Enterprise Product Partners is the latest of many Eagle Ford midstream companies that are adding infrastructure to handle growing NGL production. Enterprise is already constructing its sixth fractionator at Mont Belvieu and the latest announcement comes after Dow and Shell announced plans to go forward with new petrochemical plants in the U.S. The additions will add 150,000 b/d of incremental capacity in the fourth quarter of 2013 when total capacity will be more than 610,000 b/d at the facilities. That's more than double the capacity of Enterprise's plant just two years ago. The plans are supported by growing volumes of NGL production in the Eagle Ford Shale, Rocky Mountains, and West Texas.
Expanding Enterprise's Eagle Ford Midstream Business
The company is also extending its Eagle Ford NGL pipeline (450,000 b/d ultimate capacity) to Anadarko's Western Gas Brasada Processing Plant (200 mmcfd) in La Salle County, TX. The expansion adds over 173-miles of pipe, with capacity of 140,000 b/d, that will connect to Enterprises infrastructure near the company's processing plant in Yoakum, TX. The extension gives access to the Western Gas Plant and seven other South Texas processing facilities.
As of the announcement, Enterprise had completed 375 miles of natural gas pipelines in the South Texas Eagle Ford. The company's Eagle Ford Mainline system is close to completion and will be able to deliver 900 mmcfd of rich gas to the Yoakum plant. The Yoakum plant will begin processing rich gas in May and will reach full capability by the first quarter of 2013. At that time, the plant will be able to process 900 mmcfd of gas, with capacity of 110,000 b/d of NGLs.
Including Enterprise’s seven other integrated South Texas processing facilities, the partnership will be able to offer approximately 2.4 billion cubic feet per day of processing capacity for the region when Yoakum is fully operational.
What is a NGL Fractionation?
Once NGLs are processed out of the natural gas stream, wet-gas, the individual products must be separated to be marketed and consumed. Fractionators take the NGLs to their various boiling points and separate out the individual products - ethane, butane, iso-butane, propane, pentanes, and natural gasolines. Ethane is a common feedstock for petrochemical plants and butane and propane can be used for heating or in your lighters and grills.