Finally, the pipeline constraints problem is on its way to being resolved. On to the next issue.

“We’re very constrained on fractionation,” Leonard said, invoking the unavoidable word again. “That goes all the way back to the wellhead. If the producer can’t get their Y-grade onto a pipeline because all the fracs are full, well they can’t produce their natural gas, they can’t produce their oil and that impacts their profit margins.”

On the plus side, she noted a buildout in fractionation over the next year or so which will help alleviate at least part of that issue. Five new ethane crackers are scheduled to come online in second-half 2019 with total capacity of about 280,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), so patient producers will have plenty of opportunity to profit over time but 2019 will be a tough one.

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