Utica processing, fractionation near completion; more planned

Major cryogenic processing and NGL fractionation will come on stream in eastern Ohio late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter to handle Utica shale natural gas and liquids, with another plant planned for 2014.

M3 Midstream LLC (Momentum), Houston, is building the two plants at an estimated cost of $900 million and will operate both.

Under construction near Kensington in southern Columbiana County, Ohio, is a 600-MMcfd cryogenic plant. Near Scio, south of Kensington in northern Harrison County, Momentum is building a 90,000-b/d fractionator (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 88). The plants will be connected with 60 miles of 12-in. gas pipeline and 24-in. NGL pipeline.

Momentum Executive Vice-Pres. George Francisco told OGJ the Kensington plant will operate three trains of 200 MMcfd each. The 5.5-gal/Mcf feed gas will have limited carbon dioxide, and he expects 90% ethane recovery and 96+% of the heavier NGLs once the plant is fully operating.

Kensington’s NGL output will match the 90,000 b/d fractionator being installed in two 45,000-b/d units. Production for these plants will come from Chesapeake Energy Corp., Total E&P USA, and EV Energy Partners LP.

Francisco confirmed that Momentum plans a third, 200-MMcfd cryogenic gas plant near Leesville in southwestern Carroll County but declined to name an estimated cost. Liquids from the Leesville plant will flow via a 24-in. line to the new fractionator in Harrison County, to which will be added a third 45,000-b/d unit.

The company will begin construction there in this year’s third quarter and aim for start-up in second-quarter 2014.

Contact Warren R. True at warrent@ogjonline.com.

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