US ONEOK to start chem feedstock projects in ’25; mulls NGL terminal

Al Greenwood

28-Feb-2024

HOUSTON (ICIS)–ONEOK plans to start up three major natural gas liquids (NGLs) projects in the US that will provide more feedstock to chemical companies – while its possible NGL export terminal remains in preliminary stages.

NGLs such as ethane are the predominant feedstocks used by US crackers to produce ethylene. Crackers outside of the US have also been importing ethane and other NGLs to produce ethylene.

ONEOK’S UPCOMING NGL PROJECTS

  • The company plans to complete the remaining loop of the West Texas NGL pipeline to connect with its Arbuckle II pipeline. The project will allow ONEOK to ship 740,000 bbl/day of NGLs out of the Permian basin. The project should cost $520 million, and service should start in the first quarter of 2025.
    The following map shows the scope of the project.

Source: ONEOK

  • ONEOK plans to expand the Elk Creek Pipeline to 435,000 bbl/day of NGLs. It will allow the company to ship a total of 575,000 bbl/day of NGLs out of the Rocky Mountain region. The project should cost $355 million, and ONEOK should complete it in the first quarter of 2025.
    Elk Creek stretches for 900 miles (1,450 km). One end is near ONEOK’s Riverview terminal in eastern Montana state, and the other end is at the company’s existing Mid-Continent NGL operations in Bushton, Kansas, state.
  • ONEOK plans to complete the MB-6 fractionator in Mont Belvieu, Texas, in the first quarter of 2025. The fractionator will have a capacity of 125,000 bbl/day.

POTENTIAL NGL TERMINAL IN PRELIMINARY STAGES
ONEOK acknowledged on Wednesday that it filed an application with the US Army Corps of Engineers for a potential pipeline and terminal project. The project is in the preliminary stages of development, and ONEOK has yet to make a final investment decision (FID).

The proposed terminal will be in Sabine Pass, Jefferson County, Texas state, according to the application. It will include four dock structures that could load very large gas carriers (VLGCs), very large ethane carriers (VLECs) and smaller vessels.

The possible project will include 68 miles of two 20-inch diameter pipelines that will ship NGLs from ONEOK’s NGL fractionators in Mont Belvieu to the terminal.

ONEOK expects that the NGLs will be shipped to China, India and Europe, according to the application.

The following map shows the site of the proposed export terminal.

Source: US Army Corps of Engineers.

The name of the project is the TXGC Terminal, and the applicants are TXGC Properties and TXGC Pipelines, subsidiaries of ONEOK.

ONEOK did not provide more details about the proposed project. However, the terminal is a sign that companies are interested in developing more capacity to crack ethane outside of the US.

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