Enterprise opens central treating near Meeker plant

Initial volumes of natural gas have begun flowing into the new central treating facility in Rio Blanco County, Colo., owned and operated by Enterprise Products Partners LP.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 2
-- Initial volumes of natural gas have begun flowing into the new central treating facility (CTF) in Rio Blanco County, Colo., owned and operated by Enterprise Products Partners LP. The facility was completed in fourth-quarter 2008.

Located about 8 miles south of Enterprise’s recently expanded Meeker gas processing complex, the CTF can handle as much as 200 MMcfd and handles production from ExxonMobil's properties in nearby Piceance basin. Production from those, according to the Enterprise announcement, is currently running about 100 MMcfd.

Michael A. Creel, Enterprise president and chief executive officer, said the facility provides the necessary services to support ExxonMobil's Piceance project and “complements our recently completed Meeker II expansion.” That expansion doubled gas processing capacity at the complex.

Handling, routing
The CTF treats natural gas to remove impurities then compresses that treated gas for transportation to Meeker. There, Enterprise can use its standalone 200 MMcfd dewpoint-control plant for processing or route the stream through one of the larger cryogenic processing units.

Completion of the Meeker Phase II expansion brought cryogenic processing capacity to 1.5 bcfd and allows extraction of as much as 70,000 b/d of NGL, said the Enterprise announcement. Separation of NGLs into ethane, propane, butanes and natural gasoline renders the residue-gas stream acceptable for delivery into one of several interstate transmission pipelines accessible to producers through the White River Hub.

That hub is jointly owned by Enterprise and Questar Pipeline Co. Through Enterprise's Mid-America Pipeline and Seminole systems, the extracted NGLs can be delivered to the partnership's Hobbs and Mont Belvieu, Tex., fractionation facilities.

Meeker and the new CTF are part of a 30-year midstream services agreement Enterprise has with ExxonMobil, which has estimated 45 tcf of potential natural gas on its acreage in the Piceance basin, said Enterprise.

Total gas production among all the producers in the basin, which covers more than 6,000 square miles, currently exceeds 1.5 bcfd from more than 6,000 wells, said the company. Additionally, production has been growing at about 23%/year over the past 6 years and continues to support sustainable drilling activities.

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