Anadarko Petroleum Corp., a major player in the Eagle Ford Shale, has begun construction on a natural-gas processing plant in La Salle County, a company spokeswoman said this week.
Construction on the plant, to be known as the Brasada Gas Plant, already has begun on 156 acres about one mile south of Cotulla. “Through contractors managing construction of the plant, we anticipate up to 300 workers during peak construction of the site,” Anadarko’s Christina Ramirez said.
The plant is expected to begin operating in the second quarter of 2013, she said.
When complete, Ramirez said, the plant should employ about 20 workers. The plant’s cost wasn’t disclosed.
The facility initially will process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas liquids each day, Ramirez said, and can be expanded to handle as much as 400 million cubic feet per day.
“So that gives you an indication of the volume of resources that we’re finding down in the Eagle Ford Shale,” she said.
The Eagle Ford Shale is a 400-mile-long oil and natural gas play that sweeps from East Texas to counties south of San Antonio.
This year, Anadarko, based in The Woodlands, plans to increase its drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale and focus on higher-margin natural gas liquids, Ramirez said.
The company has identified more than 4,000 possible drilling sites, double the number of sites it originally envisioned, she said.
Anadarko’s plant “is a good deal all around,” said Leodoro Martinez Jr., executive director of the Middle Rio Grande Development Council, based in Carrizo Springs.
“First of all, there’s the actual construction, and the fact that they’re investing — and that will go on the tax rolls,” he said.
When the plant is completed, it will create permanent jobs, and “the permanent jobs are starting to add up,” Martinez said. “These are good-paying jobs that cause people to move into communities.”
Anadarko’s plant will use a “cryogenic” process in which temperatures as low as minus 160 degrees will aid in separating various valuable components of natural gas — such as butane and propane — so they can be extracted and sold.
Anadarko is one of the largest operators in the Eagle Ford Shale, with approximately 400,000 gross acres in Dimmit, La Salle, Maverick and Webb counties, Ramirez said.