EPP places MAP pipeline expansion in service

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 10 -- Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) has placed into service the final phase of its 50,000 b/d expansion of the Rocky Mountain portion of its 2,500-mile long Mid-America Pipeline (MAP) system, increasing the system's capacity to 275,000 b/d from 225,000 b/d.

This portion of the project involved the installation of new pumps and modification of existing equipment at 20 pump stations. The initial 30,000 b/d of additional capacity was created by looping more than 160 miles of pipe, which were placed into service in April.

The expansion will enable EPP to handle natural gas liquids from two new plants: the Meeker gas processing plant in northwestern Colorado's Piceance basin, which is expected to be in service in the coming weeks, and the Pioneer cryogenic facility near Opal, Wyo., which is on schedule to begin operations by yearend.

In addition to the Rockies project, EPP in the second quarter completed a 190-mile, 12-in. expansion of its MAP system between Conway, Kan., and Skellytown, Tex., along with installation of additional compression. As a result, capacity for mixed NGLs between Conway and Skellytown increased by 67,000 b/d, while 48,000 b/d of incremental capacity is now available between Skellytown and the Hobbs station adjacent to EPP's new fractionation complex in Gaines County, Tex.

The additional capacity will reduce, or possibly eliminate, the need for shipper allocation on a portion of the MAP system where volumes have been prorated almost continuously since it was acquired by EPP in 2002.

The expansion also offers bidirectional capabilities to move products north, as well as south, greatly increasing NGL volumes and purity products into the Conway hub, while providing shippers with additional flexibility.

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