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Enterprise to restart Mont Belvieu isomerization unit, 4 others

Houston — Enterprise Products has begun startup of five units, including an isomerization unit and pentane stripper, at its Mont Belvieu, Texas, complex following maintenance.

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The company began the process of restarting its isomerization unit, de-isobutanizer, mercaptan oxidation, pentane stripper and cogeneration units on October 15 and expects to be completed by November 11, according to a company filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The filing also estimates that 2,000 lb of isobutane, 2,000 lb of normal butane and 4,000 lb of carbon monoxide among others will be flared in the process.

The scheduled maintenance of these units began October 3 and was expected to be completed a week later, according to a previous TCEQ filing.

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Non-LST isobutane, reflecting prices at the Enterprise terminal in Mont Belvieu, has spiked in recent days as high as 92.875 cents/gal, a nearly two-year high.

The isobutane premium over normal butane has been stronger this summer than in 2015, averaging almost 2 cents in June and about 3.5 cents from July to September. In contrast, isobutane averaged less than 25-point premiums over normal butane between June and October 2015.

So far in October, however, the premium has averaged 11.4 cents, peaking at 17.25 cents on October 12.

Non-LST isobutane was heard done 14.50 cents over normal butane early Monday, or 90.875 cents/gal.

--Andrea Salazar,
--Edited by James Leech,