Eagle Ford Gathering LLC, a joint venture (JV) of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Copano Energy LLC, has struck a long-term agreement to provide natural gas gathering, transportation, processing and fractionation services to Anadarko E&P Co. LP in the Eagle Ford Shale, the companies said.

Eagle Ford Gathering’s previously announced 30-inch diameter pipeline in the western Eagle Ford Shale play is under construction and is expected to begin service in the third quarter. After fully subscribing its initial capacity of 375,000 MMBtu/d, the joint venture recently announced plans to construct 74 miles of additional pipelines that will enable it to deliver gas to Formosa Hydrocarbons Co. for processing (see Shale Daily, Jan. 10). The additional pipelines, which are expected to be completed by year end, will enable the JV to more fully utilize the 600 MMcf/d capacity of its 30-inch pipeline.

“Eagle Ford Gathering’s agreement with Anadarko represents a significant step toward full utilization of the joint venture’s newly expanded capacity,” said Copano Energy CEO R. Bruce Northcutt.

The JV is continuing discussions with other producers and is optimistic that it will fully subscribe the expanded project capacity “in the near future,” according to Kinder Morgan Intrastate Pipeline Group president Duane Kokinda.

Last month Copano said it planned to increase capacity to handle natural gas liquids associated with growing gas production from the Eagle Ford Shale (see Shale Daily, Jan. 19).