US Enterprise confirms Marcellus/Utica shale ethane pipeline

03 January 2012 18:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Enterprise will go ahead with plans to build a 1,230-mile 1,979-km) ethane pipeline from the Marcellus/Utica shale region in the US northeast to the Texas Gulf coast, the US midstream energy firm said on Tuesday.

Enterprise said it received sufficient transportation commitments from shippers to support development of the 190,000 bbl/day Appalachia-to-Texas pipeline, or “ATEX Express”.

“The willingness of shippers to commit to a term of at least 15 years reflects the long-term potential of shale development in the Appalachian region and provides us with the assurance necessary to build the midstream infrastructure that will facilitate further development of this important domestic resource,” Enterprise CEO Michael Creel said in a statement.

Enterprise said demand for “price-advantaged” ethane feedstock over crude oil-based derivatives on the US Gulf coast petrochemical market is about 955,000 bbl/day, “and continues to increase”.

Originating in Washington county, Pennsylvania, the first leg of the ATEX Express would involve construction of about 595 miles of pipeline extending to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, closely paralleling an existing Enterprise pipeline, the company said.

At Cape Girardeau, Enterprise will reverse a 16-inch diameter pipeline and place it into ethane service, it said.

By utilising an existing pipeline and following an existing right-of-way for the section to be constructed, ATEX Express offered a “cost-effective and timely solution” that also minimises the project’s environmental impact, Enterprise said.

At the southern terminus of the ATEX Express pipeline, Enterprise will be constructing a 55-mile, 16-inch diameter pipeline to provide shippers with access to its natural gas liquids (NGL) storage complex at Mont Belvieu, Texas, giving them direct or indirect access to every ethylene plant in the US, the company said.

Enterprise did not comment on expected costs or timescale for completion.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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