Enterprise Products Partners announced that it plans to build a fully refrigerated ethane export facility on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Enterprise has executed long-term contracts to support the development of the facility, which is designed to have an aggregate loading rate of approximately 10,000 barrels per hour, or up to 240 thousand barrels per day ("MBPD"). The export facility is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of 2016.
"We are pleased to announce the successful development of our fully refrigerated ethane export facility, which will be the largest in the world," said Michael A. Creel, chief executive officer of Enterprise’s general partner. "We continue to receive strong interest from the international community for this project and are having ongoing discussions with other potential customers that could result in our contracting the remaining capacity of the facility."
"This facility is another example of Enterprise serving incremental market demand for growing supplies of U.S. energy. This is particularly important for ethane, which is a byproduct of natural gas and crude oil production and has limited uses. We estimate U.S. ethane production capacity currently exceeds U.S. demand by 300 MBPD and could exceed demand by up to 700 MBPD by 2020, after considering the estimated incremental demand from new ethylene facilities that have been announced. By providing new markets access to ethane, we are assisting U.S. producers to increase their production, which assures the U.S. will have access to abundant supplies of domestically produced natural gas and crude oil," stated Creel.
The ethane export facility will be integrated with Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu complex, which includes over 650 MBPD of natural gas liquid ("NGL") fractionation capacity and 100 million barrels of NGL storage capacity.
The partnership’s Mont Belvieu facility receives NGL supplies from the major producing basins across the U.S. The Mont Belvieu complex is connected to growing supplies of ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions through Enterprise’s recently completed ATEX ethane pipeline. Enterprise’s integrated NGL system will offer supply assurance and diversification for the export facility.