Black Bear Midstream, a portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, has secured a seven-year natural gas gathering and processing agreement in Louisiana’s Desoto and Caddo parishes with an undisclosed Cotton Valley producer.

Houston-based Black Bear agreed to build 20 miles of 16-inch diameter rich gas gathering pipe to the west of its DeSoto Parish cryogenic processing plant to support the contract and ones with other producers on each side of the Louisiana and Texas border.

“We continue to execute on our strategy to provide both lean and rich gas gathering services in support of our customers drilling both Haynesville and Cotton Valley formations in North Louisiana,” Black Bear CEO Rich DiMichele said. “The relationship we’ve built with this and other producers keeps us excited about the area and confirms our belief that we can continue attracting production to Black Bear’s competitive, high-optionality services.”

Executive Vice President Travis Boeker, who handles commercial activities, said the company had been “methodically expanding our service offerings and customer base since our team began managing Black Bear in 2016...

“Look for us to announce projects to extend our reach across the Texas border and throughout northern Louisiana. There has been increasing interest by regional pipelines targeting Gulf Coast markets to source gas within our catchment area. While we don’t have a dog in this long-haul fight, we believe it’s in our customer’s best interest to have options across these announced pipelines and we’re working to provide that optionality.”

The company has a high pressure gathering system providing dry and rich gas gathering with several interstate natural gas connections along with a 40-mile NGL pipeline connecting its 140 MMcf/d cryogenic gas processing plant to the natural gas liquids complex at Mont Belvieu, TX.

The Energy Information Administration in its most recent Drilling Productivity Report said Haynesville Shale natural gas production is expected to increase in August to 11.28 Bcf/d from July’s estimated 11.11 Bcf/d.