Gas plants to aid Utah Natural Buttes growth

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Nov. 7 -- Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s midstream unit plans to start up around Dec. 1 the 250 MMcfd Chapita gas processing plant west of Bonanza in giant Natural Buttes gas field in Uintah County in northeastern Utah.

A lateral under construction will transport liquids that the new refrigeration plant extracts from the field's gas to the Mapco natural gas liquids pipeline in western Colorado for shipment to Mont Belvieu, Tex., for fractionation.

Anadarko currently delivers 300 MMcfd from the Uinta basin into various dew point control facilities and plants operated by others. Most of this will be diverted to Chapita when the new plant starts up.

A second 250 MMcfd plant has been ordered. It is in early stages of fabrication and scheduled for delivery in mid-2008 and start-up in first quarter 2009. A third train with a capacity of 250 MMcfd or larger is being considered. The second and third trains will be cryogenic units.

Processed gas from the Chapita plant will move through the 400 MMcfd Kanda lateral, operated by El Paso Western Pipelines and owned by Wyoming Interstate Co., to the Colorado Interstate Gas mainline for transport out of the Rockies, Anadarko said.

Anadarko also is optimizing its Natural Buttes gas gathering system, which consists of 750 miles of pipe with 40 compressors totaling 47,000 hp at 23 sites. More than 1,400 wells are connected, and more than 200/year are being hooked up.

Anadarko's 2007 drilling program alone called for the drilling of 280 development wells in Natural Buttes field, where the company holds 225,000 net acres, has eight operated and three nonoperated rigs running, and has identified nearly 5,000 drillsites. Drilling exploits Cretaceous Mesaverde zones and explores deeper potential.

The Natural Buttes gathering system handled 280 MMcfd of Anadarko gas and 20 MMcfd of third party gas in 2006, and its expansion will allow Anadarko Midstream to aggressively pursue adding third party volumes.

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