Sunoco Logistics Partners announced June 4 plans to build an additional pipeline to deliver Marcellus Shale products to Marcus Hook, reflecting a growing market for liquid fuels derived from the region’s shale drilling.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunoco Logistics said it intends to build two pipelines simultaneously as part of its Mariner East 2 project. The project, announced in November, is the second phase of a plan to move materials including propane, butane, and ethane from Appalachian shale-gas fields to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex southwest of Philadelphia.
The new twin pipelines would largely follow the route of Sunoco’s first Mariner East project, an 84-year-old repurposed fuel pipeline crossing Pennsylvania that went into service in December. Sunoco Logistics recently began securing easements on the 350-mile Mariner East 2 route that provide for construction of two pipelines.
Jeffrey Shields, a Sunoco Logistics spokesman, said building both pipelines at the same time would reduce disruptions to property owners and “also makes business sense” because it would cut construction costs. Sunoco last year secured commitments from shippers for the first new pipeline, but the capacity on a second new pipeline is tentative and an open season will be held to sign up shippers.
Shields said Sunoco had not estimated the cost of building a second Mariner 2 pipeline. Construction of the first pipeline was initially projected to cost $2.5 billion. The two new pipelines would dramatically increase the volumes of NGLs being delivered to Marcus Hook.
The Mariner East pipeline will deliver 70,000 bpd of NGLs when it is fully operating later this year. By comparison, the new 20-inch Mariner East 2 project proposed last year would deliver 275,000 barrels when it comes online in 2016. Shields said the second new 16-inch pipeline would deliver 225,000 bpd.