XTO Energy Inc.’s natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery facility in Butler County, PA, has entered service processing wet gas from Marcellus and Utica shale drilling in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The company, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corp., said the 340-acre facility “is the first of its kind for XTO in the Appalachia region.” The plant includes 40 miles of connecting pipeline and two compressor stations designed to treat about 125 MMcf/d.

“The facility will add value to XTO and Butler County,” Tim McIlwain, said XTO senior vice president for production operations. “It allows valuable liquids to be separated from natural gas and provides economic growth in southwestern Pennsylvania.”

XTO said the facility employed 170 local and regional contractors at the site during the peak of construction. The company said its new facility will create 15 permanent jobs.

“We’re very happy with XTO, quite honestly, because they’re very good community partners,” Butler County Chamber of Commerce President Stan Kosciuszko told NGI’s Shale Daily on Tuesday. “We’re very pleased with how XTO has handled themselves. They’re sensitive to our needs, the marketplace and their industry.”

According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and NGI’s Shale Daily calculations, XTO Energy is the second largest unconventional gas producer in Butler County. During the second half of 2012, XTO produced 1.1 Bcf of unconventional gas.

Last summer, MarkWest Energy Partners LP agreed to extend its NGL gathering pipeline in northwest Pennsylvania to the new XTO facility (see Shale Daily, Aug. 2, 2012). Financial terms were not disclosed, but MarkWest said the agreement was long-term and fee-based.

XTO holds more than 417,000 acres in Pennsylvania, including more than 46,000 net acres in Butler County. The company has drilled 50 wells in Butler County in the past four years. Rex Energy Corp., Phillips Exploration Inc. and Shell Oil Co. subsidiary SWEPI LP are also active there (see Shale Daily, Dec. 30, 2011).