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NextEra seeks to build natural gas pipeline in Oklahoma and Texas

Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy, Inc. said Thursday it plans to build a 250-mile natural gas pipeline in Oklahoma and Texas in its latest venture into the pipeline space.

Southern Star Central Corp. and NextEra US Gas Assets, LLC, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., said they have begun a binding open season to solicit commitments for transportation capacity for the Sooner Trails Pipeline project.

The Sooner Trails pipeline is expected to connect new points in Kingfisher, Canadian, Grady, Stephens, Garvin, Carter, and Bryan Counties in Oklahoma to interstate and intrastate pipeline markets in Bryan County, Oklahoma and Lamar County, Texas.

The pipeline, if approved, will transport gas from Oklahoma’s Woodford Shale region, where NextEra’s primary subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Co., is drilling.

NextEra, the parent company of FPL, is involved in several other pipeline ventures, including the proposed 465-mile Sabal Trail pipeline, which will run through Alabama, Georgia and Florida. It will connect to the 126-mile Florida Southeast Connection and bring gas to FPL’s Martin County plant. The total project will cost an estimated $3.5 billion.

Another NextEra subsidiary formed a joint venture in 2014 to construct the 330-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia.

NextEra Energy Partners, a NextEra renewable energy spinoff, has also agreed to buy NET Midstream, a Houston-based developer, owner and operator of seven natural gas pipelines in Texas for $2.1 billion.

In related news, NextEra Energy to buy Texas pipeline company for $2.1 bln.

NextEra and Owensboro, Ky.-based Southern Star said they have signed a letter of intent that outlines the potential terms of a joint venture that is expected to construct and own Sooner Trails. Each company would own 50 percent of the proposed joint venture. An affiliate of NextEra Energy would construct the project and Southern Star, through one or more of its affiliates, would operate the pipeline.

Sooner Trails awaits Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, and has filed with FERC to begin the process. If a binding open season is successful, Southern Star and NextEra Energy anticipate service provided through the proposed pipeline in early 2018.

Jerry Morris, president and CEO of Southern Star, said the project will help alleviate constraints associated with the rapid development of natural gas from the SCOOP (South Central Oklahoma Oil Province) and STACK (Sooner Trend oil field, Anadarko) production plays. Both are in the Woodford region.

TJ Tuscai, chief executive officer of NextEra US Gas Assets, said, “This is another exciting opportunity to invest in a high-quality natural gas pipeline that we expect to be fully contracted. We expect the new Sooner Trails Pipeline route to support the physical takeaway capability and production growth in the SCOOP and STACK plays and provide new markets for shippers and producers across the region.”

This article was written by Susan Salisbury from The Palm Beach Post and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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