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Enterprise's Mont Belvieu Expansion to Increase Rockies Production

Enterprise's Mont Belvieu Expansion to Increase Rockies Production

Just days after Enterprise Products Partners LP bought the remaining stake in its partnership from El Paso Corp., the company said it will begin beefing up its existing natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator at the Mont Belvieu complex by 15,000 bbl/d to a total of 225,000 bbl/d, as part of a plan to pump up production from the prolific Rocky Mountain basins.

Mont Belvieu currently fractionates NGLs from eight supply connections. The expansion project, which also is expected to reduce energy costs at the existing facility, is expected to be completed in 4Q2005. Enterprise made the announcement shortly after buying out the rest of El Paso's 9.9% stake, which it obtained when Enterprise and GulfTerra Energy Partners LP merged.

Additionally, Enterprise has completed initial engineering and design work on a new NGL fractionator that would add an additional 60,000 bbl/d of fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu. This project would facilitate increased volumes available at Mont Belvieu as a part of the partnership's plan to expand transportation capacity on the Rocky Mountain segment of the partnership's Mid-America pipeline system.

"One of the primary sources of new natural gas and associated NGL production to supply the increasing U.S. demand is expected to come from the prolific Rocky Mountain producing basin," said CEO Dub Andras. "This region has been and is expected to continue to be one of the nation's most active areas in terms of exploration and development. As a result of this strong drilling activity and increased NGL production, the Rocky Mountain segment of our Mid-America pipeline is running near full capacity and NGLs that are either dedicated to our partnership or our NGL fractionator at Mont Belvieu continue to exceed this facility's fractionation capacity."

The Rocky Mountain segment of the Mid-America Pipeline System transports up to 225,000 bbl/d of NGLs from the major producing basins in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico to the Hobbs station on the New Mexico-Texas border. The western expansion project would increase the capacity of this pipeline to 275,000 bbl/d. Permitting, engineering and design work are in progress.

Enterprise, which is the second largest energy partnership in the country, expects to submit its environmental assessment and plan of development to regulatory agencies in the first quarter, and construction could begin by the end of the year. As a result of the sequenced nature of the construction of pipeline looping and horsepower additions, Enterprise said incremental capacity on the pipeline may be placed into service throughout the construction period.

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