Processing plants in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region are a critical component of the drilling picture that frankly is holding up further development right now. Without the ability to separate “wet gas” (gas containing compounds in addition to methane, like ethane, butane, propane and pentane), drillers in wet gas areas are either drilling and capping their wells, or not drilling them in the first place. All eyes are on infrastructure projects like the processing plant in Natrium, WV being built by Blue Racer Midstream, a joint venture between Dominion and Caiman Energy.
The $500 million Natrium plant was due to be finished last December. Then the start-up date was changed to be “late spring” of this year (see Natrium, WV NGL Plant Behind Schedule, Will Open “Late Spring”). It’s almost summer and the plant is still not open. However, the signs point to an imminent start: