Enterprise Hydrocarbons Terminal
We own and operate a marine terminal complex, the Enterprise Hydrocarbons Terminal (or "EHT"), located on the Houston Ship Channel that provides terminaling services to major integrated oil companies, exporters, marketers, distributors and chemical companies. EHT’s facilities include those that can load cargoes of fully refrigerated, low-ethane propane and/or butane (collectively referred to as "LPGs") onto multiple tanker vessels simultaneously. In December 2015, we completed a new refrigeration train that increased EHT’s loading rate for LPG (nameplate capacity) from 16,500 barrels per hour to approximately 27,500 barrels per hour. Completion of this expansion project increased overall loading capabilities at EHT from 9.0 MMBbls per month to approximately 16.0 MMBbls per month. Our LPG export services continue to benefit from increased NGL supplies produced from domestic shale plays such as the 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 420 MBPD, 299 MBPD and 248 MBPD during the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
The primary customer of EHT is our NGL marketing group, which uses EHT to assist export customers in meeting their volume requirements. 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, 2016, the destination markets were as follows: 50% to Asia; 23% to North America and the Caribbean; 14% to Europe and Africa; and 13% to Central and South America. Based on available information, our LPG sales to export customers represented the following percentage of each destination market’s approximate total supply: 58% for North America and the Caribbean; 27% for Central and South America; 14% for Asia; and 9% for Europe and Africa.
We also own and operate an NGL import facility at EHT. This facility 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.
In September 2016, we placed our ethane export terminal located at Morgan’s Point on the Houston Ship Channel (the "Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal") into commercial service. The Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal, which is the largest of its kind in the world, has an aggregate loading rate (nameplate capacity) of approximately 10,000 barrels per hour of fully refrigerated ethane. Supply for the Morgan’s Point Ethane Export Terminal is sourced from our Mont Belvieu NGL fractionation and storage complex and transported through a new 18-mile, 24-inch diameter pipeline that we completed in February 2016. The new 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 375 MBPD in 2020, after considering the estimated incremental demand from new third party ethylene facilities that have been announced for 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.
For more information on the assets, please refer to the most recent Form 10-K or Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other SEC filings.