Growing natural gas production in the Permian Basin has prompted Atlas Pipeline Partners LP to announce plans for a new 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing plant, which will be anchored by production from Pioneer Natural Resources Inc.

The Edward plant is to have initial capacity of 100 MMcf/d in service during the second half of 2014. “As production increases behind the system, placement of additional compression and refrigeration equipment to increase the plant’s capacity to 200 MMcf/d will come in service as needed,” Atlas said.

Completion of the full facility will increase processing capacity at the partnership’s WestTX system from 455 MMcf/d to 655 MMcf/d, expanding further beyond the 200 MMcf/d Driver plant addition that was brought into service last April (see Shale Daily, April 16).

“This expansion, coming just on the heels of the 200 MMcf/d Driver plant that was just brought into service this last quarter, shows how active producers are in the Permian, including our partner, Pioneer,” said Atlas Pipeline CEO Eugene Dubay. “By the time Edward is fully implemented, our capacity will have more than tripled in West Texas in less than six years.”

Both phases of the Edward plant are expected to cost the partnership $100-120 million. Additional spending will add expected compression and well connections as needed. Atlas Pipeline’s partner on the WestTX system, Pioneer, which owns a 27.2% interest in the facility, will participate in the projects costs and cash flows and will anchor the production growth behind the expansion, complemented by third-party producer customers.