Enterprise to Build NGL Fractionator at Texas Complex

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/27/2011, Location: North America

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. announced it plans to construct a sixth natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator at its Mont Belvieu, Texas facility that will increase capacity there by 75,000 barrels per day (BPD). The new fractionation facility will accommodate continued growth of liquids-rich natural gas production from the prolific Eagle Ford Shale basin in South Texas. In anticipation of the expansion, Enterprise has already obtained the necessary approvals and permits that will allow the partnership to promptly begin construction of the new facility, which is projected to begin service in early 2013. At that time, Enterprise will have the capability to fractionate more than 450,000 BPD of NGLs at its Mont Belvieu complex. System-wide the partnership's net fractionation capacity will increase to more than 780,000 BPD.

"The announcement of our third fractionator at Mont Belvieu in less than two years is yet another indication of the robust demand for Enterprise's midstream services to handle increased natural gas production from the expanding shale plays," said A.J. "Jim" Teague, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Enterprise's general partner. "As with our fifth Mont Belvieu fractionator, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2011, the sixth unit is expected to be fully contracted when it begins service." Teague added, "The additional capacity at Mont Belvieu will give us the capability to handle approximately 75,000 BPD of mixed NGLs currently being diverted to Louisiana for fractionating, as well as an incremental 30,000 BPD of y-grade from the Phase II expansion of our Yoakum processing facility in Lavaca County, Texas."

Based on public drilling and production data, activity in the Eagle Ford Shale continues at a brisk pace. Approximately 170 rigs are presently working in the play and more than 900 wells are on production with approximately 1,400 additional wells in various stages of drilling and completion. Current production from the play is estimated at approximately 850 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas and 140,000 BPD of crude oil and condensate.

Using recently built Enterprise fractionators as a template and utilizing existing infrastructure should promote greater efficiency in the design, construction, and operation of the sixth fractionator. In addition to fractionation services, Enterprise offers producers access to the world's largest petrochemical and refining market located along the Gulf Coast through the partnership's integrated network of assets. As a result, Enterprise is able to provide producers with flow assurance and market choices that maximize the value of their commodities.

Teague said, "From a demand perspective, a persistent and significant differential between natural gas and crude oil prices continues to favor NGLs over heavier crude oil derivatives as feedstocks for the petrochemical industry. Petrochemical facilities have responded with announcements of planned new construction or modifications to make greater use of NGL feedstocks. In the last 12 months alone, approximately 100,000 BPD to 150,000 BPD of heavy cracker feedstocks have been replaced with light-end feedstocks."


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