EPP nears completion of Neptune gas processing projects

Enterprise Products Partners LP is nearing completion on a series of infrastructure projects designed to enhance operations at its Neptune cryogenic natural gas processing facility in St. Mary Parish, La. The projects include an 18,000 b/d condensate stabilizer facility at Neptune, pipelines and associated interconnects, additional compression, and installation of other related equipment, including dehydration units.

The company has completed installation of equipment to stabilize condensate developed in the Nautilus offshore pipeline during rich gas transport from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The stabilizer replaces a 5,000 b/d unit. In tandem with a 10,000 b/d slug catcher expansion added upstream of Neptune by Enbridge, the stabilizer will promote efficiency by reducing the need to divert off-spec natural gas production.

EPP owns a 26% equity interest in Neptune Pipeline Co. LLC, which owns the Enbridge-operated Nautilus and Manta Ray pipelines.

EPP has added pipe and compression facilities allowing Neptune to process gas from the South Marsh Island area of the gulf received via Columbia Gulf pipeline’s East Lateral Efficiency Optimization Project (ELEOP) project. EPP also has added compression and a 500 MMcfd dehydration unit at Neptune to accommodate these additional volumes.

McMoRan Exploration Co., New Orleans, earlier this year cased and temporarily abandoned its Davy Jones-2 appraisal well on South Marsh Island Block 234 until testing can take place in 2012 (OGJ Online, June 29, 2011).

EPP recently completed a 46-mile reroute of its 20-in. OD Anaconda offshore pipeline, linking it to Neptune. EPP also is moving forward with plans to add an interconnect to the Manta Ray pipeline at Ship Shoal 207, providing an outlet to the ANR pipeline system as well as Nautilus and enhancing flow assurance through the Anaconda system should Nautilus become unavailable.

Building a 9-mile pipeline and associated compression carrying offshore gas between the EPP-operated Calumet lean oil facility and Neptune is another component of the enhancement program. ANR and Trunkline production previously processed at Calumet will instead be processed at the Neptune cryogenic plant. The first volumes to Neptune from the Calumet plant, which will be taken out of service, are expected by yearend.

The improvement projects also prepare Neptune to accept incremental volumes from the Walker Ridge Gathering System, currently being built by Enbridge to handle production from discoveries in the ultradeepwater region of the gulf (OGJ Online, Aug. 1, 2009). EPP has already secured processing rights from the anchor tenants of the Walker Ridge Gathering System, which will connect to the Manta Ray system feeding into Nautilus. Initial production is anticipated in 2014.

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

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