXP).

In 1983, the company generated a total of $120 million by selling 12% of its limited partnership.

The turn of events compelled the parent company to shut down its coal-gasification plant in 1985.

As though they couldn’t let go of the coal-mining business, the company delved deeper into the coal-mining sector by purchasing Interstate Coal Company for a sum of $233 million.

Following the orders issued by the then ‘new’ Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, (successor of FPC), Transco pipeline became open access pipelines that help transport gas that its customers purchased from other companies. This increased the competition in the Oil and Gas industry, resulting in a net loss of $91 million in the company’s share in 1988.

The company experienced a significant improvement in its finances after purchasing Texas Gas Transmission in 1989. This brought an additional 6,000 miles of pipeline to its existing pipeline network. The new pipeline spanned through Louisiana golf coast to Ohio and Indiana.

The year 1990 came with some groundbreaking events with the company discovering 11 gas sources. Later that year, the company got approval from the FERC to connect its two major pipelines – Texas Gas Transmission and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line – with other companies, thus, creating the first route for domestic gas to be transported to the northeastern United States.

The company teamed up with five other companies, in 1991, to launch both offshore and onshore pipeline systems aimed at transporting natural gas from Mobile Bay area in the gulf off Alabama.

The following months didn’t go as planned, which made the then new president, John P. DesBarres, to announce the dismissal of the company’s coal operations and oil and gas production businesses. He explained that this was the best card to play at the moment so that the company can focus on its pipeline, power generation, and gas marketing segments.

Current Events

The management of the company is currently working on a project proposed to provide its northeastern customers with an additional 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. This project will bring an additional 37 miles of pipeline and new compression stations to the company’s existing pipeline system.

The proposed pipeline will be constructed in New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, stretching across 23.5 miles, 3.4 miles, and 10.2 miles respectively.

The company also plan on building a new compressor station in Somerset County of New Jersey and modifying the existing 52 compressor stations.

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