Blue Racer Midstream LLC has commissioned a second cryogenic processing plant at its Berne Natural Gas Processing Complex in Monroe County, Ohio.
Known as Berne II, the new facility has 200 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of nameplate capacity, bringing Blue Racer’s total processing capacity in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays to 800 MMcf/d. Two 200 MMcf/d plants are now in service at the Berne Complex, and two additional 200 MMcf/d plants are in service at Blue Racer’s Natrium Natural Gas Processing and Fractionation Complex in Marshall County, West Virginia. A 30-mile, Y-Grade pipeline connects the Berne Complex to Natrium. Fractionation capacity at Natrium has been expanded to 123,000 barrels per day (bpd), enough to serve at least six 200 MMcf/d cryogenic plants. Blue Racer expects to install and commission a fifth processing plant in the first half of 2016 to meet growing customer demand for additional capacity.
Over the course of the past year, Blue Racer’s processed volumes have more than tripled to their current level of 650 MMcf/d, while total gathered volumes, including lean gas, have more than doubled to over 825 MMcf/d.
Blue Racer has long-term service agreements with 14 of the leading natural gas producers in the Utica and Marcellus shales, according to a June 24 company statement. Acreage dedications to Blue Racer’s Super System total approximately 200,000 acres, and volumetric commitments total approximately 380 MMcf/d. Services include natural gas gathering, compression and processing; condensate handling; and the fractionation, storage, transportation and marketing of natural gas liquids.
Dedications to Blue Racer are supported by the most extensive rich gas gathering system in the Utica. The gathering network consists of approximately 650 miles of gathering pipeline spanning 13 Ohio counties, from Trumbull County in the north to Washington County in the south. The gathering system also extends into Wetzel County, West Virginia. An additional 200 miles of gathering lines are under construction. Blue Racer recently completed a major expansion into Washington County, Ohio, an area in the extreme southern portion of the Utica. The 17-mile Washington County Connector is a 20-inch, high-pressure pipeline that connects Washington County production to Blue Racer’s Berne facility. The line has the capacity to transport approximately 400 MMcf/d and positions Blue Racer to be the midstream provider of choice in this developing part of the Utica.
“Blue Racer has a very high-quality producer base, and we are excited to support the ongoing success of these outstanding operators in the most prolific areas of the Utica,” said Blue Racer CEO Stephen Arata. “The beauty of Blue Racer’s Super System is in the strategic placement of assets, which provides optionality and coverage. We have the ability to pick up gas virtually anywhere in the Utica, get it to one of our facilities for processing and deliver residue gas and purity products to multiple markets. We continue to make significant expansions to our network by positioning assets where our producers need them to achieve connectivity to major residue markets, optionality for liquids and the best possible price realizations. Despite the downturn, in just the past year we have doubled our processing capacity and nearly tripled fractionation capacity in response to our customers’ needs. We’re excited about the continued growth of the region and Blue Racer’s ongoing contribution.”
Formed in December 2012, Blue Racer Midstream is a joint venture between Caiman Energy II LLC and Dominion to provide midstream services to producers in the Utica and Marcellus shale. Services include natural gas gathering, compression and processing; condensate handling; and the fractionation, storage, transportation and marketing of natural gas liquids.