Enterprise Products Partners LP has almost finished a handful of projects designed to optimize its Neptune cryogenic gas processing facility in St. Mary Parish, LA, to provide greater flow assurance and flexibility for onshore and offshore producers in the Gulf Coast.

Work has included construction of a new condensate stabilizer facility at Neptune, new pipelines and associated interconnects, additional compression and installation of other related equipment, including dehydration units.

“Neptune represents one of Enterprise’s most efficient processing facilities and is a strategic part of our important Gulf Coast assets, serving as a natural gas processing hub for onshore and offshore producers,” said Jim Teague, COO of Enterprise’s general partner.

To support natural gas flows on the Nautilus offshore pipeline, Enterprise installed equipment designed to stabilize the condensate that develops in the pipeline as the rich gas is transported from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The stabilizer replaces a 5,000 b/d unit. Used in tandem with a new 10,000 b/d slug catcher expansion added upstream of Neptune by Enbridge, the stabilizer will promote greater efficiency by “significantly reducing” the need to divert gas that does not meet specifications. Enterprise owns a 26% equity interest in Neptune Pipeline Co. LLC, which owns the Enbridge-operated Nautilus and Manta Ray pipelines.

In support of Columbia Gulf Transmission, Enterprise has added new pipe and compression facilities that will allow Neptune to process gas from the South Marsh Island area of the Gulf of Mexico, received via Columbia Gulf’s East Lateral Efficiency Optimization Project. At Neptune, producers will have access to seven residue outlets. In addition, Enterprise added compression and a new 500 MMcf/d dehydration unit.

Enterprise recently completed a 46-mile reroute of its 20-inch diameter Anaconda offshore pipeline, linking it to Neptune and providing shippers with added processing reliability. To further improve flexibility and flow assurance, Enterprise said it is proceeding with plans to add an interconnect to the Manta Ray pipeline at Ship Shoal 207. This interconnect will provide an outlet to the ANR pipeline system, as well as Nautilus.

Construction of a nine-mile pipeline that carries offshore gas between Calumet and Neptune is another component of the partnership’s infrastructure enhancement program, it said. ANR and Trunkline production previously processed at the Enterprise-operated Calumet lean oil facility will be processed at the Neptune cryogenic plant. The first volumes to Neptune from the Calumet plant, which will be taken out of service, are expected by the end of this year, Enterprise said. In conjunction with the new pipeline, incremental compression has been added at the Neptune facility.

The optimization program also prepares Neptune to accept incremental volumes from the Walker Ridge Gathering System, which Enbridge is currently building to handle production from discoveries in the ultra-deepwater region of the Gulf of Mexico. Enterprise has secured processing rights from the anchor tenants of Walker Ridge, which will connect to the Manta Ray system that feeds into Nautilus. Initial production is anticipated in 2014.

“As a result of this optimization program, the amount of offshore pipeline accessible to Neptune will essentially quadruple,” Teague said. “Furthermore, extending Neptune’s reach to multiple pipeline systems prevents us from having to rely on a single source to continue meeting the needs of our customers who will benefit from the increased reliability”

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