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ET Eyes More Ethane Recovery from Rover Pipeline

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Energy Transfer (ET) is looking to tap into the growing ethane market in the Northeast. The company has reached an agreement with Rover Pipeline to build a ~400 MMcf/d interconnect with ET’s Revolution plant to extract more ethane from the gas stream.

Rover Pipeline has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build the interconnect in Washington County, PA to a straddle plant (ET’s Revolution plant) on ETC Northeast Pipeline, an ET subsidiary. The interconnect will deliver ethane-rich gas to the Revolution plant where Energy Transfer can use latent capacity to remove NGLs. The residue methane then will be reinjected back into Rover via the existing Rover-Revolution receipt meter. The interconnect with the Revolution plant is expected to be completed by 4Q24 and cost ~$4MM.

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Downstream of the project, Rover primarily connects into MPLX’s gas processing plants and receives the largest ethane share (as a percentage of gas receipts) from MPLX’s Sherwood, Seneca and Cadiz plants, as well as Blue Racer’s Berne plant. MPLX recently expanded the Harmon Creek processing facility in February 2024 but did not expand its de-ethanization capabilities. The Harmon Creek meter on Rover has increased its ethane content percentage by ~2% from January-June ‘24. The proposed Revolution tie-in would be on the same Rover lateral connected to Harmon Creek.

The project has raised concerns among some Rover shippers. On April 15, BP Energy filed a protest to the Rover application with FERC, seeking clarity about how the “high-value” NGLs extracted from Rover will be allocated. Specifically, BP wants to know how shippers will be reimbursed and “made whole” for lost heating content that ET captures via the straddle plant. The time required to settle the dispute could delay the project’s 4Q24 in-service.

Mariner West (see blue pipeline in map) and ME2X (green pipeline in map) are the two logical outlets for the extra ethane supply. Energy Transfer owns both pipelines, as well as a 33% interest in Rover.

EDA speculates the captured ethane would help support further refrigeration and storage capacity expansions at ET’s Marcus Hook ethane export dock. In the June Ethane Supply and Demand Report, we forecast a 25 Mb/d increase in Marcus Hook dock capacity by July ’25 (see figure). It’s possible ET has its eyes on more grandiose plans. – Rob Wilson and Alex Gafford Tickers: ET.


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