Enterprise Begins Open Commitment Period for Ethane Pipeline from Marcellus/Utica Shale to Gulf Coast

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 11 Oct 2011 13:37
Tags: enterprise ethane pipeline usa

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Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) today announced the start of a binding open commitment period for capacity on a proposed pipeline designed to transport ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The partnership has already met with interested shippers willing to execute long-term contracts to support the project, and expects sufficient market support during the open commitment period. The open commitment period runs from 8 a.m. CDT Tuesday October 11, 2011 through 5 p.m. CST Thursday, November 10, 2011.

The approximately 1,230-mile pipeline would have an initial capacity of 125,000 barrels per day (BPD), and can be quickly expanded to meet increased shipper demand. The pipeline would deliver ethane to Enterprise's natural gas liquids storage complex at Mont Belvieu, Texas. Through connections at Mont Belvieu, ethane production from the Marcellus and Utica shales would ultimately have direct or indirect access to every ethylene plant in the U.S. The pipeline would be expected to begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2014.

"For more than a year, we have been working with producers in the Marcellus Shale play, and more recently the Utica Shale, to address the growing logistical needs to transport their ethane production and facilitate natural gas production from this liquids-rich region," said A.J. "Jim" Teague, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Enterprise's general partner. "We have also built facilities to serve the petrochemical industry on the Gulf Coast as it continues to expand its use of price-advantaged domestic ethane over more expensive imported crude oil derivatives. By providing access to the Gulf Coast petrochemical market, our ethane pipeline offers a timely, cost-effective and expandable solution for meeting the country's long-term needs from both an energy supply and demand perspective."

The project would utilize a combination of new and existing infrastructure. The northern portion of the proposed system involves construction of a pipeline that would originate in Washington County, Pennsylvania and extend west, then southwest, following existing pipeline corridors in order to minimize the footprint of the project. At Cape Girardeau, Missouri the pipeline would interconnect with Enterprise's existing 16-inch diameter TE Products Pipeline, which would be reversed to accommodate southbound delivery of ethane to the U.S. Gulf Coast. At the terminus of the existing Enterprise TE Products Pipeline in Beaumont, Texas, the partnership would construct a 55-mile pipeline to the Mont Belvieu facility.

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