The completed section will start in Bee County, near the Teak Midstream processing plant, and travel east through Goliad, Victoria and Jackson counties. In Jackson County, it will connect to the 58-mile Wilbreeze line that is already in place.
The completed section of the Sand Hills line is part of a bigger 720-mile line that runs from Mont Belvieu in Harris County all the way to Ector County in West Texas. The project is being built and commissioned in sections, with the 84 miles being the first completed section.
According to Patrick Brierley, vice president of growth projects for DCP, the pipe is currently being loaded with nitrogen to each of the block values to ensure that there is no combustible residue in the line and then actual natural gas liquids (NGLs) are being loaded behind that.
Thus far, approximately 280,000 barrels worth have been loaded into the line and are traveling toward the Wilbreeze line.
“By late November, we will be able to deliver barrels,” Brierley said in a phone interview.
Once in the Wilbreeze line, the product will travel “from the Eagle Ford to Gulf Coast markets.”
The Wilbreeze portion of the line will be utilized for product delivery until the other portions of the Sand Hills line come online. At that point, the NGLs will be able to flow all the way from West Texas to Mont Belvieu.
The other phases of the project are still in various construction phases.
Phase two of the pipeline from West Texas to a processing plant in Bee County are still under construction. That portion of the line is approximately 500 miles.
“They are making good progress,” Brierley said. “That construction will continue through the winter and spring.”
Once the western portion of the line is complete, it will increase transport capabilities from 10,000 to 200,000 barrels per day.
“Barrels will increase significantly when the western portion is done,” Brierley said.
Also being built to help increase flow rate per day are three pump stations; one in the Eagle Ford region, one near Houston and one near Sonora.
Brierley said without the pump stations the pipe can flow at 50 percent just based on gravity, but the stations ensure the flow rate. Three additional stations will be built at a later time if they are needed.
The eastern end of the pipeline though Houston and on to Mont Belvieu “is ahead of schedule.”
Brierley said they were able to utilize some existing right of way that helped to keep the construction ahead of schedule.
While the total project is more than a year a way from completion, the part that is complete will start bringing money to the counties in which it is located.
Domingo Palomo, chief appraiser for the Bee County Appraisal District, said the part that is complete in Bee County will go on the tax rolls at the beginning of the year.
As far as what kind of money the completed portion will bring to the county, “it is a little early to tell,” Palomo said.
The county hires a third party industrial appraisal group to assign values to pipelines and minerals since that is not their area of expertise, but, either way, the county will be getting extra money in the form of taxes for the pipeline.
The amount of money will increase the following year if the rest of the line is finished.
The Goliad appraisal district said they too contract out to a third party company, Pritchard & Abbott, Inc. for their appraisals.
Jason Driscoll of Pritchard & Abbott, Inc said his company gets the location of the pipeline from the Railroad Commission and then uses an inhouse formula to derive the value.
Christina Rowland is the regional editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 119, or at regional@mySouTex.com.