Petral: Mont Belvieu fractionation in surplus until 2014-15

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

SAN ANTONIO, Apr. 6 -- Consultants Petral Worldwide Inc. forecast a surplus in Mont Belvieu, Tex.-area fractionation capacity until 2014-15, depending on construction schedules for new pipelines into the region.

Speaking Apr. 5 at the annual meeting of the Gas Processors Association in San Antonio, managing partner Daniel Lippe noted that capacity in Mont Belvieu was a constraint through late 2010 when Enterprise Products Partners brought its fourth Mont Belvieu NGL fractionator online with a 75,000 b/d nameplate capacity, increasing its nameplate capacity at the site to 305,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Dec. 1, 2010).

Lippe expects new projects to add 195,000 b/d of capacity during 2011-12 (Enterprise, 75,000 b/d; Targa Resources, 75,000 b/d; and Gulf Coast Fractionators, 45,000 b/d) but doesn’t expect new raw mix pipeline projects to enter service before mid-to-late 2013. By 2015 West Texas will likely have one new connection to Mont Belvieu, South Texas will have one pipeline linking to local fractionation and one pipeline connecting to Mont Belvieu, and the Bakken shale will add a propane-plus lateral connection into Oneok Partners’ Overland Pass Pipeline system, according Petral’s forecast.

Petral described existing pipeline capacity as a current constraint on NGL-rich gas production in both the Eagle Ford shale and a reinvigorated Permian basin. The company noted that a variety of preliminary proposals had been made for moving West Texas gas to the Gulf Coast, but believes only one project will eventually move forward. DCP Midstream has proposed the 130,000 b/d DCP Sandhills Pipeline to transport NGLs along this route. (OGJ Online, Nov. 19, 2010).

Oneok announced plans to build a 525-615-mile, 60,000 b/d lateral connection from North Dakota to Overland Pass in July 2010 (OGJ Online, July 27, 2010).

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

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