Eagle Ford Gathering LLC, a joint venture (JV) of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Copano Energy LLC, has made a long-term agreement with Williams Partners LP to process Eagle Ford Shale production at Williams Partners’ Markham processing plant in Matagorda County, TX. The JV will construct a seven-mile, 20-inch diameter lateral to connect its previously announced crossover pipeline project to the Markham plant and install 3,400 hp of compression at a cost of about $27 million. The agreement will initially provide Eagle Ford Gathering with 100 MMcf/d of processing capacity at the Markham plant, with an option to increase capacity to up to 200 MMcf/d. “The new agreement augments the previously announced agreement with Formosa Hydrocarbons Co., [see Shale Daily, Feb. 7] resulting in up to 375 MMcf/d of total processing capacity through the crossover project,” said Duane Kokinda, president of Kinder Morgan’s intrastate pipeline group.

Mountainview Energy Ltd. has acquired 4,566 net leasehold acres of Montana state lands in the south Alberta Bakken Shale play for approximately $340,000, an average price of $85/acre. The deal includes 1,381 acres in Pondera County, 1,905 acres in Teton County and 1,280 acres in Toole County. The acquisition brings the company’s total position in the shale play to approximately 75,000 net acres. Mountainview is focused on exploration, production and development of the Bakken and Three Forks shales in the Williston Basin and the south Alberta Bakken shale play.

The Charleston Area Alliance (CAA) of Charleston, WV, in cooperation with the Chemical Alliance Zone, the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, MATRIC (the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center) and Bayer, has commissioned a study to identify ethane storage, transportation and transmission resources in the area. Results of the study will be relevant to companies considering investing in an ethane cracker, CAA said. West Virginia officials have said construction of a cracker facility — estimated to cost $1.5 billion — would create more than 2,300 direct jobs in the Mountain State (see Shale Daily, May 6). Last December Bayer said it owned three sites in the Marcellus region of West Virginia that would be ideal locations for thermal cracker facilities (see Shale Daily, Dec. 23, 2010).