Capacity of ATEX Pipeline Being Increased by 30% — Moving Marcellus Ethane to Texas

by admin on October 15, 2019

ATEX Express pipeline project (upgrade) in 2013

Enterprise to expand Appalachia-to-Texas ethane pipeline

From an Article by Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, October 14, 2019

Houston pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners is moving forward with plans to expand a pipeline to move ethane from the natural gas fields of Appalachia to the company’s processing plants and storage terminals in southeast Texas.

In a statement released on Monday morning, Enterprise confirmed that it will proceed with the expansion of its Appalachia-to-Texas pipeline. Known as ATEX, the 1,200-mile pipeline moves ethane from the Marcellus Shale and Utica Basin of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Enterprise’s natural gas liquids storage complex just east of Houston in Mont Belvieu.

Estimated construction costs have not been disclosed but the decision comes after the completion of a 30-day open season for producers to book capacity on the expansion project.

“The success of the open season reflects the demand for additional, reliable ethane takeaway capacity from the Appalachian region of the country,” Enterprise Senior Vice President Michael C. “Tug” Hanley said in a statement. “Our customers value flow assurance and reliability.

The expansion of ATEX will facilitate growing production from the Marcellus/Utica Basin and will provide access to attractive markets on the Gulf Coast through Enterprise’s integrated midstream network.”

ATEX can currently move 145,000 barrels of ethane per day but the expansion project will boost that to 190,000 barrels per day. The extra capacity is expected to be achieved through improvements and modifications to existing infrastructure. If successful, the extra capacity will be available by 2022.

Ethane is experiencing high global demand by petrochemical plants to make plastics. Enterprise already handles an estimated 80 percent of U.S. ethane exports. The company is building an export terminal at Morgan’s Point to begin exports of ethylene, a chemical made from ethane that is also used to make plastics and other products.

Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Houston, Enterprise has more than 7,000 employees across the United States.

Touted as the largest exporter of crude oil and natural gas liquids in the United States, the company reported making a $4.2 billion profit on $36.5 billion of revenue in 2018.

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