Blue Racer Midstream LLC has started barging Appalachian natural gas liquids (NGL) to the Gulf Coast via the Ohio River, the company confirmed on Friday.
Blue Racer said earlier this year that it would begin barging operations by the end of the year. Spokesperson Casey Nikoloric said barging began in October at the company's Natrium Complex in Marshall County, WV, where it has 400 MMcf/d of cryogenic processing capacity and 123,000 b/d of fractionation capacity.
Blue Racer, a joint venture of Caiman Energy II LLC and Dominion Resources Inc., has loaded two barges since October. Nikoloric said the shipments each included 10,000 bbl of NGLs. She said the "market will drive the pace of operations going forward" but added that loading one to two barges per month at Natrium is the current expectation.
The 981-mile Ohio River, the Mississippi River's largest tributary, has played a key role in the ongoing development of the Marcellus and Utica shales. Loading terminals, storage facilities and other energy-related infrastructure have been constructed along its banks.
Blue Racer operates 688 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline, 153 miles of NGL and condensate lines, and the 400 MMcf/d Berne processing complex in Monroe County, OH.