Enterprise Plans Construction To Expand Eagle Ford Capabilities

August 2010 Vol. 237 No. 8

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. has announced construction and spending plans to expand its natural gas and NGL infrastructure in South Texas and Mont Belvieu to accommodate growing production volumes from the Eagle Ford Shale play.

Enterprise plans to install 350 miles of pipelines, build a new natural gas processing facility, and add a new NGL fractionator at the Mont Belvieu complex near the Houston Ship Channel.

The partnership recently completed several key, previously announced projects, including the initial 34-mile segment of the east-west rich gas Eagle Ford mainline and the final leg of the 62-mile White Kitchen Lateral. Enterprise soon will be able to fill the existing 1.5 Bcf/d of capacity at its seven South Texas natural gas processing facilities.

Included is an expansion of Enterprise’s east-west rich gas mainline that will involve adding three segments totaling 168 miles. The first phase will involve installation of 26 miles of 24-inch pipeline extending the mainline to the far western reaches of the Eagle Ford Shale. The remaining 142 miles, to be built in two segments, will be comprised of 30-inch and 36-inch pipelines that will serve the eastern portion of the Eagle Ford Shale. Upon completion, the Eagle Ford Shale rich gas mainline system and associated laterals will consist of 300 miles of pipelines representing gathering and transportation capacity of more than 600 MMcf/d.

The east end of Eagle Ford mainline will terminate at a new natural gas complex Enterprise plans to build that will feature multiple processing trains designed for deep ethane recovery and production of mixed NGLs in excess of 60,000 bpd. Following completion of these projects expected in early 2012, Enterprise’s Texas assets will have the capability to gather, transport and process almost 2.5 Bcf/d of natural gas and produce more than 150,000 bpd of NGLs.

Takeaway capacity for residue gas from the new processing facility will be provided by a combination of existing Enterprise infrastructure and construction of natural gas pipelines. Specifically, Enterprise is planning to construct a 64-mile, 30-inch residue gas line from the cryogenic facility to its Wilson natural gas storage facility in Wharton County, TX. Wilson offers access to major interstate pipelines, including Trunkline, Tennessee Gas, Transco, NGPL, Gulf South and Texas Eastern. An expansion project to increase capacity at the storage facility by 5 Bcf is under way.

Transportation of mixed NGLs from the new processing facility to the Mont Belvieu complex will be accomplished by expanding Enterprise’s infrastructure, highlighted by a new 127-mile, 12-inch pipeline. The new NGL pipeline will have initial capacity of more than 60,000 bpd readily expandable to 120,000 bpd. The project is scheduled for completion early in 2012.

To accommodate the increased volumes from the Eagle Ford Shale and other producing regions, Enterprise is moving forward with plans to construct a fifth 75,000-bpd NGL fractionator at the Mont Belvieu complex. Construction of the fourth fractionation train is on schedule for completion by the end of 2010 when the Mont Belvieu complex will have capacity in excess of 300,000 bpd. The addition of the fifth unit, which is expected in early 2012, will increase fractionation capacity to 375,000 bpd.

Along with the natural gas and NGL projects, Enterprise continues to move forward on the expansion of its crude oil pipeline system into the Eagle Ford Shale play. The 140-mile pipeline, which originates in Karnes County, TX and extends to Austin County, TX, is supported by a long-term transportation agreement and progress is being made with other producers to provide crude oil transportation services through additional connections to the pipeline. The expansion is expected to be completed in late 2011.

Activity in the Eagle Ford Shale continues to increase with 75 rigs working in the play which have drilled nearly 180 wells. Production from the play is estimated at 250 MMcf/d of natural gas and 15,000 bpd of crude oil and condensate.