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Growing natural gas production in West Virginia

MarkWest Energy Partners and Antero Midstream form joint venture.

Natural gas production continues to grow at The Sherwood Complex in Doddridge County, West Virginia.

The growth of the Sherwood gas processing facility is due to the joint venture formed by MarkWest Energy Partners and Antero Midstream. MarkWest provides the processing facilities and Antero supplies the natural gas.

In 2012, MarkWest began operating its first Sherwood Processing Facility. By 2014, MarkWest brought Sherwood’s fifth facility online.

The Sherwood Complex is currently the largest cryogenic processing plant in the northeastern United States. . .  and getting bigger!

Plans call to introduce three additional facilities in 2017 and 2018. This growth is an investment of roughly $300 million.

And that’s still not all. The MarkWest-Antero partnership is planning another cryogenic plant in West Virginia. The new plant will be about the same size as the current Sherwood Complex. Like Sherwood, the future plant will be able to process 1,200 mcf/day. One mcf is equal to approximately 1,000,000 British thermal units (Btus) of energy.

The new plant will be an investment of $600 million.

So what are all these facilities doing? Basically, they strip out the components in natural gas. Processing separates the gas from the various fluids and hydrocarbons, called natural gas liquids (NGLs). The NGLs such as ethane, butane and propane are valuable as raw materials for plastics, energy and other uses.

There are various methods that can be used to extract the components, but the Sherwood Complex uses cold temperatures. Very cold temperatures. Cryogenic processing goes as low as -120 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Sherwood Complex: Now that’s cool.


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