Enterprise Products Partners LP is investing more than $3 billion on a series of new projects to further expand its existing natural gas processing and gathering systems in the Delaware and Midland subbasins of the Permian basin.
The four organic growth projects—which will include the addition of two new cryogenic natural gas processing plants, as well as construction of a new NGL pipeline and fractionator—come as part of the operator’s plan to support ongoing production growth of crude oil, natural gas, and NGLs in the region, Enterprise told investors upon release of its third-quarter 2023 earnings report.
Concentrated specifically in Enterprise’s NGL pipelines and services segment, the newly announced $3.1-billion investment in the four projects raises the operator’s total investment in ongoing growth projects currently under construction to $6.8 billion, said co-chief executive officer Jim Teague.
In the Delaware basin, Enterprise said it has started construction of a fourth 300-MMcfd gas processing plant at its existing Mentone complex in Loving County, Tex. Known as Mentone 4, the new plant—which also will enable 40,000 b/d of incremental NGL extraction—is scheduled to begin service during second-half 2025.
Announcement of the new Mentone 4 project follows Enterprise’s Oct. 31 confirmation of its completion and official startup of the 300-MMcfd Mentone 2 plant earlier in October 2023, as well as ongoing construction of the 300-MMcfd Mentone 3 plant that remains on schedule for commissioning during first-quarter 2024.
Once in operation, the Mentone 3 and Mentone 4 plants will increase Enterprise’s overall Delaware basin gas processing and NGL extraction capacities to about 2.5 bcfd and 330,000 b/d, respectively, the operator said.
To expand its network of Midland basin assets, Enterprise said it has also started construction of an eighth gas processing plant in the region. The 300-MMcfd Orion plant—which will also be equipped with 40,000 b/d of NGL extraction capability—is scheduled for completion during second-half 2025 following anticipated startup of the previously announced 300-MMcfd Leonidas plant during first-quarter 2024 (OGJ Online, July 18, 2023).
Enterprise said addition of the new Orion and Leonidas plants will boost the operator’s overall Midland basin gas processing and NGL extraction capabilities to about 1.9 bcfd and 270,000 b/d, respectively.
Enterprise previously commissioned the 300-MMcfd Poseidon plant—its sixth gas plant in the Midland basin—during July 2023.
Pipeline, fractionation plans
Based on internal projections for steadily increasing NGL production growth in the Permian, as well as rising NGL production from the Rocky Mountains and San Juan basin, Enterprise said it plans to build and wholly own the new 550-mile Bahia NGL pipeline to transport up to 600,000 b/d of NGLs originating from the Delaware and Midland basins to the company’s fractionation complex in Chambers County, Tex.
To consist of a 24-in. diameter segment from the Delaware basin that will connect to a 30-inch diameter segment running from the Midland basin to Chambers County, the proposed Bahia NGL pipeline is scheduled to begin service during first-half 2025, according to the operator.
Enterprise said the decision to move forward with the newly proposed pipeline followed the operator’s determination that a previous plan to expand its 600,000-b/d Shin Oak NGL pipeline system via partial looping would have failed to provide sufficient NGL capacity, as well as resulted in higher long-term energy and operating costs (OGJ Online, Nov. 2, 2022).
To provide incremental NGL transportation service during the Bahia NGL construction period, Enterprise also confirmed it has started preparations to convert the Seminole Red pipeline from crude oil service back to NGL service in December 2023.
Converted to crude service from NGL service in second-quarter 2019, the Seminole Red line was known as Enterprise’s Midland-to-Enterprise Crude Houston (ECHO) 2 oil pipeline system (OGJ Online, Oct. 4, 2019).
To support increased NGL volumes at the operator’s Chambers County fractionation complex, Enterprise’s fourth newly announced growth project involves addition of a fourteenth fractionator at the site.
Scheduled for completion during second-half 2025, the proposed NGL Fractionator 14 plant will be able to fractionate up to 195,000 b/d of NGLs and include an associated deisobutanizer unit capable of separating up to 100,000 bj/d of butanes, Enterprise said.