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Interpretation Response #PI-22-0018

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: XTO Energy, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Jameson Gowin

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mr. Jameson Gowin
Unconventional SSHE DOT Advisor
XTO Energy, Inc.
22777 Springwoods Village Parkway
Spring, TX 77389

Dear Mr. Gowin:

In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), dated September 27, 2021, you requested an interpretation of the Federal pipeline safety regulations in 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 193 with respect to your natural gas processing and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility in Hawkins, Texas (Hawkins Gas Plant).

You stated that XTO Energy owns and operates the Hawkins Gas Plant, which receives feed gas from the Hawkins gas gathering system by a class 1 unregulated gathering pipeline. You stated that the facility produces LNG as a byproduct and stores it onsite in two 50,000-gallon LNG storage tanks. You stated that the LNG is periodically sold and transported by truck. In addition, you provided a block flow diagram of the facility. The diagram indicates, and you confirmed in a follow-up email, that gas is sold to Kinder Morgan from the plant via a Part 192-regulated transmission line.

You believe the Hawkins Gas Plant is not regulated under Part 193 because it receives gas from an unregulated pipeline and the produced LNG is transported from the facility by truck. You asked whether the Hawkins Gas Plant is regulated under Part 193.

Under § 193.2007, an LNG facility is "a pipeline facility that is used for liquefying natural gas or synthetic gas or transferring, storing, or vaporizing liquefied natural gas." Additionally, a pipeline facility "means new and existing piping, rights-of-way, and any equipment, facility, or building used in the transportation of gas or in the treatment of gas during the course of transportation." Section 193.2001 defines the scope of regulated LNG facilities as:

§ 193.2001 Scope of part.

(a) This part prescribes safety standards for LNG facilities used in the transportation of gas by pipeline that is subject to the pipeline safety laws (49 USC 60101 et seq.) and Part 192 of this chapter.

(b) This part does not apply to:

(1) LNG facilities used by ultimate consumers of LNG or natural gas.

(2) LNG facilities used in the course of natural gas treatment or hydrocarbon extraction which do not store LNG.

In addition, PHMSA has explained in guidance that LNG facilities are regulated under Part 193 if the LNG facility either receives from or delivers to a Part 192 pipeline. The Hawkins Gas Plant is an LNG facility subject to regulation under Part 193 because it is a pipeline facility that stores LNG and because it delivers gas to a Part 192-regulated pipeline. Further, the Hawkins Gas Plant is not exempt from Part 193 under § 193.2001(b)(1) or (b)(2) because the facility is not the ultimate consumer of the LNG or natural gas and because the facility stores LNG.

Therefore, the Hawkins Gas Plant is regulated under Part 193.

If we can be of further assistance, please contact Tewabe Asebe at 202-366-5523.


John A. Gale
Director, Office of Standards
and Rulemaking

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
193.2001 Scope of part