Energy Transfer Partners LP of Dallas announced two projects Wednesday: a natural gas processing facility in Johnson County, TX, and a 36-inch pipeline expansion connecting the Barnett Shale to the company’s 30-inch Texoma pipeline. They are further evidence of the growing role of gas production from the prolific Barnett Shale.

The processing facility is being built in two phases to process rich gas produced from the Barnett Shale of North Texas and will connect with the partnership’s existing pipeline infrastructure. Phase I consists of a cryogenic gas plant with capacity of 115 MMcf/d, which is expected to be in service by the end of November. Phase II of the project includes another 170 MMcf/d cryogenic gas plant and a 100 MMcf/d hydrocarbon dew point refrigeration plant, and is expected to be completed by the end of June. The facility is being built to accommodate additional expansion in the future.

This facility will be one of the few North Texas gas processing plants with access to two NGL pipeline outlets.

“The partnership currently has over 300 MMcf/d under predominately fee-based contracts for this facility,” said Tim Dahlstrom, Energy Transfer Partners senior vice president, midstream. “These plants are necessary to meet the growing demand for processing capacity in the rich Barnett Shale production.”

The cost for this project is approximately $65 million.

The 36-inch pipeline expansion is necessitated by growing transportation volumes. This 135-mile pipeline connects the partnership’s existing Fort Worth Basin system to its Texoma pipeline in Lamar County, TX. The project expands producers’ options by providing additional market opportunities, including the Carthage Hub, interstate pipelines and industrial users along the Houston Ship Channel. It includes 27 miles of 30-inch pipe, 108 miles of 36-inch pipe and 64,000 horsepower of compression with an initial capacity of 700 MMcf/d, with expansion capabilities up to 1 Bcf/d at a total cost of about $300 million.

Friday Energy Transfer moved into the interstate natural gas pipeline business with its announcement to acquire Transwestern Pipeline. The series of transactions with GE Energy Financial Services and Southern Union Co. is valued at about $1.47 billion (see Daily GPI, Sept. 18).

In June Southern Union announced an expansion in Texas on the Trunkline Gas pipeline system to increase access to Texas’ natural gas storage fields, pipelines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals (see Daily GPI, June 21). Energy Transfer is the anchor on the Field Zone Expansion, which is an upgrade of Trunkline’s North Texas Expansion, which was announced last year (see Daily GPI, Aug. 3, 2005; April 14, 2005). The North Texas Expansion originally was designed to add 40 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline along an existing right-of-way from the Kountze, TX, compressor station to the Longville, LA, compressor station. It was expected to provide about 400 MMcf/d of additional capacity and be in service in 2007.

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