Encana, Pembina to hike NGL extraction in Alberta

By OGJ editors

Encana Corp. and Pembina Pipeline Corp. have signed an agreement under which Pembina will invest about $230 million (Can.) to expand processing and liquids extraction capacities at Encana’s Resthaven natural gas processing plant in west-central Alberta. The plant capacity increase, the first of a two-phase expansion, is to come on stream in late 2013.

With this initial expansion, Encana expects to boost extraction of NGLs at Resthaven to about 8,000 b/d from about 1,000 b/d. The second expansion is to provide Encana with another 4,000 b/d of extracted NGLs from its growing liquids-rich natural gas production in the region.

Over the next few years, Encana expects NGL extraction in Alberta’s Deep basin to increase to about 30,000 b/d from about 10,000 b/d following investments by third-party midstream companies at three Alberta Deep basin plants: Resthaven, about 12,000 b/d; Musreau, about 5,000 b/d; and Gordondale, more than 3,000 b/d.

Renee Zemljak, Encana executive vice-president for marketing and midstream, said the increase will represent incremental growth of about 20,000 b/d of NGLs.

The first step in Encana’s NGL extraction initiative is to start up in December when it expects to add about 5,000 b/d of NGL production from expanded facilities that Pembina has installed at Musreau, about 30 km northwest of Resthaven.

The second step was taken in late 2010, said the announcement, when Encana agreed to a long-term processing arrangement with a midstream company to construct a 120 MMcfd gas processing plant in the Gordondale area, 100 km northwest of Grande Prairie, Alta. Encana expects to extract an additional 3,000-4,000 b/d of NGLs from the Gordondale plant, which is to be in service in late 2012.

Step three is the Resthaven expansion, where Encana has agreed to a long-term processing arrangement with Pembina. Encana has also secured capacity on a 44-km pipeline Pembina plans to build to move NGLs extracted at Resthaven to connect with its Peace Pipeline system for delivery to Edmonton.

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