Enterprise Expands Eagle Ford Shale Capabilities with Construction Proj.s
Enterprise announced several new construction projects that will further extend and expand its natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) infrastructure in South Texas and Mont Belvieu, Texas to accommodate growing production volumes from the Eagle Ford Shale play. As part of the initiative, 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. In addition, 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. As a result, Enterprise soon will be able to fill the existing 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of capacity at its seven South Texas natural gas processing facilities.
Included in the planned construction, is an expansion of Enterprise's east-west rich gas mainline that will involve adding three additional pipeline segments totaling 168 miles. The first phase will involve the installation of 26 miles of 24-inch diameter 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 diameter 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 approximately 300 miles of pipelines representing gathering and transportation capacity of more than 600 million cubic feet per day (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 barrels per day (BPD). Following completion of these projects, which is 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 additional natural gas pipelines. Specifically, Enterprise is planning to construct a new 64-mile, 30-inch diameter residue gas line from the cryogenic facility to its Wilson natural gas storage facility in Wharton County, Texas. 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 billion cubic feet is currently 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 the planned construction of a new 127-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline. The new NGL pipeline will have an initial capacity of more than 60,000 BPD, readily expandable to over 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, at which time 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 at the Mont Belvieu complex to approximately 375,000 BPD. With access to 15,000 miles of pipelines that deliver NGLs to petrochemical plants and refineries that reach essentially all of the nation's ethylene capacity and approximately 90 percent of motor gasoline refining capacity east of the Rockies, Enterprise is uniquely positioned to distribute NGL finished products to end users.
"These next phases, which more clearly illustrate the broad scope and integrated approach of our plan in the Eagle Ford Shale, will not only provide more takeaway capacity, but offer access to other midstream services and market opportunities that will allow producers to maximize the value of their commodities," said Michael A. Creel, Enterprise president and chief executive officer. "With each new addition to our expanding Eagle Ford network, we are able to build on the success of previous projects that have formed the foundation allowing us to meet the needs of producers and shippers faster and more efficiently, while providing greater flexibility in the process."
In Nueces County, Texas, the partnership completed the expansion of the Shoup natural gas processing and fractionation facility on June 27, 2010. Modifications at Shoup have increased NGL capacity to 77,000 BPD, allowing the facility to handle the additional volumes from the other six existing Enterprise natural gas plants which are seeing increased production from the Eagle Ford Shale.
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, Texas and extends to Austin County, Texas, 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 the fourth quarter of 2011.
Activity in the Eagle Ford Shale continues to increase with approximately 75 rigs currently working in the play which have drilled nearly 180 wells. Current production from the play is estimated at approximately 250 MMcf/d of natural gas and 15,000 BPD of crude oil and condensate.