Providing Barnett Shale gas another exit to market, Enterprise Products Partners LP and Duncan Energy Partners LP said Monday construction has been completed on the 174-mile Sherman Extension expansion of the Enterprise Texas Intrastate natural gas pipeline system, which extends through the heart of North Texas.

The companies reported that current throughput on the 178-mile Sherman Extension is approximately 360 MMcf/d and is expected to reach about 950 MMcf/d during April as the remainder of the system’s 48,000 hp of compression is brought on-line. The 36-inch diameter pipeline originates at a delivery point on the partnerships’ Texas Intrastate natural gas pipeline system near Morgan Mill, TX, southwest of Fort Worth, and extends northward to an interconnect with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP’s Gulf Crossing pipeline near Sherman, TX.

The completion of the extension adds 1.1 Bcf/d of incremental takeaway capacity from the region, while providing producers in the Barnett and as far away as the Waha area of West Texas with greater flexibility to reach the most attractive markets, particularly those in the Northeast and Southeast areas of the country, the companies said. Current natural gas production from the Barnett is approximately 4 Bcf/d and is projected to surpass 6 Bcf/d by 2011.

Last summer Enterprise Products Partners’ affiliates signed new long-term agreements with major Barnett producers for 900 MMcf/d of the extension’s 1.1 Bcf/d capacity (see Daily GPI, Aug. 29, 2008).

“Since we first announced this initiative a little more than two years ago, the production performance of the Barnett Shale has continued to exceed expectations,” said Enterprise Products Partners CEO Michael A. Creel. “Highlighted by the fact that there are currently more than 350 completed wells awaiting pipeline connections, the need for midstream infrastructure like the Sherman Extension has never been greater.”

Creel added that the extension also laid the foundation for a separate but complementary project that the partnerships are currently developing to support emerging new areas of the Barnett that are not adequately served by pipelines today. The partnerships are in the process of constructing a new 40-mile pipeline that will link producers in the Trinity River Basin to the Sherman Extension near Justin, TX. This 30-inch and 36-inch diameter pipeline, which is to originate in Tarrant County, TX, has a capacity of 1 Bcf/d and, like the Sherman Extension project, is supported by long-term transportation agreements with major producers. The Trinity River lateral is on track to begin service in late 2009 or early 2010, Enterprise Products Partners said.

Enterprise Texas Pipeline LLC, which was formed by affiliates of Enterprise Products Partners and Duncan Energy, owns the Texas Intrastate natural gas pipeline system.

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