DT Midstream has announced the completion of the Phase 1 expansion of the Louisiana Energy Access Project (LEAP) in the US, which aims to boost the capacity of the gathering system to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.

According to the Detroit-based midstream company, the expansion project has been commissioned early, ahead of the original in-service date set for Q4 2023. Besides, the project was executed on budget, said DT Midstream.

Prior to the project, the LEAP gathering lateral pipeline, which is more than 249km long, had a capacity of 1Bcf/d. As of today, the pipeline offers interconnectivity between production in the Haynesville Shale in northern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast markets.

DT Midstream president and CEO David Slater said: “The LEAP expansion project’s early in-service is a key first step in providing our customers ‘wellhead to water’ access to premium LNG markets. We are proud to support U.S. sourced LNG exports to the world at a time when energy security and affordability are paramount.”

The company is also undertaking two more expansion phases of the gathering system.

Currently, the phase 2 and phase 3 expansions are on schedule to enter into service in Q1 2024 and Q3 2024, respectively.

Following the completion of the multi-phased project, LEAP is expected to increase its total capacity to 1.9Bcf/d. Furthermore, it will offer the potential for more expansions, leading to an overall capacity of a maximum of 3Bcf/d.

As per DT Midstream, it is anticipated that both the domestic industrial and international LNG markets will experience growth exceeding 8 Bcf/d by 2030.

Presently, customers utilising LEAP can access various operational or forthcoming liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, which include Sabine Pass, Calcasieu Pass, Cameron, Plaquemines, and Golden Pass. These connections are facilitated through interconnects with pipelines such as Creole Trail, Texas Eastern, Cameron Interstate Pipeline, and Transco, said the company.