It towers like a castle in the foothills southwest of Douglas. You can’t miss it, especially now that the flare is lit.
million Bucking Horse gas processing facility became operational last
week and began processing rich gas produced in Converse County.
The Bucking Horse plant, along with
the Jackalope Gas Gathering System, is owned through a 50/50 joint
venture partnership between Tulsa-based Williams Partners and
Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Partners.
The gathering and processing
facilities provide services under a long-term, fee-based agreement with
Chesapeake Energy. The Jackalope System includes approximately 184 miles
of low pressure gathering pipelines supported by a 311,000-acre area of
dedication from Chesapeake.
Located on 250 acres along Cold
Springs Road about a mile north of Chalk Buttes Road, the plant is the
first of two gas plants its owners announced in 2013 for the Douglas
The second, larger plant, which is
expected to cost $200 million, is planned for land west of WYO 59
northwest of Douglas, a little more than a mile southwest of Converse
County Airport near Single Road. Because its estimated construction cost
is more than $190 million, the second plant will have to earn the
blessing of the Wyoming Industrial Siting Council.
The Bucking Horse plant has the
capacity to process 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
Butane, ethane and propane are separated and methane is sent out via a
nearby existing interstate pipeline. Natural gas liquids and condensate
are stored on site and then trucked out. The company said that six to
eight trucks a day will load out of the facility.
The joint venture expects volumes
through the Bucking Horse plant to significantly ramp up throughout the
remainder of the first quarter of 2015, utilizing much of its capacity
as existing rich gas production is redirected from third-party
processing facilities and previously curtailed volumes along the
Jackalope System begin to flow.
“The Bucking Horse plant positions us
for additional and continued growth in the Niobrara Shale,” said Walter
Bennett, senior vice president, Williams’ West operating area. “Adding
this asset to the Williams portfolio enhances the services we provide to
Chesapeake. It also expands the existing Williams footprint in Wyoming
that includes over 2.2 billion cubic feet per day of combined processing
capacity at Opal and Echo Springs. I am very appreciative of the great
work by our entire Wyoming and Niobrara Shale team in coming together to
get this plant up and running.”
“We are pleased to complete the
Bucking Horse plant and provide additional processing capacity to the
underserved Powder River Basin Niobrara play,” said Heath Deneke,
president, natural gas business unit of Crestwood. “We look forward to
working with Williams as our joint venture partner and providing
Chesapeake with reliable gathering and processing services. The
completion of the Bucking Horse plant adds a substantial component to
Crestwood’s portfolio of fee-based contracts and provides additional
opportunities for long-term infrastructure development as production
from the emerging PRB Niobrara continues to increase.”