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Enterprise: Eagle Ford Projects on Track

Enterprise Products Partners LP said last week that construction is progressing on two pipeline projects to serve the Eagle Ford Shale, which encompasses more than 10 million acres in Texas. The projects are slated to offer more than 200 MMcf/d of incremental capacity from the play in LaSalle and Webb counties in Texas.

The partnership expects to have the capability to provide midstream services to more than 700,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale, 400,000 acres of which have already been dedicated to Enterprise. Enterprise is evaluating additional investments to further expand its gas pipeline and processing facilities, as well as its natural gas liquids (NGL) and crude oil pipelines in South Texas.

"With exploration and production activity in the Eagle Ford ramping up quickly, it is essential that midstream infrastructure and services be able to keep pace," said A.J. Teague, Enterprise chief commercial officer. "Enterprise recognized the potential of this play early and we have already responded by placing steel in the ground and are developing other projects that will complement our existing integrated network of South Texas assets and could start providing value-added services for producers within a matter of months."

The White Kitchen Lateral, a new 62-mile, 16-inch diameter natural pipeline, runs through the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale. It connects two existing 20-inch diameter pipelines that lie at opposite ends of the development that are part of Enterprise's South Texas pipeline system. Certain segments of the White Kitchen Lateral are already in service and the remainder of the lateral is expected to be in service by the end of the year. An additional segment to further expand the capacity of the White Kitchen Lateral is scheduled for completion in the second quarter, at which time the lateral is expected to provide more than 200 MMcf/d of incremental capacity to the Enterprise system.

Enterprise is also proceeding with a 34-mile, 24-inch diameter pipeline that is the first segment of an east-west Eagle Ford Shale mainline. This segment is designed to connect the partnership's South Texas pipeline system in southwest LaSalle County to the White Kitchen Lateral and should be in service in the second quarter.

The partnership isn't alone in recognizing a midstream opportunity in the Eagle Ford Shale. Last month Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Copano Energy LLC announced a joint venture to provide midstream services to producers in the Eagle Ford.

Among producers active in the Eagle Ford are Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Petrohawk Energy Corp., El Paso Corp., Pioneer Natural Resources Co., ConocoPhillips and St. Mary Land & Exploration Co.

In September Enterprise agreed to provide midstream services in the Eagle Ford to an undisclosed producer (see NGI, Sept. 21).

Production from the region of the Eagle Ford Shale where Enterprise has been focusing its efforts is been rich with NGLs, ranging between four and nine gallons per Mcf of natural gas. Enterprise has seven processing plants with an aggregate capacity of approximately 1.5 Bcf/d that serve its South Texas pipeline system by extracting NGLs and treating gas.

The forecasted growth in NGL production from the development of the Eagle Ford Shale is expected to place additional pressure on an already oversupplied NGL market in South Texas, Enterprise said. The partnership noted that mixed NGL production from the Eagle Ford Shale can be fractionated in South Texas and distributed to local markets or transported to the partnership's Mont Belvieu, TX, complex where the NGLs can be fractionated, stored and distributed to local or international markets through Enterprise's export facility. The partnership can also transport mixed NGLs produced in South Texas to its South Louisiana facilities for fractionation, storage and distribution to local markets.

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