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Enterprise to expand butane isomerization, natural gas processing facilities

January 9, 2018 By    

Enterprise Products Partners LP announced plans to expand both its butane isomerization facility at its complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas, and its cryogenic natural gas processing facility in Orla, Texas.

The expansion of the isomerization facility is supported by long-term agreements to provide butane isomerization, storage and pipeline services, including a 20-year, 35,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) fee-based tolling agreement, according to the company. Additionally, the company says it’s evaluating two options to expand its butane isomerization facilities that will add up to 30,000 bpd of incremental capacity.

The company has 116,000 bpd of butane isomerization capacity at Mont Belvieu. Its isobutane system also includes about 13 million barrels of aggregate isom grade normal butane, high-purity isobutane salt dome storage capacity and 162 miles of distribution pipelines.

Butane isomerization is the process of converting normal butane into high-purity isobutane, which is used as a feedstock for the petrochemical and refining industries.

“Enterprise has been providing fee-based isomerization services since 1981,” says A.J. Teague, CEO of Enterprise’s general partner. “We are pleased to announce these new long-term agreements to support another expansion of our facility. We have seen solid demand growth for high-purity isobutane by the petrochemical and refining industries. This expansion project is another example of organic growth generated by our integrated value chain serving both producers and consumers of NGLs, natural gas and crude oil.”

The company also plans to add 300 million cu. ft. per day (MMcf/d) of incremental capacity to its cryogenic natural gas processing facility under construction near Orla.

The company says the addition of a third processing train at Orla would increase inlet volume capacity to 900 MMcf/d and allow the company to expand its natural gas liquid (NGL) extraction capabilities by an incremental 40,000 bpd to 120,000 bpd.

According to the company, the third processing train is expected to begin service in the second quarter of 2019. Trains one and two are on schedule for completion in the second and third quarters of 2018, respectively.

“The ongoing expansion of our Orla facility is being driven by the continued growth of NGL-rich natural gas production in the Delaware Basin and is supported by long-term commitments with producers,” Teague says. “Over the next five years, supplies of natural gas and NGLs in the Permian Basin could nearly double, and Orla is ideally situated to capitalize on growth opportunities in the region. With connections to our integrated natural gas and NGL infrastructure network, Orla is a key component in providing our customers access to the growing petrochemical industry along the Gulf Coast, as well as the export demand for U.S. production.”

Mixed NGLs from Orla will be delivered into the company’s fully integrated pipeline system, including the new Shin Oak Pipeline. Residual natural gas from Orla will be transported to the Waha area through a 68-mile, 36-in. diameter pipeline scheduled to begin service commensurate with the first Orla train, and will connect to Enterprise’s Texas Intrastate pipeline system at the Waha hub.

Upon completion of the Orla expansion projects, the company will have total natural gas processing capacity of more than 1.2 billion cu. ft. per day and the capability to extract more than 200,000 bpd of NGLs in the Permian Basin.

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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