Chinese for “good news”
Energy Transfer issued an exciting announcement yesterday to say they are expanding their presence in China “to meet growing demand for ethane and liquid natural gas products” by opening an ET office in Beijing. It will be ET’s first non-U.S. office–can you believe that?! Although ET doesn’t mention the Marcellus/Utica in the announcement, we think there’s a connection.
Let’s look at the announcement first, then we’ll add some comments:
Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET) announced today it is expanding its presence in China to meet growing demand for ethane and liquid natural gas products by opening an office in Beijing, the first office for Energy Transfer outside the United States. This strategic move allows Energy Transfer to better leverage the increasing business opportunities in the exportation of much-needed energy products to the China and other Asian markets, and to facilitate growth across Energy Transfer’s diverse platform of assets.
Energy Transfer owns and operates one of the largest and most diversified portfolios of energy assets in the United States, with a strategic footprint in all of the major U.S. production basins. It is a publicly traded limited partnership with core operations that include complementary natural gas midstream, intrastate and interstate transportation and storage assets; crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and refined product transportation and terminalling assets; NGL fractionation; and various acquisition and marketing assets.
Energy Transfer’s Beijing office will support the marketing and sales of energy products including liquefied natural gas, ethane, propane, butane, natural gasoline and crude oil. Executives from Energy Transfer and companies across China, along with local dignitaries, will attend an opening reception tomorrow scheduled from 1700 hours to 1930 hours at Beijing Park Hyatt, 2 Jianguomenwai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100022, China, in Beijing’s downtown business district.
Last year, Energy Transfer announced a joint venture with China-based Satellite Petrochemical to facilitate the export of ethane to China. Orbit Gulf Coast NGL Exports, LLC (Orbit) is currently constructing a pipeline that will transport ethane from Energy Transfer’s Mont Belvieu fractionation and storage facilities to a new ethane terminal adjacent to Energy Transfer’s Nederland, Texas NGL facility. Approximately 150,000 barrels per day of ethane under a long-term, demand-based agreement will be exported to Satellite’s ethane cracking facilities in China.
On March 25, 2019, Energy Transfer announced it signed a Project Framework Agreement with Shell US LNG, LLC to further develop a large-scale LNG export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Lake Charles project is a 50/50 venture between Energy Transfer and Shell. The project is proposed to convert Energy Transfer’s existing Lake Charles LNG import and regasification terminal to an LNG export facility with a liquefaction capacity of 16.45 million tonnes per annum for export to customers in China and other global markets. The project is fully permitted, uses existing infrastructure and benefits from abundant natural gas supply and proximity to major pipeline infrastructure, including Energy Transfer’s vast U.S. pipeline network.
“This is an exciting milestone in the history of our Partnership,” said Mackie McCrea, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Energy Transfer. “The deep value that China’s people have for developing relationships based on mutual respect aligns with our core values. We see this office as the foundation for developing successful relationships that will be mutually beneficial for both the U.S. and the China energy markets.”*
ET is also Sunoco Logistics Partners (one and the same), builder of the Mariner East pipeline projects that flow NGLs including ethane, propane and butane from eastern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia. ET has been exporting both ethane and propane mainly to Europe so far (see The Future of Ethane Exports from Marcus Hook, PA and Marcus Hook Propane Exports Heat Up). We wonder, as Mariner East 2 and 2X get completed this year, will some of the new supplies be earmarked for Asia? It’s possible.
Also, ET’s joint venture with Shell for an LNG export facility in Lake Charles, LA will almost certainly be fed in part by M-U molecules flowing to the region.
So, ET’s good China news is most likely good news for the M-U region as well.
*Energy Transfer (Apr 1, 2019) – Energy Transfer Eyes Growth Opportunities in China’s Growing Demand for Ethane and Liquid Natural Gas
This post appeared first on Marcellus Drilling News