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Enbridge to Build Deepwater Lateral, Transport Shelf Gas with MarkWest

Enbridge Offshore Partners LLC and MarkWest Energy Partners LP last week acquired a 14-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline through their jointly owned Triton Gathering LLC natural gas gathering system to transport new deep-shelf natural gas development from West Cameron blocks 62 and 75 to the Stingray Pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The blocks, owned by El Paso Production Co., Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Houston Exploration Co., ramped up in May (see NGI, May 22).

The new Triton lateral is equipped with four subsea taps to accommodate future developments in the area providing a capacity of 200 MMcf/d. The 325-mile Stingray system transports gas and injected condensate from the High Island, West Cameron, East Cameron, Vermillion and Garden Banks areas to onshore transmission systems located in southwest Louisiana. Stingray Pipeline Co. LLC is jointly owned by Enbridge Offshore and MarkWest.

Enbridge also plans to construct a gas gathering lateral to connect the deepwater Shenzi field to existing pipelines. The lateral pipeline is expected to be completed by year-end 2007, with first gas expected by mid-year 2009.

"The Shenzi lateral project, which follows the similar Neptune lateral project announced last year (see NGI, Oct. 10, 2005), is another positive step in our strategy of building on Enbridge's recently acquired deepwater offshore businesses in the Gulf of Mexico," said Doug Krenz, president of Enbridge Offshore. "It leverages existing Enbridge gas infrastructure in the Gulf, positioning us for other opportunities in the region."

The gas lateral will consist of 11 miles of 12-inch pipe with the capacity to deliver more than 100 MMcf/d.

The Shenzi discovery is relatively close to Enbridge's existing Green Canyon infrastructure. The Shenzi development will provide a new gas supply source and potential for additional supply sources for the existing Cleopatra, Manta Ray and Nautilus offshore pipeline systems, all partially owned by Enbridge.

The Shenzi field is located 120 miles from the coast of Louisiana in 4,300 feet of water. BHP Billiton will be operator of the field, which has estimated recoverable reserves in the range of 350-400 million boe. BHP Billiton has a 44% interest in the field, BP Exploration & Production Inc. has 28%, and Hess Corp. has 28% (see NGI, Jan. 16). Development plans, costing $4.4 billion gross through 2015, include drilling several subsea wells, and the wells, subsea flowlines and other production facilities.

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