"We are excited to expand our relationship with BP by providing them with an integrated package of value-added services for their deepwater natural gas production," stated O.S. "Dub" Andras, Enterprise's president and chief executive officer.
Manta Ray Offshore Gathering, LLC and Nautilus Pipeline Company, LLC have executed agreements with BP to provide natural gas transportation services. Upon receipt of gas from the Cleopatra Gas Gathering System, a BP-developed pipeline, at Manta Ray's Ship Shoal 332 platform, the gas will be transported on Manta Ray to the Ship Shoal 207 platform where the gas is delivered into the Nautilus pipeline system.
"We believe the Manta Ray-Nautilus-Neptune corridor maximizes the revenue for producers from their deepwater natural gas production in the central Gulf of Mexico by providing them access to the highest value natural gas and NGL markets on the Louisiana Gulf Coast," said Doug Krenz, president of Shell Gas Transmission, the commercial operator of the Manta Ray and Nautilus pipeline systems.
From Ship Shoal 207, the 101-mile Nautilus pipeline will transport the gas to the Neptune gas processing plant, located in St. Mary's parish, La. Enterprise owns a 25.67 percent equity interest in both the Manta Ray and Nautilus pipelines. Affiliates of Shell Gas Transmission and Marathon Oil Company own a 50 percent and 24.33 percent interest, respectively, in each of the two pipelines. Shell is the physical operator of Manta Ray and Marathon is the physical operator of Nautilus.
The Neptune plant has executed an agreement with BP to process its natural gas production to remove natural gas liquids ("NGLs") that will enable the gas to meet the quality specifications required by the pipelines that deliver the gas to the ultimate consumers. Enterprise owns a 66 percent equity interest in the Neptune facility and serves as the operator. Marathon owns the remaining 34 percent of the plant.
"Through our integrated NGL pipeline, fractionation and storage system, we can provide producers with the ability to take delivery of their blended or purity barrels of NGLs anywhere along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, which is the largest consuming region of NGLs in the world," said Andras.
Andras continued, "These arrangements with BP effectively extend the reach of the Manta Ray-Nautilus-Neptune corridor in the central Gulf of Mexico. Today, natural gas deliveries available to Neptune already exceed its capacity of 300 million cubic feet per day. Given current production levels and expected growth from Southern Green Canyon and future deepwater developments in the central Gulf, we are planning to expand our Neptune facility by adding another 300 million cubic feet per day of capacity, enabling extraction of an incremental 25,000 barrels per day of NGLs. This expansion, which should be completed in 2003, will bring total plant capacity to 600 million cubic feet per day and 50,000 barrels of NGLs per day."
After being processed at the Neptune plant, the natural gas will be redelivered into the Nautilus hub, which is developing into one of the most significant natural gas market hubs on the Gulf Coast. The Nautilus hub, operated by Marathon, gives producers access to the major consuming markets in the eastern and central United States, as well as to growing markets within Louisiana. The hub currently has six interconnects with intrastate and interstate natural gas pipelines. A seventh interconnect, a 250 million cubic feet per day connection with Tennessee Gas Pipeline, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Two of the interconnects at the Nautilus hub are with Enterprise affiliates, Acadian Gas Pipeline and Cypress Gas Pipeline, which are Louisiana intrastate pipelines that give producers and marketers access to large industrial customers and gas and electric distribution companies. In addition, new markets for gas are developing in areas served by these pipeline systems as seven power generation projects are currently under development and four more are in the planning stage.
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