Enterprise to expand Eagle Ford pipeline system

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, July 1 -- Enterprise Products Partners LP announced June 29 an additional expansion of its natural gas and natural gas liquids pipeline system in South Texas and Mont Belvieu, Tex. serving the Eagle Ford shale play. Enterprise plans to install 350 miles of pipeline, build a natural gas processing facility, and add an NGL fractionator at its Mont Belvieu complex near the Houston Ship Channel, with most of the work completed by early 2012.

Included in planned construction is an expansion of Enterprise's East-West rich-gas main line that will involve adding three pipeline segments totaling 168 miles. Phase 1 calls for 26 miles of 24-in. OD pipeline extending the mainline to the far western reaches of the Eagle Ford shale. The remaining 142 miles, to be built in two segments, will consist of 30-in. and 36-in. OD pipelines serving the eastern portion of the Eagle Ford shale. Upon completion, Enterprise’s Eagle Ford shale-rich gas mainline system and associated laterals will include roughly 300 miles of pipeline with gathering and transportation capacity of more than 600 MMcfd.

The east end of the Eagle Ford mainline will terminate at a natural gas complex that Enterprise plans to build. The complex will feature multiple processing trains designed for deep ethane recovery and production of mixed NGLs in excess of 60,000 b/d. Following completion of these projects, expected in early 2012, Enterprise's Texas assets will be able to gather, transport, and process almost 2.5 bcfd of gas and produce more than 150,000 b/d of NGL.

Takeaway capacity for residue gas from the new processing facility will be provided by a combination of existing Enterprise systems and construction of a 64-mile, 30-in. OD residue gas line from the cryogenic facility to its Wilson gas storage facility in Wharton County, Tex. Wilson offers access to major interstate pipelines, including Trunkline, Tennessee Gas, Transco, NGPL, Gulf South, and Texas Eastern. An expansion project to increase capacity at the storage facility by 5 bcf is under way.

Transportation of mixed NGLs from the new processing facility to Mont Belvieu will be accomplished by a 127-mile, 12-in. OD pipeline. The NGL line will have an initial capacity of more than 60,000 b/d readily expandable to more than 120,000 b/d. Enterprise expects completion in early 2012.

To accommodate increased volumes from the Eagle Ford shale and other producing regions, Enterprise is moving forward with plans to construct a fifth 75,000 b/d NGL fractionator at its Mont Belvieu complex. Construction of the fourth fractionation train is on schedule for completion by yearend, at which time the Mont Belvieu complex will have capacity in excess of 300,000 b/d. Enterprise expects to bring the fifth unit online in early 2012.

Enterprise also announced completion of the initial 34-mile segment of the East-West rich-gas Eagle Ford mainline and the final leg of the 62-mile White Kitchen lateral allowing gas transport to its seven South Texas gas processing facilities with a total capacity of 1.5 bcfd. Included among these is its Shoup gas processing and fractionation facility in Nueces County, Tex., modifications increasing its NGL capacity to 77,000 b/d to which were completed June 27.

Expansion of the 140-mile crude line Enterprise operates between Karnes County, Tex., and Austin County, Tex., is scheduled to be completed in fourth-quarter 2011. The line is supported by a long-term transportation agreement and Enterprise is in talks with other producers regarding transportation through the pipeline.

Activity in the Eagle Ford shale continues to increase with roughly 75 rigs currently working in the play having drilled nearly 180 wells, according to Enterprise, which estimates current production from the play at 250 MMcfd of gas and 15,000 b/d of oil and condensate.

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

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