New 580-Mile Pipeline to Carry NGLs from Panhandle to Mont Belvieu

Drilling facilities on the Barnett Shale will soon have a new pipeline going directly to Mont Belvieu, TX, ground zero for propane storage in the U.S. (image: bakerhughes.com)

Enterprise Products Partners, Anadarko Petroleum and Enbridge Energy Partners announced their plans to build a new natural gas liquids pipeline connecting the Texas Panhandle to propane central, Mont Belvieu, according to a recent FuelFix.com report.

Because NGLs like propane can’t be transported through the same pipelines as natural gas, they need their own system. As drillers come to realize NGLs are more valuable than they originally hoped, and are increasingly accessible as companies explore the country’s vast shale resources, NGL pipeline infrastructure is expanding.

Project administrators say the new Texas Express pipeline (TEP) will allow producers in Texas, Oklahoma and the Rocky Mountains to ship more NGLs from their fields. They estimate the pipeline’s initial transporting capacity will be around 280,000 barrels a day, which could eventually be jacked up to 400,000 BPD. And, NGLs from the Permian Basin, Rockies and Midcontinent regions will be pumped to the TEP through Enterprise’s Mid-America pipeline.

They confirmed the new project will also connect natural gas processing plants in the Texas Panhandle to Mont Belvieu facilities and processing plants on the Barnett Shale. The Barnett Shale is a huge rock formation under Fort Worth containing as much as 3850 billion cubic meters of natural gas resources.

Pending inspections and regulatory approval, the pipeline and accompanying systems are expected to begin operation sometime in 2013.