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Rockies-to-Gulf Coast NGL Capacity Planned

Enterprise Products Partners LP plans to expand the Rocky Mountain segment of its Mid-America Pipeline (MAPL), adding 85,000 b/d of incremental natural gas liquids (NGL) capacity, the partnership said Thursday. This week other parties have announced two separate NGL projects, including two new fractionators.

"The additional capacity is designed to accommodate growing natural gas and NGL production from major basins in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico," the partnership said. "Several new natural gas processing plants are being constructed in the Uinta, Piceance, and Greater Green River basins that should fill the expansion by 2014."

The expansion is supported by shipper commitments obtained during an open season that concluded late last month. The project is to include pipeline looping with up to 290 miles of 16-inch diameter pipeline, as well as pump station modifications.

"Shippers executed 10-year, firm, ship-or-pay transportation agreements representing a total initial commitment of 38,500 b/d with options which could ultimately increase the total expansion to 85,000 b/d," said Jim Teague, COO of Enterprise's general partner. "We believe this expansion will enable producers to maximize the value of their Rocky Mountain NGL production by providing them access through our integrated system to the largest domestic NGL market, located on the Texas Gulf Coast. The transportation agreements and our construction plans provide us the flexibility to increase capacity efficiently and cost-effectively while giving producers additional time to finalize their drilling and natural gas processing programs."

Subject to regulatory approvals, the project is expected to begin service in the third quarter of 2014.

The Rocky Mountain portion of the MAPL system extends more than 3,000 miles and transports NGLs from the Overthrust and San Juan basins to Enterprise's Hobbs fractionator in Gaines County, TX. An interconnect to the partnership's 1,300-mile Seminole Pipeline at Hobbs allows shippers to reach the partnership's NGL fractionation facility in Mont Belvieu, TX.

Enterprise is in the process of increasing its fractionation capabilities by 75,000 b/d, bringing total capacity at the complex to 375,000 b/d following its expected completion in the fourth quarter.

Two other Gulf-Coast focused NGL projects have been announced in recent days. ONEOK Partners LP said it plans to spend $910 million to $1.2 billion between now and late 2013 on new infrastructure, including new fractionation at Mont Belvieu (see Daily GPI, May 4). And Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and Regency Energy Partners LP said their Lone Star NGL LLC joint venture would construct a 100,000 b/d NGL fractionation facility at Mont Belvieu (see Daily GPI, May 6).

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