Drilling Down

XTO to Expand Butler County Cryo System

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., wants to expand its natural gas processing operation in Butler County, Pa., according to a recent filing with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

A notice published in the latest edition of The Pennsylvania Bulletin shows that XTO plans to construct and install a new natural gas plant capable of processing 125 million cubic feet of gas a day at its Penn Cryo facility.

The expansion would double the size of the existing operation in Penn Township, which processes gas from the Marcellus shale play. XTO has a long-term agreement with midstream provider MarkWest for that company to transport natural gas liquids through a pipeline connecting the Penn Cryo plant to MarkWest’s fractionation plant in Houston, Pa.

Cryogenic plants separate dry gas such as methane from heavier natural gas liquids. Those liquids are shipped to fractionation plants where they are processed into products such as ethane, butane and propane.

XTO holds more than 500,000 leasehold acres in Pennsylvania and about 46,000 acres in Butler County. The Penn Cryo was constructed in 2013 and is located roughly 45 miles southeast of the Mahoning County line in Ohio.

The expansion calls for the construction of a process heater, a backup process heater, process storage tanks, a gas processing plant and new roadways, according to the notice.

XTO has submitted air permits for the second plant, and DEP posted the notice on The Pennsylvania Bulletin in order to provide the public with a 30-day comment period.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.