Enterprise Begins Service at New NGL Fractionator in Mont Belvieu

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 20 Oct 2011 10:40
Tags: enterprise ngl refinery usa

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Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) today announced that a fifth natural gas liquids ("NGL") fractionator at its Mont Belvieu, Texas complex has begun commercial operations and is operating in excess of its nameplate capacity of 75,000 barrels per day ("BPD"). The new unit increases total nameplate capacity at the partnership's Mont Belvieu facility to 380,000 BPD. Supported by long-term customer contracts, the new unit provides the fractionation capacity needed to accommodate increasing NGL production from domestic shale plays, including the Eagle Ford and other basins in the Rocky Mountain and Mid-continent regions.

"We are pleased to announce the completion of our fifth NGL fractionator at Mont Belvieu," said Michael A. Creel, president and chief executive officer for Enterprise's general partner. "I want to congratulate our engineering, construction and operating groups for completing this project on budget and more than three months ahead of schedule and doing so in a safe and efficient manner. Notably, during construction and commissioning, we logged more than one million man-hours without a lost-time accident."

A.J. "Jim" Teague, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Enterprise's general partner stated, "Rising domestic NGL production from the shale plays has led to a cost advantage for the U.S. petrochemical industry favoring domestic NGLs over imported crude oil-based derivatives. The U.S. petrochemical industry has responded by increasing its demand for NGLs, particularly ethane, which reached up to one million barrels per day during the third quarter of this year. With petrochemical companies announcing more conversions, expansions and new construction projects that will consume additional ethane, and producers announcing more discoveries of shale plays with NGL-rich natural gas reserves, we have started construction of a sixth NGL fractionator with a nameplate capacity of 75,000 BPD at our Mont Belvieu complex."

Upon completion of the sixth fractionator, total nameplate capacity of Enterprise's Mont Belvieu NGL fractionation facility will increase to more than 450,000 BPD. Service at the sixth fractionator is projected to begin in early 2013, at which time the unit will be fully contracted. The additional capacity provided by the fifth and sixth fractionators will allow Enterprise to process mixed NGLs at its Mont Belvieu complex that are currently being diverted to Louisiana, as well as incremental volumes from the partnership's new Yoakum natural gas processing facility in Lavaca County, Texas, which is scheduled to begin operations in mid-2012.

Based on industry announcements, company research and other reports, Enterprise expects the conversions and expansions of existing petrochemical facilities could result in 135,000 BPD of new ethane demand. In addition, construction of new ethylene crackers could generate another 330,000 BPD of ethane demand. Dependable access to domestic NGL feedstocks has resulted in the U.S. petrochemical industry being one of the lowest-cost producers of petrochemicals in the world.

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