Enterprise brings fourth Mont Belvieu NGL fractionator online

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Dec. 1 -- Enterprise Products Partners LP has begun operations at its fourth NGL fractionator at Mont Belvieu, Tex., at nameplate capacity of 75,000 b/d. The new capacity will accommodate growing NGL volumes from the Barnett shale in North Texas and the Rockies and is supported by long-term, firm contracts, the company said. The addition increases Enterprise's nameplate capacity at Mont Belvieu to 305,000 b/d.

Enterprise explained that favorable price differentials for natural gas and NGLs compared to oil are leading petrochemical companies to modify their ethylene facilities to increase cracking of NGL feedstocks such as ethane. During this year’s third quarter, gas averaged about 33% the price of oil on a btu basis, the company said.

Enterprise has already announced construction of a fifth, 75,000-b/d NGL fractionation train at Mont Belvieu to be in service in early 2012, accommodating expanded Eagle Ford shale NGL production by Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc., among others.

Enterprise is building a 127-mile NGL pipeline from a new cryogenic gas plant in the Eagle Ford region to Mont Belvieu, which it also expects to put into service in early 2012 (OGJ Online, Oct. 25, 2010).

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

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