Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) Project

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Project Specifications

What is the Permian Highway Pipeline Project?

The Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) Project (“Project”) is designed to transport up to 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas through approximately 430 miles of 42-inch pipeline from the Waha, Texas, area to the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mexico markets. Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline (KMTP) will build and operate the pipeline. The Project will provide much-needed takeaway capacity for natural gas in the Permian Basin in West Texas.

 

Who is Kinder Morgan?

Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America, owning an interest in or operating approximately 84,000 miles of pipelines and 157 terminals. Kinder Morgan’s pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, carbon dioxide (CO2) and more.

In the state of Texas, Kinder Morgan operates approximately 26,000 miles of natural gas, CO2, crude and refined products pipelines, as well as 15 terminals handling liquid and bulk goods. Kinder Morgan employs over 4,970 people in Texas and is headquartered in Houston.

 

What product is this pipeline transporting? 

PHP is designed to transport natural gas, and only natural gas, through its pipeline.  This Project is backed by several long-term, binding transportation contracts with key customers looking to move natural gas from the Permian basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

If there was ever a desire to use the pipeline to transport any product other than natural gas, a new regulatory review and approval process would be required. Numerous facility and mechanical modifications would also be required prior to transporting a new product in the pipeline. Lastly, landowner’s easement agreements would need to be negotiated to reflect the change in product.

 

What are the local and statewide benefits of the PHP project? 

  • Jobs: The PHP Project will directly generate an estimated 2,500 local construction jobs and 18 full-time positions following the project’s completion.

 

  • Tax Revenue: When complete, the new facilities constructed as part of the Project will generate approximately $42 million in increased annual tax revenue to state and local taxing bodies.

 

  • Environmental Benefits: The Project will provide a much-needed outlet for natural gas in the Permian Basin of West Texas. Natural gas is produced as a by-product of the crude oil drilling process in the Permian Basin. Currently, an estimated 400 million cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) of natural gas is flared in the Permian Basin due to a lack of natural gas pipelines that are capable of transporting the gas out of the region to the market. Flaring is projected to increase in the area unless new pipelines are constructed. The PHP Project will reduce flaring and associated CO2 and methane emissions released into the atmosphere by providing 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas takeaway capacity from the Permian.

 

Strengthening Texas’s Economy and Infrastructure:

The PHP project alone, and the oil and gas production it will enable, will provide almost $1 billion in additional oil and gas production tax revenue each year to the state and counties for schools, first responders and other vital needs, and individual leaseholders will receive more than $2 billion per year in new oil and natural gas royalties. The booming oil and gas production in the Permian Basin provides major economic benefits not just for West Texas, but for the entire state. Oil and gas severance taxes in Texas provide a large amount of funding for the TXDOT’s highway fund, as well as the Permanent University Fund, which provides approximately half of the funding for Texas A&M University and the University of Texas systems. In 2018, the oil and natural gas industry paid more than $14 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties—this equates to $38 million a day to fund schools, roads, universities and first responders throughout the entire state. Developing the PHP Project will allow continued oil and gas production to drive the state’s economy and provide a massive source of tax dollars.

 

What regulatory agencies will oversee the project?

A number of federal and state agencies will be involved with the oversight and approval of the PHP Project, including, but not limited to, the Railroad Commission of Texas, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Historical Commission, Texas General Land Office, and Native American Tribes and Native American tribes as applicable.

Why are you pursuing this particular route—i.e. why go through the Hill Country?

In order to facilitate the transportation of additional natural gas supplies throughout Texas, Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline (KMTP) developed a proposed pipeline route that provides interconnections with other existing pipeline systems, and is located in an operationally feasible area that minimizes the pipeline’s impact on the environment. Kinder Morgan’s engineers and environmental specialists developed this route after close examination of publicly available information, as well as aerial, environmental, cultural and civil survey data.

The current Hill Country route is the best route from an environmental and constructability perspective. Moving it north or south would increase environmental impacts and add mileage, which would likely increase the number of impacted landowners. Going north of Austin would impact a significantly greater number of landowners and create additional environmental impacts due to the rocky soil that would require extensive blasting. The current route crosses the northern edge of the Edwards Aquifer; moving it south closer to or around San Antonio would greatly increase the mileage directly through the center of the Edwards Aquifer.

When is the project expected to be placed into service?

Pending regulatory approvals, the project is expected to be in service in 2020.

What is the usual width of the pipeline right of way?

A pipeline normally requires a permanent right-of-way that is 50-feet wide. During construction, an additional 75-feet of temporary workspace next to the permanent right-of-way will be required. We will also need additional temporary workspace in certain areas such as road, railroad, river, and wetland crossings to store construction materials and accommodate safe and environmentally responsible construction activities and store construction materials. Once construction is complete, the temporary workspace will be returned to the landowner after it is restored to its original condition.

 

What is the maximum operating pressure of the PHP Project?

The maximum operating pressure will be approximately 1,440 psig (pounds per square inch gauge). This is a standard pressure for a natural gas transmission pipeline.

 

Would the natural gas in the pipeline be in a liquid or gaseous form?

The natural gas that will be transported through PHP will be in a gaseous state—NOT a liquid state. Pressurizing natural gas does NOT turn it into a liquid unless it is exposed to extremely cold temperatures (approximately -170 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

Is it true that the PHP project will be one of the longest pipelines in Texas?

No, the Permian Highway Pipeline will not be one of the longest pipelines in the State of Texas. There are many other pipelines, both existing and under construction, which are considerably longer than PHP.

 

Landowners

How is Kinder Morgan approaching the land acquisition process for this project? Is eminent domain being utilized to construct the project?

Statutory eminent domain actions, while still resulting in just compensation to the landowner, are a last resort. Kinder Morgan only goes to court if all attempts to obtain easements for right-of-way are unsuccessful and mutually beneficial agreements with landowners cannot be reached. At all times, our overarching goal is to arrive at mutually beneficial terms and conditions regarding the fair market value of property with landowners, so that eminent domain and condemnation can be avoided. Eminent domain is necessary to ensure that no single landowner can block infrastructure of benefit to the public at-large. Without eminent domain for energy infrastructure only those communities that happened to be near energy sources would benefit from fuel and power.

When determining fair market value, Kinder Morgan will review market data to confirm that the value being offered for the right-of-way is consistent with current usage, factoring in sales of comparable properties, including: location of the property in question; its size in relation to other area properties; any unique current uses or property attributes (i.e., farming/agricultural use, trees, part of an orchard, etc.); existing and area zoning; and, other pertinent real estate and commercial market factors. Additionally, land and property studies and/or appraisals are sometimes commissioned to aid in determining fair market value.

Eminent domain is a clearly regulated process in the State of Texas and a court will determine whether the condemnation is proper, and the amount of compensation owed to the landowner.

 

Can landowners utilize the right-of-way after construction is completed?

Yes. Following completion of pipeline construction and restoration of the right-of-way, the landowner still may use the land over the pipeline for most purposes, including agriculture and cattle grazing. The landowner may plant smaller shrubs, flowers, bushes and grasses on the right-of way. Working with the company, landowners can also build access roads across the pipeline easement. Landowners are not permitted to construct buildings or structures, or plant deep-rooted trees in the permanent right-of-way, as this may impede with safe operation and continued monitoring of the pipeline.

 

Safety

How safe is transporting natural gas through underground pipeline? What measures does Kinder Morgan or its partners take to ensure safe operations of the pipeline?

Statistics gathered by the National Transportation Safety Board, a federal agency, indicate that pipelines make up less than one one-hundredth of one percent (.01%) of all transportation accidents in the United States. There are approximately 300,000 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines throughout the United States that deliver safe, reliable natural gas to American families and businesses.  Kinder Morgan meets and exceeds hundreds of regulations and procedures to regularly monitor, test and inspect the mechanical and operational integrity of our pipelines. We keep communities safe in large part because we monitor our pipelines 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Our safety efforts include: electronic surveillance systems, visual inspections of right-of way, as well as internal inspections using sophisticated computerized equipment called “smart pigs”.

It also is important to not confuse natural gas distribution pipelines with natural gas transmission pipelines when looking at accident statistics. Distribution pipelines are the small (often less than 1” diameter) conduit lines that run into homes and businesses and are typically operated by local utilities. Whereas transmission pipelines are the larger (typically 24” to 42” pipelines) that move natural gas over long distances and serve large industrial customers and local utilities not individual homes and businesses. The PHP Project is an example of a transmission pipeline. Distribution pipelines have higher rates of incidents because there is a higher likelihood of human error (such as a homeowner accidentally striking the small distribution pipeline going into the side of their home, failing to maintain a leaking gas meter, etc…), whereas transmission pipelines have very low rates of incidents, injuries and fatalities since they are buried deep in the ground and have minimal interaction with human activities.

 

What is the evacuation zone of PHP?

According to the Department of Transportation, pipelines are the safest method of energy transportation. In the rare event of an incident, Kinder Morgan will provide information on the incident based on size, scope and other factors to local authorities and first responders to appropriately evaluate the situation. Not all incidents result in an evacuation. Any evacuations would be determined by first responders utilizing input from Kinder Morgan.

 

 

 

Local Impacts

Is the presence of a natural gas pipeline, such as the PHP Project, likely to negatively impact tourism, particularly in the Texas Hill Country region?

No, PHP will have no impact on tourism. Just like the several other pipelines in the Hill Country, including natural gas pipelines, this pipeline will be largely unnoticed by the public once it is placed in service and the right-of-way restored.  This has proven to be the case with the Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline (KMTP), which is a 2,100-mile intrastate natural gas pipeline that goes through several Hill Country counties including Gillespie, Blanco and Hays and has been operating there for several decades.

 

Is this the first natural gas pipeline being built in the Texas Hill Country?

No. The Texas Hill Country is already home to several major pipeline systems which provide the energy that the Hill Country, Austin and San Antonio regions rely upon. In Gillespie, Blanco, Hays and Caldwell counties alone there are already over 810 miles of existing underground pipelines operating safely and efficiently.

  • Gillespie County: ~138 miles of existing pipelines (~26 miles are Kinder Morgan pipelines)
  • Blanco County: ~84 miles of existing pipelines (~25 miles are Kinder Morgan pipelines)
  • Hays County: ~168 miles of existing pipelines (~13.5 are Kinder Morgan pipelines)
  • Caldwell County: ~420 miles of existing pipelines (~21 are Kinder Morgan pipelines)

 

 

The Environment

Why is there not a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) for this project?

Kinder Morgan will conduct a thorough environmental analysis as part of the Project, and is committed to protecting significant cultural resource sites and environmentally sensitive areas. Since this is an intrastate pipeline project, it is not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) and is not required to complete a formal environmental impact statement (EIS).

HOWEVER, Kinder Morgan must obtain permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and clearances from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), both of which require extensive environmental assessments that include similar components of a formal EIS.

  • For the USACE permit for crossing Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), the applicant (Kinder Morgan) must, in the words of the USACE, “demonstrate that all appropriate and practicable steps have been taken to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. For unavoidable impacts of permitted activities, compensatory mitigation is required to replace the loss of wetland, stream, and/or other aquatic resource functions. Compensatory mitigation can be accomplished through the restoration, creation, enhancement, and/or preservation of aquatic resources, either by the permittee’s individual project, or the use of mitigation banks or other consolidated mitigation efforts.”

  • For the USFWS, clearances for this project addressing threatened and endangered species, Kinder Morgan must, in the words of the USFWS, “describe the current habitat conditions within the action area,” for species that “may be present.” “For critical habitat, identify the primary constituent elements that occur in the action area. For a description of the primary constituent elements, refer to the rule in the Federal Register that designated the critical habitat. Describe how the action may affect each protected resource – This section should document your conclusion and supporting rationale.  Document your analysis of the what, when and how the protected resources will be exposed to and how such individuals or habitat are likely to respond to this exposure.  Remember that you must consider effects that may occur later in time (e.g., after completion of initial construction).  If species experts were contacted, include a summary of the conversations/conclusions reached.  Include the references for the literature that your analysis relied upon.”

As a component of the USACE/USFWS permitting process, Kinder Morgan will submit a Biological Assessment (BA) that will assess the impacts to all listed species potentially found along the pipeline route.  This BA will be filed with both the USFWS and the USACE.  The USFWS will then respond to the BA with a Biological Opinion (BO) as to the effect the project will have on each species.  The USACE will use the BO during the permitting process.

A formal EIS is not the only possible way to perform an environmental review of the project’s impacts.  Performing a formal EIS in addition to the environmental analyses required under the projects other federal permits, would be partially duplicative.

 

Will PHP be performing a geological assessment?

PHP is using SWCA and Cambrian Environmental to perform a geological assessment for the PHP project.  This assessment includes a thorough desktop analysis of the entire project. This analysis will be followed by “on the ground” karst surveys of the Edwards Aquifer Karst, Trinity Aquifer Karst, and Edwards / Trinity Plateau Karst.  Surveys generally conform to the “Instructions to Geologists for Geologic Assessments on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge/Transition Zones” as written by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

 

How will Kinder Morgan protect wetlands and culturally important sites? 

We start by selecting a route that avoids sensitive areas whenever possible. This route is based on detailed professional field surveys, desktop studies and the review of available literature and databases that locate sensitive features. We also mark wetlands and culturally important sites that need to be avoided during construction.

Should there be any wetlands or culturally important sites that cannot be avoided, we exercise the utmost care around these sites during construction. We choose only qualified and experienced professional pipeline builders to minimize the impact of construction activities. In addition, we will have a specially trained environmental inspector at the site to ensure the protection of environmentally sensitive areas and endangered species. Following construction, we thoroughly restore the land as close as possible to, if not better than, it’s original condition.

It is also very important to note that if any major water body crossings are required for this project, it is typically our practice to horizontally directionally drill (HDD) those water bodies along the proposed route, when possible, safe and practical. This highly technical, and very expensive method of installing a pipeline, minimizes environmental impacts.

Is the construction of the project a threat to the Edwards Aquifer?

No. The PHP Project will transport natural gas, which is lighter than air (meaning it rises) and does not sink into the ground or water table. In the extremely unlikely event of a leak, the gas will not remain on the ground or impact the aquifer.

Kinder Morgan has held meetings, and continues to be in close communication, with groundwater districts and advocacy groups including the Edwards Aquifer Authority and Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District regarding the project.

 

How is Kinder Morgan planning on mitigating impacts to endangered species such as the Golden Cheeked Warbler? Will Kinder Morgan be investing in mitigation measures along the pipeline route?

Kinder Morgan is working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to determine appropriate mitigation for Golden Cheeked Warbler to offset any potential impacts along the pipeline route.

 

The Texas Hill Country is a unique geographic region. Does Kinder Morgan understand that?

Much like other regions throughout the U.S., the Texas Hill Country is a unique geographic region and poses its own challenges for pipeline construction.  Kinder Morgan has a proven track record of safely operating pipelines in other sensitive areas like the Rocky Mountains, San Francisco Bay, Lake Pontchartrain and the swamplands of Louisiana, the Badlands of North Dakota, and the granite of New Hampshire. Local conditions and geographic features are always taken into account throughout the project planning process, and we employ skilled construction, environmental, and project management personnel familiar with constructing pipelines in challenging areas.

 

How will Kinder Morgan address the karst geography in the Texas Hill Country region?

Kinder Morgan is working with a karst expert in locating major subsurface features that may directly influence groundwater, and we are developing a response and mitigation plan for construction activities in these areas. Kinder Morgan will work closely with local groundwater districts in the region on the implementation of this plan. The response and mitigation will include a period of construction shutdown in the event a void is found during construction that would be problematic to continued construction or would be of influence to groundwater quality.  Voids encountered will be addressed in accordance with TCEQ guidance, and in line with our construction methods and proposed pipeline material.  This will not only protect PHP from potential subsidence issues in the future, but also the aquifer from groundwater influence.

 

Is Kinder Morgan developing a natural gas storage cavern to support this project?

No, there are no plans for a natural gas storage cavern to support this pipeline. Kinder Morgan is working with a karst expert to locate major subsurface features that may directly influence groundwater. This expert is NOT surveying to locate a potential site for a natural gas storage cavern – their role is to help the company develop a construction plan that minimizes any impact to this unique area.

 

What is Kinder Morgan doing to address the possible spread of oak wilt?

PHP will not contribute to the spread of oak wilt. Oak wilt is transmitted in two ways, one via direct root interaction that develops in oak stands, and the other via a beetle that carries spores during certain times of the year and can infect healthy trees.

Our construction contractors plan to mulch any trees we cut. We do not plan to leave cut timber at the edge of the workspace for landowners.  The cut trees will be chipped/mulched and the mulch placed on the edge of the work space. During restoration the mulch will be spread across the construction area, except in wetlands and any other areas where specifically prohibited.

In order to help prevent the spread of oak wilt, Kinder Morgan will commit to paint any wounds or cuts on trees along our construction corridor.

 

Environmental

FAQ 

Pre-construction

Will a surface geophysical survey be done in conjunction with the karst survey?

Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) has teamed up with regional karst experts at Cambrian Environmental in Austin to perform a geological assessment and karst surveys for this project. In addition, void mitigation and response protocols have been incorporated into the PHP construction plan in order to reduce the potential for impacts to karst resources. These surveys and plans are described in response #3 below.

  • Has KM estimated the number of karst features?
    • PHP has conducted a karst terrain feature survey. See response #3 below.
  • How many have been estimated?
    • PHP has conducted a karst terrain feature survey. See response #3 below.

 

When will KM share the findings from its karst experts with the public and government agencies/GCDs?

PHP will provide the necessary information to state and federal agencies as required per our project permits.

 

How will KM eliminate potential impacts to karst features?

PHP has teamed up with regional karst experts at Cambrian Environmental in Austin to perform a geological assessment and karst surveys for this project. To reduce the potential for impacts to karst resources, void mitigation and response protocols have been incorporated into the PHP construction plan.

These surveys and plans are described below:

Karst Terrain Feature Survey – The most effective avoidance and minimization practice for projects developed in karst terrain is having the proposed route thoroughly studied on the ground by qualified karst geoscientists so that direct impacts to identified karst features can be avoided.

Karst feature surveys conducted for the PHP project were conducted by field staff utilizing the best practice of identification based on Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ)-0585 – Instructions to Geologists for Geologic Assessments on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge/Transition Zones.

Field staff surveyed areas where there are surface expressions of potentially sensitive karst features, identified features, and collected feature data. The karst experts evaluated this data and determined where geophysical imaging was necessary to augment the investigation. PHP realigned the route to avoid significant sensitive karst features.

Void Mitigation Protocols – Pre-construction surveys help avoid and minimize impacts to known karst features. We expect that voids will be encountered that were not detected during the pre-construction survey.

When karst voids are encountered during trench excavation the void spaces are expected to range widely in both size and hydrologic function. As with other projects constructed in this terrain, PHP will incorporate a void mitigation protocol.

Specially trained inspectors will be checking for voids and report to a team of geoscientists versed in void mitigation procedures. These geoscientists will then implement mitigation procedures, including site-specific best management practices (BMPs), to minimize the introduction of sediment and maximize preservation void features’ aquifer functions.

This void mitigation plan is based on the standards in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Edwards Aquifer rules (Title 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 213) and the associated BMP manual: TCEQ Publication RG-348 – Complying with the Edwards Aquifer Rules: Technical Guidance on Best Management Practices.

General Karst BMP Plan – Incorporating lessons learned from both local and national linear project examples, as well as advice from karst experts and our environmental team, PHP has developed a set of BMPs tailored to the central Texas karst. Among other things, these measures address sediment control, safe materials handling, and protective measures for specific identified karst features.

 

Will KM develop a void mitigation plan?

Yes. See response in question #3 above regarding PHP’s void mitigation plan.

 

Will KM enter into an agreement with GCD’s, counties and cities to formally document with these entities the prohibition of liquid products in the pipeline and agree to certain construction and operations methods that protect the aquifer and water supply?

PHP is designed to transport natural gas, and only natural gas, through its pipeline. This project is backed by several long-term, binding transportation contracts with customers to move natural gas from the Permian basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

PHP is open to entering into an agreement with groundwater conservation districts, counties and cities to provide additional formal documentation that this pipeline will transport only natural gas. This would be consistent with our easement agreement language with landowners which commits the use of the pipeline to natural gas only.

 

If KM does not plan to conduct karst surveys, can GCD staff access ROW to perform surveys?

PHP has conducted karst surveys.

 

Construction

What are the specific sedimentation controls?

(See below)

  • How do they differ in Texas, compared to Pennsylvania, which also has karst aquifers?
    • PHP will follow the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Permit 12 for the State of Texas. In addition, the regional karst experts at Cambrian Environmental in Austin will provide a mitigation procedure that will address sedimentation controls around known or unanticipated voids. PHP’s karst best management practices (BMPs) also address sediment control, among other protective measures.

When karst features are encountered during construction, will GCDs be allowed access to significant features that are found?

See the response to question #3 above.

Who will inspect erosion controls and how often?

We will have a team of inspectors present on the right-of-way. The inspection team will inspect erosion control daily in active construction areas, as well as after large rain events in areas without active construction.

  • What is the size of the disturbed area before it is revegetated? Typically, how long does the soil remain exposed from the start of disturbance to revegetation?
  • For this project, we are seeking a 50-foot easement. During construction, we plan to use up to an additional 75-feet of temporary workspace. We will begin the restoration process of these areas immediately after the pipeline is installed.

As an example, the Mopac project is two miles long and has encountered over 40 voids during excavation. These voids slow down project construction as it takes time to evaluate the void to determine proper mitigation.

  • How will KM respond to unknown voids found during construction?
    • See the response to question #3 above.

 

  • How will KM share the voids, as they’re found, with GCDs and cities and counties?
    • Kinder Morgan can share information about significant karst features. Access to individual features may be considered on a case-by-case basis at the time of discovery and will be dependent on the ability to safely access the site during construction activities.

What is KM’s spill response plan during and after construction?

PHP will transport natural gas, which is lighter than air (meaning it rises) and does not sink into the ground or water table. In the extremely unlikely event of a leak, the gas will not remain in the ground or impact the aquifer.

Kinder Morgan has a set of best management practices (BMPs) for the construction of the pipeline which includes, among other topics, safety measures to prevent spills, such as spills from construction equipment fuels, oils, and grease along the pipeline right-of-way. Kinder Morgan’s spill prevention measures will meet or exceed state and federal environmental protection requirements.

Will the pipeline be double-walled?

The pipeline is single-walled steel.

Does KM plan to drill cathodic protection wells along the pipeline? If so, what are the specifications (depth, casing, material, spacing, etc.)?

Yes, Kinder Morgan will utilize cathodic protection along PHP in order to prevent corrosion for the long-term safe operation of the pipeline. The cathodic protection system will be designed based on an initial cathodic protection survey which will be conducted after the pipeline is in service.

 

Other

Will there be an opportunity for GCDs to use wells for data collection (geophysical logs, downhole camera survey, etc.)?

Kinder Morgan will provide the necessary information to state and federal agencies as required per our project permits.

 

Will background water-quality sampling of wells be conducted?

Kinder Morgan will work with individual landowners to respond to their questions and concerns about their wells.

 

What is the chemical composition of the natural gas to be transported?

PHP has a gas quality specification that every customer must meet in order to deliver gas to the pipeline.

  • What toxic constituents will be present and what is their typical concentration in the gas to be transported?
    • The natural gas present in PHP meets the required gas quality specifications and is treated prior to entering the pipeline. The quality of the natural gas in PHP is similar to the quality of the gas delivered to individual homes and businesses.

What liquids might be in the pipeline and how much could be released if a leak or spill occurs?

PHP is designed to transport natural gas, and only natural gas, through its pipeline. This Project is backed by several long-term, binding transportation contracts with key customers looking to move natural gas from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

PHP’s gas quality specifications require the cricondentherm dew point temperature of the gas stream to be normally less than 20 deg. F, but in no event more than 40 deg. F, and in either of those circumstances, PHP does not expect condensate to form in this pipeline.

What is the estimated volume of condensate that can be found in the pipeline or compressor stations at any one time?

PHP’s gas quality specifications require the cricondentherm dew point temperature of the gas stream to be normally less than 20 deg F, but in no event more than 40 deg F, and in either of those circumstances, PHP does not expect condensate to form in this pipeline.

  • If a compressor station fails to remove the liquids, what is the volume of liquid in the pipeline?
    • PHP does not expect condensate to form in this pipeline.
  • What is the volume of condensate that could escape from the pipe?
    • PHP does not expect condensate to form in this pipeline.

Will KM notify GCDs and cities/counties if pipeline switches from transporting natural gas to crude or other liquids?

PHP is designed to transport natural gas, and only natural gas, through its pipeline. PHP is backed by several long-term, binding transportation contracts with customers to move natural gas from the Permian basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The current form of easement agreement that PHP signs with landowners contains language that provides PHP will be dedicated to natural gas only. Future right of way documents will include this commitment. Additionally, landowners that have already signed easements with PHP can request an amendment to insert this language.

What resources will be in place to respond in the event of a leak/contamination?

PHP will transport natural gas, which is lighter than air (meaning it rises) and does not sink into the ground or water table. In the extremely unlikely event of a leak, the gas will not remain on the ground or impact the aquifer.

  • In the event of drinking water contamination, what actions will be taken to protect water users?
    • See answer above.
  • Will KM conduct ongoing sampling of Trinity Aquifer wells for possible pipeline contaminants?
    • See answer above.

How will KM inspect the pipeline and how often?

Just like Kinder Morgan’s existing pipeline systems, PHP will be monitored, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer system.

These specialized communication systems allow us to monitor and control equipment on the gas pipelines we operate. SCADA systems transmit operating status, flow volumes, and pressure/ temperature information including safety alarms from compressor stations, measurement stations, key pipeline valves and other equipment to centralized, manned control facilities.

Kinder Morgan uses state-of-the-art communication systems that include cellular, satellite, microwave, radio and traditional telephone lines to reliably transmit this information to and from the control center, and provide real-time monitoring and control of the pipeline. When operating conditions approach preset conditions, an alarm alerts the operator on duty, and the condition is investigated and corrected.

We employ internal inspections using sophisticated, computerized inline inspection equipment (aka “smart pigs”), close interval surveys and cathodic protection to protect pipelines from external corrosion.

“Smart pigs” are inserted into the pipeline at a valve. They then are pushed along by the products through the pipe measuring and recording irregularities that may represent or presage corrosion, cracks, laminations, deformations or other defects that could turn into problems. There are three basic types of smart pigs.  One uses mechanical arms or other electro-mechanical means to measure the bore of the pipe. These geometry tools can identify a variety of deformations and can sense changes in girth welds and wall thickness. Two other types utilize ultrasonic testing, either via compression waves or shear waves, and magnetic flux leakage (MFL) with the magnetic field oriented either axially or circumferentially.

For new pipeline systems, and occasionally on existing lines, we also use hydrostatic pressure testing to perform strength and leak tests. This process is performed before putting the pipeline into service, or after taking an existing pipeline out of service, filling it with water, raising the internal pressure of the pipe to a designated level well above its allowed “in-service pressure,” and holding the pipe at or above that level for a prescribed period of time.

  • How will KM test the pipeline and how often?
    • See answer above.