Enterprise to expand Independence Hub, pipeline

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 12 -- Enterprise Products Partners LP, Houston, has signed agreements with the Atwater Valley Producers Group to increase the processing capacity of the Independence Hub platform in the eastern deepwater Gulf of Mexico by 150 MMcfd to a total capacity of 1 bcfd.

The deep-draft semisubmersible platform will be located on Mississippi Canyon Block 920 in 8,000 ft of water, where it will process gas from 10 fields (OGJ Online, Nov. 10, 2004).

The $28 million expansion project includes increasing, by the same amount, the transportation capacity of the Independence Trail natural gas pipeline, which will transport the gas to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline system in West Delta Block 68.

The expansions are required to accommodate expected natural gas production from three discoveries made in the area since the project was initially announced (OGJ Online, Mar. 28, 2005).

The facilities, currently under construction, are expected to be installed in 2006 and receive first production in 2007.

Enterprise Products Partners LP is managed by its general partner, Enterprise Products GP LLC, which is wholly owned by Enterprise GP Holdings LP.

The Atwater Valley Producers Group will support the expansion cost by an increase in fixed fees during the first 5 years of platform operations. The group includes Anadarko Petroleum Corp.; Dominion Exploration & Production Inc.; Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp.; Hydro Gulf of Mexico LLC (formerly Spinnaker Exploration Co.); Devon Energy Corp.; and Energy Resources Technology Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cal Dive International Inc.

The three additional gas discoveries to be tied into Independence Hub are Mondo NW field, discovered in January 2005 by operator Anadarko 50% and Murphy Oil 50%; Anadarko's 100%-owned Cheyenne field, announced in January 2005; and Q field, discovered in June 2005 by operator Hydro 50% and Dominion 50%.

The Independence Hub and Trail projects are being developed to process and gather natural gas and condensate production from the Atwater Valley, DeSoto Canyon, Lloyd Ridge, and Mississippi Canyon areas in the eastern region of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. At the time of the announcement there were seven gas fields discovered. As part of the original agreement, the Atwater Valley Producers Group dedicated future production from a number of undeveloped blocks in the area.

The platform, owned 80% by affiliates of Enterprise, and 20% by Cal Dive International Inc., is under construction and expected to be mechanically complete in first-quarter 2007. Anadarko will operate the platform, which is designed to process production from the initial 10 anchor fields, with excess payload capacity to tie back up to nine additional subsea pipelines.

The Independence Trail pipeline, wholly owned by an Enterprise affiliate, is a new 134-mile, 24-in. pipeline that will transport production from the platform to an interconnection with Tennessee Gas Pipeline on West Delta Block 68.

Construction of the pipeline is due for completion in the fourth quarter of this year. Both the platform and the pipeline are fully subscribed by the Atwater Valley Producers Group for the first 5 years of service.

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