Enterprise Products Partners LP (NYSE: EPD) reports that the process of injecting ethane into the Appalachia-to-Texas Express (ATEX) pipeline began in late November and will continue throughout December. Commercial service is expected to begin in January.
The 1,230-mile ATEX pipeline originates in Washington County, Pennsylvania, and will be connected to four fractionators in the Marcellus/Utica shale plays. These plants include the MarkWest Houston plant in Pennsylvania and the Cadiz plant in Ohio, the Blue Racer Natrium plant in West Virginia, and the Utica East Ohio Scio plant in Ohio.
ATEX will have an initial capacity of 125,000 barrels per day (bpd), expandable to at least 265,000 bpd. The project is supported by firm, ship-or-pay transportation agreements with 15-year terms. Approximately 65,000 bpd of those contracted volumes are expected to be transported initially, ramping up to more than 130,000 bpd beginning in 2018.
ATEX terminates at Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu, Texas, complex, which includes over 100 million barrels of natural gas liquid (NGL) and petroleum liquid storage capacity, more than 750,000 bpd of fractionation capacity, and an extensive NGL distribution system. With the addition of its Aegis ethane pipeline now under construction, Enterprise will link Marcellus-produced ethane to existing ethylene production facilities in the US and provide supply security to support construction of new crackers currently planned for the Gulf Coast.