EPP to extend Eagle Ford crude oil pipeline

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, May 6 -- Enterprise Products Partners LP plans to build an 80-mile extension of its 350,000-b/d Eagle Ford shale crude oil pipeline, allowing it to serve growing production areas in the southwestern portion of the play. The 200,000 b/d Phase II project would originate in Wilson County, Tex., at the terminus of Enterprise's previously announced 140-mile Phase I segment (OGJ Online, Sept. 30, 2010), and extend to a site near Gardendale, Tex., in La Salle County, where a new 500,000 bbl central delivery point is planned.

Phase I is on schedule to begin service by second-quarter 2012, according to EPP, with Phase II set to commence operations in first-quarter 2013. The roughly 220-mile pipeline system will provide Eagle Ford producers with access to the Texas Gulf Coast refining complex through EPP’s Sealy, Tex., delivery point. The Sealy facility interconnects with its Rancho Pipeline and feeds into EPP’s new ECHO crude oil storage terminal being constructed along the Houston Ship Channel in southeast Harris County, Tex. (OGJ Online, Nov. 11, 2010).

The Phase II extension is anchored by a 10-year, 100,000 b/d shipping agreement with Chesapeake Energy Marketing Inc., a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp. EPP said, including the Chesapeake agreement, it now has producer commitments for 320,000 b/d under 10-year contracts.

About 165 rigs are working in the Eagle Ford shale, having drilled more than 1,200 wells, Enterprise said. Current production from the play is roughly 100,000 b/d. With more than 2.5 million acres under lease and potentially 15,000 wells to be drilled over the production life of the Phase II service area (based on EPP’s research and information it obtained from producers), the company expects development activity in this region of the Eagle Ford shale to remain brisk.

Estimates provided by producers also suggest that up to 3 billion bbl of crude oil are recoverable in the southwestern region of the play, EPP said.

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

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