|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
EHT’s facilities include those that can load cargoes of fully refrigerated, low-ethane propane and/or butane (collectively referred to as LPG) onto multiple tanker vessels simultaneously. Currently, EHT’s loading rate for LPG (its nameplate capacity) is approximately 27,500 barrels per hour. Our LPG export services continue to benefit from increased NGL supplies produced from domestic shale plays such as the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale and international demand for propane as a feedstock in ethylene plant operations and for power generation and heating purposes. On average, LPG loading volumes at EHT were 424 MBPD, 420 MBPD and 299 MBPD during the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.
The primary customer of EHT is our NGL marketing group, which uses EHT to meet the needs of export customers. NGL marketing transacts with these customers using long-term sales contracts with take-or-pay provisions and/or exchange agreements. In recent years, the U.S. has become the largest exporter of LPG in the world, with shipments originating from EHT playing a key role. Of the LPG cargoes we loaded for export at EHT during the year ended December 31, 2017, the destination markets were as follows: 56% to Asia; 20% to Central and South America; 14% to North America and the Caribbean; 9% to Europe and Africa; and 1% to other destinations, including Australia and the Middle East. Based on available information, our LPG sales to export customers represented the following percentage of each destination market’s approximate total supply: 57% for Central and South America; 43% for Asia; 40% for North America and the Caribbean; 27% for Europe and Africa; and 23% for other destinations, including Australia and the Middle East.
We also own and operate an NGL import terminal located at the EHT facility. This import terminal can offload NGLs from tanker vessels at rates up to 14,000 barrels per hour depending on the product. Our NGL import volumes for the last three years were minimal.
EHT also provides terminaling services involving crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products. EHT’s assets and activities involving crude oil terminaling and storage are classified and presented as a component of our Crude Oil Pipelines & Services business segment. EHT’s activities involving petrochemical and refined products customers are classified and described within our Petrochemical & Refined Products Services business segment.
Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal
In September 2016, we placed our Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal, which is located on the Houston Ship Channel, into commercial service. The terminal has an aggregate loading rate (nameplate capacity) of approximately 10,000 barrels per hour of fully refrigerated ethane and is the largest of its kind in the world. Ethane volumes handled by the terminal are sourced from our Mont Belvieu NGL fractionation and storage complex. The terminal is supported by customer volume commitments that increase to over 180 MBPD within the next three years (depending on customer elections).
The Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal supports growing international demand for abundant U.S. ethane from shale plays, which offers the global petrochemical industry a low-cost feedstock option and supply diversification. We estimate that U.S. ethane production capacity currently exceeds U.S. demand by 500 to 600 MBPD and could exceed demand by up to 350 MBPD in 2020, after considering the estimated incremental demand from new third party ethylene facilities that are being constructed on the Gulf Coast. By providing producers with access to the export market, the Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal supports continued development of U.S. energy reserves.
Crude Oil Pipelines & Services Segment
Our Crude Oil Pipelines & Services business segment includes approximately 5,800 miles of crude oil pipelines, crude oil storage and marine terminals, and associated crude oil marketing activities.
Crude oil pipelines
We have crude oil gathering and transportation pipelines located in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. The results of operations from providing crude oil transportation services is primarily dependent upon the volume handled (or capacity reserved) and the level of fees charged (typically on a per barrel basis). Fees charged to shippers are based on either tariffs regulated by governmental agencies, including the FERC, or contractual arrangements. See “Regulatory Matters” within this Part I, Item 1 and 2 discussion for additional information regarding governmental oversight of crude oil pipelines.