New pipeline will move NGLs from Panhandle to Mont Belvieu

Enterprise Products Partners, Enbridge Energy Partners and Anadarko Petroleum will build a new 580-mile natural gas liquids pipeline from Skellytown in the Texas Panhandle to natural gas processing plants in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

The new Texas Express Pipeline will give producers in West and Central Texas, the Rocky Mountains, Southern Oklahoma and the Mid-continent more capacity to ship natural gas liquids from producing fields.

Initial capacity on TEP will be about 280,000 barrels per day, but it can be expanded to 400,000 BPD.

The partners didn’t reveal a price tag for the project.

Natural gas liquids, such as butane, propane and hexane, can’t be shipped in the same pipelines as natural gas. They are  valuable — in many cases more valuable than the natural gas that drillers initially aim for — and appear in such high quantities in some of the shale formations that have been tapped in the last few years that building pipelines to bring the NGLs to market is seen as highly profitable.

The joint venture will also include two new NGL gathering systems: one connecting to natural gas processing plants in the Anadarko/Granite Wash production area located in the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma, and the second to connect to Barnett Shale processing plants.

NGLs from the Rockies, Permian Basin and Midcontinent regions will be delivered to the TEP via Enterprise’s existing Mid-America Pipeline.

Enterprise will build the pipeline and serve as the operator while Enbridge will build and operate the new gathering systems.

The pipeline and gathering systems are expected to begin service in the second quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals.