Enterprise continues Eagle Ford pipeline expansions

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Dec. 3 -- Enterprise Products Partners LP expects to have its White Kitchen Lateral—a 62-mile, 16-in. OD natural gas pipeline that extends through the Eagle Ford shale in LaSalle and Webb Counties in Texas—in full service by the end of December.

The lateral connects two existing 20-in. OD pipelines at opposite ends of the development, both of which are part of Enterprise’s South Texas pipeline system.

Some segments of the lateral are already in service, Enterprise said. An additional segment further expanding the lateral’s capacity is scheduled for second-quarter 2010 completion, at which time it will provide more than 200 MMcfd of incremental gas pipeline capacity to the Enterprise system.

Enterprise also is proceeding with a 34-mile, 24-in. OD gas line to be the first segment of a major, east-west Eagle Ford shale mainline. This segment will connect the partnership’s South Texas pipeline system in southwest LaSalle County to the White Kitchen Lateral and should enter service in second-quarter 2010.

Including these expansions, Enterprise expects to provide midstream services to more than 700,000 acres in the Eagle Ford shale, 400,000 acres of which have already been dedicated to Enterprise.

Gas production from this region of the Eagle Ford shale has been rich with natural gas liquids, according to Enterprise, with volumes of 4,000-9,000 gal/Mcf. Enterprise has seven gas processing plants with an aggregate capacity of 1.5 bcfd serving its South Texas pipeline system.

Enterprise expects the forecast growth in NGL production from development of the Eagle Ford shale to place additional pressure on an already oversupplied NGL market in South Texas. Its integrated midstream system allows mixed NGL production from the Eagle Ford shale to be fractionated in South Texas and distributed to local markets or transported to the partnership’s Mont Belvieu, Tex., complex for fractionation, storage, and distribution. The partnership also can transport mixed NGLs produced in South Texas to its South Louisiana facilities.

It plans to build an additional 75,000-b/d NGL fractionator at its Mont Belvieu complex (OGJ Online, Aug. 12, 2009). The unit will provide additional capacity to accommodate growing NGL volumes from the Rockies and Barnett shale as well as Eagle Ford. When completed in early 2011, the project will increase Enterprise's NGL fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu to about 300,000 b/d and net system-wide capacity to about 600,000 b/d.

Enterprise is evaluating logistics opportunities to market Eagle Ford shale oil and condensate production at either Cushing, Okla., or Houston.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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