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New Gas Processing Plant Opens in Wyoming PRB

Denver-based Meritage Midstream Service II LLC has completed and brought online its new natural gas processing plant, 50 Buttes, in Campbell County, WY. It will serve producers in the Powder River Basin (PRB).

The plant has an initial processing capacity of 70 MMcf/d, and a Meritage spokesperson said it expects to add 70 MMcf/d of capacity late next year. This plant is large enough to accommodate up to 300 MMcf/d.

Based on dedications from some of the largest PRB producers, the 50 Buttes facility is supported by long-term acreage commitments. The plant also sits in the heart of the Niobrara Formation in northeastern Wyoming.

The spokesperson said that 50 Buttes joins Meritage's Thunder Creek system, including more than 700 miles of high- and low-pressure gas pipelines, compression facilities, natural gas liquids (NGL) and liquids-handling facilities, along with gas treating and processing facilities.

The latter treating/processing units include the 450 MMcf/d Buckshot treating facility in Converse County and a 34 MMcf/d processing plant in Campbell County. Meritage acquired the Thunder Creek system a little more than a year ago from Devon Energy Corp. (see Shale Daily, Aug. 21, 2013), and the spokesperson said it is "actively expanding the system to meet producer needs."

Due to high demand, by the end of this year Meritage will complete construction of another 100 miles of gathering pipeline and will have more than 110 wells connected to the Thunder Creek System.

Meritage CEO Steve Huckaby called the plant a "strategic addition" to what he considers a significant footprint in the PRB. "It's in one of the country's most exciting emerging shale plays [Niobrara]," Huckaby said. Meritage's goal is to "stay ahead of the producers" with new midstream infrastructure: gathering, compression, treating, processing, fractionation, transportation and marketing of gas.

"The PRB is home to stacked oil- and liquids-rich formations, and we have seen a significant increase in drilling activity in the area."

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