Pittsburgh Business Times
El Paso's Marcellus Ethane Pipeline Not In The Cards

Monday, November 07, 2011

A proposed pipeline project to move the ethane extracted from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to markets in Louisiana or Texas didn't get the interest its promoters were hoping.

El Paso Corp., which formed a joint venture with Spectra Energy to pursue MEPS, or the Marcellus Ethane Pipeline System, announced in its quarterly report that a binding open season to solicit interest from shippers fell flat and the companies won't be moving forward with the pipeline at this time.

But Kristen Holmquist, manager, energy analysis with Bentek Energy, an industry research firm in Colorado, said she doesn't expect this project to go forward. Same goes for Kinder Morgan's bid, she said.

"If you look at the projects that have gone through, once those are online it's not going to be until 2016 or 2017" that additional capacity would be needed, Holmquist said.

This is all confusing news for the prospects of an ethane cracker in the region.

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