A new gas processing facility has been commissioned in Converse County, Wyoming, adding 120 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of processing capacity in the Powder River Basin (PRB) Niobrara Shale play.

The Bucking Horse gas processing plant is owned by joint venture partners Williams Partners L.P. and Crestwood Midstream Partners L.P., who also own the Jackalope Gas Gathering System.

The partners said on Thursday that they expect volumes through the Bucking Horse facility to significantly ramp-up in the next few weeks as existing rich gas production is redirected from third-party processing facilities and previously curtailed volumes along the Jackalope System begin to flow.

The gathering and processing facilities provide services under a long-term, fee-based agreement with Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

The Jackalope System includes about 184 miles of low-pressure gathering pipelines supported by a 311,000-acre area of dedication from Chesapeake.

"Adding this asset to the Williams portfolio enhances the services we provide to Chesapeake," commented Walter Bennett, senior vice president of Williams' West operating area. "It also expands the existing Williams footprint in Wyoming that includes over 2.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf) of combined processing capacity at Opal and Echo Springs."

Heath Deneke, president of Crestwood's natural gas business unit, said that the completion of the Bucking Horse plant provides additional opportunities for long-term infrastructure development as production from the emerging PRB Niobrara Shale play continues to increase.