Enterprise Seeks Shipper Interest In Ethane Pipeline

December 2011, Vol. 238 No. 12

Enterprise Products Partners recently held a binding open commitment period that ended Nov. 10 for capacity on a proposed pipeline designed to transport ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to the Gulf Coast.

The partnership 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

The 1,230-mile pipeline would have initial capacity of 125,000 bpd and can be quickly expanded to meet increased shipper demand. The line would deliver ethane to Enterprise’s natural gas liquids storage complex at Mont Belvieu, TX. Through connections at Mont Belvieu, ethane production from the Marcellus and Utica shales would have direct or indirect access to every ethylene plant in the U.S. The pipeline would be expected to begin commercial operations early in 2014.

Plans call for the project to use a combination of new and existing infrastructure. The northern portion of the proposed system involves construction of a pipeline that would originate in Washington County, PA and extend west, then southwest, following existing pipeline corridors in order to minimize the footprint of the project. At Cape Girardeau, MO the pipeline would interconnect with Enterprise’s existing 16-inch TE Products Pipeline, which would be reversed to accommodate southbound delivery of ethane to the Gulf Coast. At the terminus of the existing Enterprise TE Products Pipeline in Beaumont, TX, the partnership would construct a 55-mile pipeline to the Mont Belvieu facility.