Honeywell‘s UOP business is buying a 70% stake in Thomas Russell Co., a privately held provider of technology and equipment for natural gas processing and treating. UOP provides process technology, materials and equipment to petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. It will now be able to offer a range of technologies and products that allow shale and conventional natural gas producers to remove contaminants from natural gas and recover high-value natural gas liquids (NGL). Founded in 2002, Tulsa, OK-based Thomas Russell specializes in the design, engineering, fabrication and start-up of skid-mounted modular packaged plants systems for the recovery and upgrading of NGLs. UOP is paying $525 million in cash for the interest and has a right to acquire the remaining 30% stake. Closing, subject to conditions, is expected during the fourth quarter.

1st NRG Corp. said it has a letter of intent with an undisclosed third party to begin exploring for oil and natural gas on about 7, 150 acres in the eastern Ohio portion of the Utica Shale. The Denver-based exploration and production (E&P) company said it plans to drill a test well to earn the rights to offsetting locations and “to earn all depths below the Second Berea Sand, which in addition to the Utica Shale may also include other formations such as the Marcellus Shale, Clinton Sandstone, Trenton Limestone, Black River, Beekmantown Dolomite and Rose Run.” A 1st NRG spokesman told NGI’s Shale Daily that a test well drilling site had not been determined. The company owns a working interest in producing and prospective coalbed methane wells in the Clabuagh Ranch Field, a 6,025-gross acre development in the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming. The E&P said it is looking to expand into eastern Ohio to develop oil, natural gas and NGL prospects.