|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
Completion of Azure Acquisition
In April 2017, we closed on the acquisition of a midstream energy business from Azure Midstream Partners, LP and its operating subsidiaries (collectively, “Azure”) for $191.4 million in cash. The acquired business assets, which are located primarily in East Texas, include over 750 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and two natural gas processing facilities with an aggregate processing capacity of 130 MMcf/d. The acquired business serves production from the Haynesville Shale and Bossier, Cotton Valley and Travis Peak formations.
For additional information regarding the Azure acquisition, see Note 12 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included under Part II, Item 8 of this annual report.
Plans to Build Ninth NGL Fractionator at Our Mont Belvieu, Texas Complex
In March 2017, we resumed construction of our ninth NGL fractionator at our Mont Belvieu, Texas complex in anticipation of increased NGL production from the Permian Basin. The new fractionator, which is expected to be completed by mid-2018, would have a nameplate capacity of 85 MBPD. Upon completion of this expansion project, we would have approximately 755 MBPD of total NGL fractionation capacity at our Mont Belvieu complex and a combined 1.2 MMBPD of capacity across all of our NGL fractionators.
Plans to Construct Isobutane Dehydrogenation Unit at Mont Belvieu
In January 2017, we announced plans to construct a new isobutane dehydrogenation (“iBDH”) unit at our Mont Belvieu complex that is expected to have the capability to produce 425,000 tons per year of isobutylene. The project, which is underwritten by long-term contracts with investment-grade customers, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. Isobutylene produced by the new plant will provide additional feedstocks for our downstream octane enhancement and petrochemical facilities.
Historically, steam crackers and refineries have been the major source of propane and butane olefins for downstream use. However, with the increased use of light-end feedstocks, specifically ethane, the need for on-purpose olefins production has increased. Like our propane dehydrogenation (“PDH”) facility, the iBDH plant will help meet market demand where traditional supplies have been reduced. The new iBDH plant will increase our production of high purity and low purity isobutylene, which are used as feedstock to manufacture lubricants, rubber products and alkylate for gasoline blendstock, as well as methyl tertiary butyl ether for export.
General Outlook for 2018
General Commodity Price Observations
As a result of significant advances in non-conventional drilling and production technology, North American reserves and production of hydrocarbons, primarily from shale resource basins such as the Permian Basin in West Texas, the Eagle Ford in South Texas and the Appalachia Basin in the Northeast U.S., increased substantially in recent years. The significant increase in U.S. hydrocarbon supplies has led to lower prices, a reduction in imports, and, in many cases significantly increased exports; in fact, the U.S. is rapidly turning into a major exporter of various hydrocarbons including natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products.