Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP announced two projects in Freeport, TX, for its Gulf Coast pipeline and hydrogen/syngas businesses. The first project went on-line in March and has increased the supply of hydrogen purification and compression capacity to Air Liquide’s hydrogen pipeline system. The second project is expected to go online in 2014 and involves the construction of a new liquid oxygen storage and vaporization facility at the Freeport air separation unit complex to supply oxygen to the Gulf Coast pipeline network. This new installation represents an increase of nearly 25% over current storage and vaporization capacities on the networkd. Hydrogen gas is used by refiners to produce cleaner burning fuels, among other industrial uses. Government regulations calling for reductions in fuel emissions have increased demand for hydrogen. Growth in industrial gas demand is also anticipated as a result of the cost advantages resulting from low-priced natural gas, the company said.

Dallas-based Matador Resources Co. recently acquired 9,617 gross (7,446 net) acres in Lea and Eddy counties, NM, for $11.3 million, doubling its leasehold interests in the Delaware Basin and giving the company 25,477 gross (15,117 net) acres in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas. Matador said it considers 17,795 gross (13,049 net) acres of its holdings to be prospective for the Wolfcamp, Bone Spring and other oil- and liquids-rich targets and expects to begin testing this acreage beginning in late April. “We expect to continue adding to our acreage position in this area as opportunities become available and anticipate this area will become another key operating area for Matador in the near future,” said CEO Joseph Foran. Matador grew its production nearly eight-fold last year to just over 1.2 million bbl (see Shale Daily, March 15).

CenterPoint Energy Inc. unit CenterPoint Energy Bakken Crude Services LLC (CEBCS) has struck a long-term agreement with XTO Energy Inc. for a new crude oil gathering and transportation system in the Bakken Shale. CEBCS will provide service to XTO, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corp., in exchange for volume commitments on a new gathering system to be built in Dunn and McKenzie counties, ND. The system will have a gathering capacity of up to 19,500 b/d.