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Companies to invest $900 million in gas processing facilities, pipeline network

By Carol McIntire

Gas precessing facilities
Les Smith (right), vice president Business Development for Momentum, explains the route pipelines will follow through Carroll County that will move gas from a processing center near Kensington in Columbiana County to one near Scio in Harrison County, to Joe Myers during an open house last week in the Scio Fire Hall.

Plans for two new facilities to gather, process and fractionate natural gas from eastern Ohio wells was outlined last week.

Officials from a new venture known as UEO Buckeye (Utica East Ohio) a joint venture between three companies: Chesapeake, Momentum (M3 Midstream) and EverVest, were on hand in the Scio Fire Hall last Thursday with maps and information outlining the $900  million project. They also provided the same information earlier in the week to interested residents at United Local High School.

UEO Buckeye has entered into agreements with several Utica Shale producers to gather, process and fractionate their natural gas from wells located in eastern Ohio. The system will include a Kensington processing facility, located on SR 644, just across the Carroll County line in Columbiana County, and the Harrison Hub, located near the intersection of SR 332 and SR 151 at the edge of Scio in Harrison County. The two facilities will be connected by a natural gas gathering pipeline and a natural gas liquid (NGL) pipeline. The system has interconnects with several interstate transmission lines and natural gas liquids lines.

Les Smith, vice president Business Development for Momentum, the company that is building the facilities and pipeline system, said they will connect wells throughout eastern Ohio and allow the “wet gases” to be separated from the natural gas and be marketed separately.

“Liquid gas from the wells will be piped to the compressor station (located on Bay Rd. in Carroll County),” he said. “From there, a 24-inch pipeline will transport the raw gas to the Kensington Processing Complex. There, the liquids such as butane, ethane, propane and gasoline, are extracted by changing the temperature of the gas.”

He said at the Kensington facility, which is known as a Cryogenic processing facility, the gas will be subject to temperatures as low as -150 degrees Fahrenheit during the process to remove the natural gas liquids.

“The dry gas will be sold on the market to Dominion and Tennessee Gas and entered into pipelines near the facility,” Smith stated. “The natural gas liquids will then travel by pipeline to the Harrison Hub (known as Fractionation facility) where they will be separated, sold and shipped via pipeline, railroad and truck.”

The Kensington facility is being built on a 131-acre site partially visible from SR 644. The state-of-the-art facility will process 600 million cubic feet of gas per day. Smith said construction of the facility will involve 200-300 workers and 20-30 full-time employees when completed. Joe Meeks, who has 14-years experience in the business, will manage the Kensington facility.

The Harrison Hub is being constructed on 594 acres and will not be visible from any primary roads. The facility will fractionate 90,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids. Construction is expected to involve 300-400 workers at the peak stage and provide jobs for 25-35 full-time employees when completed (excluding rail operations). Mike Denton, also a veteran of the oil and gas industry, will manage the Harrison Hub. Both Weeks and Denton have relocated to the area from Colorado.

Smith said plans are to have both facilities online in May or June 2013. Construction is expected to begin in January on the pipeline project which will pass through several townships in Carroll County, including East, Fox, Lee, Loudon and Perry.

Smith said Momentum has developed more than 1,800 miles of pipeline, 10 processing and treatment facilities since its founding in 2004. They recently completed projects in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The company is based in Houston, TX and has operations in Durango, CO, and Canonsburg, PA.

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