Laurel Mountain Midstream LLC
Laurel Mountain Midstream LLC is a natural gas gathering and processing joint venture (JV) announced in April, 2009 between Williams Companies Inc and Atlas Pipeline Partners L.P. owned 51% by the former. Williams was said to have contributed $100 million in cash as well as a $25.5 million note. Atlas signed over its pipeline gathering system in Western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia used for transporting Marcellus shale production from the well head. Two Atlas gas processing plants and their connecting pipelines in southwestern Pennsylvania were also sold to the JV for $12 million.
Atlas' gathering system consists of 1,800 miles of pipelines connecting 6,900 gas wells with a throughput in excess of 100 million cf/d.
The JV closed June 1, 2009. Williams was to be responsible on an ongoing basis for operating it, and to oversee the expansion of pipeline infrastructure anticipated in the region by Atlas and other gas production companies.
In November, 2009 a press release reported curtailment of 13 Mmcfe/d (3 Mmcfe/d net) of Atlas Energy production during the third quarter of 2009 due a shutdown for upgrades being conducted by Laurel Mountain on its Stewart Plant in Washington County, PA and high pressures on its legacy gathering system. This had caused a delay in fracing and completing several of Atlas' vertical and horizontal wells. The Stewart Plant was to go back in service within a week or so of the report. It was to have a daily capacity of 10.5 Mmcf/d. Laurel planned to bring a second plant online by the end of 2009 with a capacity of 15 Mmcfe/d. Atlas had six horizontal and three vertical wells shut-in behind these two plants. Atlas had also drilled and cased five more horizontal wells, but held up fracing them until the added capacity became available.
To address the high-pressure issues in its legacy gathering system, Laurel had implemented three looping peojects in Greene and Fayette counties which were to come online during the second and third quarters of 2010 and add 30 Mmcf/d of capacity to the system. Laurel was also in the process of building a large diameter gathering system that was eventually to be able to transport 500 Mmcf/d in the southwestern Pennsylvania counties of Greene, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland. This expansion was to come online in various stages between 2010 and 2011. However, deliveries into the first stage of the project were scheduled for the third quarter of 2010.
- Daryl Grieger is Laurel Mountain's Regional Vice President and General Manager.