Lone Star NGL places second fractionator into service

Lone Star NGL LLC, a joint venture of Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and Regency Energy Partners LP, has placed into service its 100,000 b/d Lone Star Frac II fractionator at its Mont Belvieu, Tex., facility.

Including the Frac I, completed in 2012, Lone Star now has two natural gas liquids fractionators, bringing the total Mont Belvieu fractionation capacity to 200,000 b/d (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 88). Both fractionators receive NGLs from several sources, including Lone Star’s West Texas NGL pipelines and ETP’s Justice NGL pipeline.

Lone Star said as shippers increase production from the Permian basin, Eagle Ford shale, and other producing regions under long-term contracts, volumes on Lone Star’s pipeline system and the 130-mile ETP Justice pipeline will continue to ramp up. Lone Star added that an increase in fractionator volumes will provide additional value with the export of butane, ethane, and propane for international markets.

Lone Star started service on its 16-in., 570-mile Lone Star West Texas Gateway NGL Pipeline in December 2012. The pipeline originates from Winkler County in West Texas and reaches ETP’s Jackson County processing plant with an initial capacity of 209,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2012). Also in December 2012, operations began on its Justice pipeline, which connects the Jackson processing facility to Mont Belvieu (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 104).

“The increased fractionation capacity will increase the supply of purity NGL products for our downstream customers through our storage facilities, Houston Ship Channel pipelines, and our recently announced LPG export terminal with Sunoco Logistics,” commented Steve Spaulding, Lone Star’s executive vice-president. The Sunoco pipeline would connect the Lone Star fractionator to Sunoco’s Nederland terminal (OGJ Online, Feb. 27, 2013).

“We continue to evaluate opportunities to add fractionation capabilities at Mont Belvieu.” Spaulding added. “Earlier this year, we filed an air permit to construct a third fractionator at the site to ensure we are positioned to meet the critical needs of producers as production in the Permian basin and the Eagle Ford continues to increase.”

Lone Star's assets include 1,640 miles of NGL pipelines and 43 million bbl of storage capacity at Mont Belvieu.

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