There are more signs of progress and production along the Eagle Ford Shale play with a new natural gas processing plant being built along I-35 just south of Cotulla.
Anadarko Petroleum is building the plant on 400 acres of leases west of the highway and south of Carrizo Springs.
"This plant is the first of its kind in the Eagle Ford," said Craig Collins, commercial development manager for Anadarko.
The plant sits on about 150 acres.
Natural gas is piped from the fields to the plant to be processed. It first goes through a "slug catcher," which separates carbon dioxide and water.
The next step is the demethanizer, "the heart and soul of the cryogenics gas process,” Collins said.
The gas is cooled to negative 160 degrees so the methane gas can be separated from the liquids.
The gas then goes through a compressor.
The methane is shipped via pipeline to Corpus Christi to be sold on the market, while the liquids are sent to a plant east of Houston to be broken down even more before they are sold.
The state-of-the-art plant is eco-friendly. The compressors use electricity and since the gas is piped to and from the plant, few trucks are on the already busy highways.
The efficiency also is a key to production.
"Anadarko's Eagle Ford production right now is enough to produce enough energy to power over three million homes," Collins said.
When the plant goes online in a little over a month, it will be able to sustain that production and for them hopefully increase it.