HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Enterprise Products has started injecting ethane into the Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) pipeline with plans to start commercial service in January 2014, the company said on Thursday.
ATEX will have an initial capacity of 125,000 bbl/day, expandable to at least 265,000 bbl/day.
“The project is supported by firm, ship-or-pay transportation agreements with 15-year terms,” the company said. “Approximately 65,000 bbl/day of those contracted volumes are expected to be transported initially, ramping up to more than 130,000 bbl/day beginning in 2018.”
The 1,230-mile (1,979-km) pipeline starts in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and will be connected to four fractionators in the Marcellus/Utica Shale region, Enterprise said.
ATEX ends at Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu complex in Texas, which includes over 100m bbl of natural gas liquid (NGL) and petroleum liquid storage capacity, more than 750,000 bbl/day of fractionation capacity and an extensive NGL distribution system.
“With the addition of its Aegis ethane pipeline now under construction, Enterprise will link Marcellus-produced ethane to every existing ethylene production facility in the US and provide supply security to support construction of new crackers currently planned for the Gulf Coast,” Enterprise said. “In addition, Enterprise’s distribution system supplies the partnership’s LPG export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel and a second export terminal that is under development, which could ultimately provide US-produced ethane to international markets.”