EPP starts open season on Marcellus-Utica ethane pipeline

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) started a binding open commitment period for capacity on its proposed 1,230-mile ethane pipeline between the Marcellus and Utica shale regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio and the US Gulf Coast. The pipeline would have an initial capacity of 125,000 b/d, expandable to meet shipper demand, delivering ethane to EPP’s natural gas liquids storage complex at Mont Belvieu, Tex. EPP expects the line to begin commercial operations in first-quarter 2014.

The project will use a combination of new and existing systems. The northern portion of the proposed system involves building a pipeline from Washington County, Pa., following existing pipeline corridors, to Cape Girardeau, Mo., where it will interconnect with EPP’s existing 16-in. OD TE Products Pipeline.

EPP will reverse flow on TE Products to deliver ethane to the Gulf Coast. From TE’s current terminus in Beaumont, Tex., EPP will build a 55-mile pipeline to its Mont Belvieu facility.

EPP has already met with interested shippers willing to execute long-term contracts to support the project, and expects sufficient market support during the open commitment period, Oct 11-Nov. 10, to move forward with the pipeline.

EPP is building a fifth 75,000 b/d NGL fractionation train at Mont Belvieu to be in service in early 2012, bringing nameplate capacity to 380,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Dec. 1, 2010). The company is also building a pipeline to move mixed NGLs from the Eagle Ford shale to Mont Belvieu.

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

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