Enterprise eyes 1 million bpd of LPG loading capacity in Houston

July 15, 2019 By    

Enterprise Products Partners will invest in three additional expansion projects that will increase the partnership’s capacity to load LP gas, polymer grade propylene and crude oil from its Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, the company announced.

Currently, Enterprise’s nameplate LP gas loading capacity is about 660,000 barrels per day (bpd). Previously, Enterprise announced a project to add 175,000 bpd of LP gas loading capacity, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed late third quarter of 2019. The additional projects will increase incremental LP gas loading capacity by another 260,000 bpd and are expected to be in service in the third quarter of 2020. When completed, the projects will give the terminal’s nameplate capacity to load up to almost 1.1 million bpd of LP gas, or about 33 million barrels per month.

In response to record demand for polymer grade propylene by international markets, the partnership is adding refrigeration facilities at its Houston Ship Channel terminal that will enable Enterprise to load up to an incremental 67,200 bpd, or about 2 million barrels per month, of fully refrigerated polymer grade propylene. With this expansion project, Enterprise will increase flexibility by offering customers the capability to co-load fully refrigerated polymer grade propylene and LP gas onto the same vessel. Enterprise expects this expansion to be available in the fourth quarter of 2020.

As part of the expansion, Enterprise is also building an eighth dock at its Houston Ship Channel terminal with the capability to load about 840,000 bpd of crude oil, increasing the partnership’s nameplate export capacity for crude oil at the Houston Ship Channel to 2.75 million bpd, or nearly 83 million barrels per month. Expected to begin service in the fourth quarter of 2020, the new dock will be able to accommodate a Suezmax vessel, the largest ship class that can navigate the Houston Ship Channel.

“We are pleased to announce this additional investment in our Houston Ship Channel marine terminals,” says A.J. “Jim” Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner. “In total, these expansions will enable us to load an incremental 1.3 million bpd of LPG, polymer grade propylene and crude oil. Our integrated midstream system, including our Houston Ship Channel terminal, is providing Texas products with access to the highest value markets, including international markets. These projects utilize the latest technology to modify and expand existing facilities and represent a very efficient use of capital with attractive returns. A key driver and catalyst to make these additional investments in our Houston Ship Channel complex is clarity and certainty provided by recent legislation signed into law by Governor [Greg] Abbott that ensures two-way traffic along the Houston Ship Channel.”

Enterprise estimates that by 2025 exports of U.S. crude oil will increase from 3 million bpd to 8 million bpd and the domestic LP gas export market will double from 1.4 million bpd to 2.8 bpd. Much of this growth is being driven by increasing production from the Permian Basin of Texas.

Natural gas processing plant now online

Enterprise recently began service on the third train at its Orla cryogenic natural gas processing plant in Reeves County, Texas. The completion of the processing unit at Orla increases natural gas processing capacity at the facility to 900 million cu. ft. per day and allows Enterprise to produce in excess of 140,000 bpd of natural gas liquids (NGL). Throughout the Permian Basin, Enterprise now has the capability to process 1.3 billion cu. ft. of natural gas and produce about 200,000 bpd of NGLs.

“The three trains at Orla that have been brought online over the past year reflect Enterprise’s agility and commitment to providing timely and efficient solutions for facilitating production growth in the prolific Permian Basin,” Teague says. “And we are not through yet expanding our processing capabilities in the Permian. The Mentone cryogenic natural gas processing facility in Loving County, Texas, which will have the capacity to process 300 MMcf/d of natural gas and extract in excess of 40,000 bpd of NGLs, is on schedule for completion in the first quarter of 2020, and we are actively negotiating contracts with customers to underwrite additional capacity.”

Orla and Mentone extend Enterprise’s value chain in the Permian and Delaware basins, linking customers to the company’s integrated pipeline network, including the recently completed Shin Oak pipeline and the Texas Intrastate natural gas system. In addition, the company’s Mont Belvieu complex, where 300,000 bpd of fractionation capacity is under construction and expected to be available in 2020, as well as an extensive system of Gulf Coast export docks, provide access to the most attractive domestic and international markets, Enterprise says.

*Featured image: iStock.com/tttuna

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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