Completing its long awaited expansion of the Pioneer natural gas processing plant in Sublette County, WY, Enterprise Products Partners LP said last week that production at the state-of-the-art facility is currently ramping up and the plant is expected to be processing approximately 525 MMcf/d of natural gas from the Enterprise-operated Jonah Gas Gathering System and extracting approximately 25,000 b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL).

"Pioneer adds another important component to our western natural gas and NGL value chain, which provides customers with much-needed midstream services and an outlet for production in the prolific Greater Green River Basin," said Enterprise CEO Michael A. Creel. "This achievement would not have been possible without the outstanding efforts of our dedicated personnel who overcame severe weather conditions, as well as engineering and operational challenges, in order to bring the facility online in a timely manner."

The Pioneer plant expansion had been scheduled to be completed before the end of 2007, but Enterprise said the opening was delayed because it needed to address defective high-pressure valves and third-party engineering design problems (see NGI, Feb. 4).

Located near the Opal Hub in southwestern Wyoming, Pioneer is designed to process up to 750 MMcf/d of natural gas and extract as much as 30,000 b/d of NGLs. Enterprise said it intends to maintain the operational capability of its silica gel natural gas processing facility, which is adjacent to the Pioneer cryogenic plant, as a back-up to provide producers with additional assurance of the partnership's processing capability at Pioneer. NGLs extracted at the Pioneer facility are transported on the partnership's Mid-America Pipeline and ultimately to Enterprise's NGL fractionators in Hobbs, NM, and Mont Belvieu, TX.

Enterprise purchased the original Pioneer plant for $38 million from Teppco Partners LP in April 2006 and immediately began work on an expansion (see NGI, April 10, 2006). When purchased the plant's processing capacity was 300 MMcf/d.

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