Enterprise Products Partners LP said Monday it’s testing support for up to 50,000 b/d of additional capacity on its Appalachia-to-Texas (ATEX) ethane pipeline.
Subject to sufficient customer commitments, the Houston-based midstreamer said the new capacity could be in service by 2022, added through a combination of pipeline looping, hydraulic improvements and modifications to existing infrastructure.
The 1,200 mile ATEX gives Marcellus and Utica shale producers access to petrochemical plants on the Gulf Coast by transporting ethane supply from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Enterprise’s natural gas liquids storage complex in Mont Belvieu, TX.
Enterprise was firing on all cylinders during the second quarter, reporting higher volumes nearly across the board driven by stronger activity in its natural gas pipelines, liquids fractionation, petrochemical and oil systems.
The company’s decision to gauge support for added Appalachian ethane takeaway comes as producers in the region find themselves wrestling with weak natural gas prices. Surging gas supplies have far outpaced demand, and the region remains isolated from longer-term growth drivers along the Gulf Coast.
Meanwhile, the list of prospective Appalachia-based petrochemical projects shrank earlier this summer as Braskem SA reportedly opted to withdraw from plans to build an ethane cracker in West Virginia along the Ohio River.
PTT Global Chemical pcl (PTTGC) and Daelim Industrial Co. have been continuing to work toward sanctioning a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker proposed for southeast Ohio, a project spokesman said earlier this year. Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC has been building a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker in Beaver County, PA, since 2017.
The ATEX open season, which kicked off Monday, will run through Sept. 25. Enterprise has asked interested parties to contact Shane Sullivan at (713) 381-6550 or email@example.com.