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Natural Gas Processing Plants in the United States: 2010 Update

Release Date:  Jun 17, 2011

National Overview

Processing Plant Utilization

Data collected for 2009 show that the States with the highest total processing capacity are among the States with the highest average utilization rates. This is to be expected as most of the plants are located in production areas that have been prolific for many years. In fact, the five States situated along the Gulf of Mexico accounted for nearly 49 percent of total processing volume in 2009.

The total utilization rate in the United States averaged 66 percent of total capacity in 2009 (Table 2). Plants in Alaska ran at 86 percent of total capacity during the year, the highest capacity utilization rate in the country. Texas had significant utilization capacity at 71 percent, for an average of 14 Bcf per day of natural gas in 2009. However, a number of States had low utilization rates, including Florida, Arkansas, and Michigan.

Twenty percent (92 of 493) of processing plants in the United States reported utilization rates in excess of 90 percent (Figure 3) during 2009, with 52 of those plants operating at maximum capacity throughout the year.

Table 2. Average Annual Flows and Utilization Rates for Processing Plants by State

 

Average Annual Flows
(Million Cubic Feet per Day)

Minimum Plant Utilization Rate

Maximum Plant Utilization Rate

Average Utilization Rate
(Percent)

 

2008

Percent of U.S. Total

 

 

 

Texas

14,020

27.3

3

100

71

Louisiana

10,462

20.4

3

100

56

Alaska

8,105

15.8

77

100

86

Wyoming

4,462

8.7

21

100

61

Colorado

2,934

5.7

15

100

77

Oklahoma

2,789

5.4

12

100

75

New Mexico

2,221

4.3

17

95

73

Illinois

1,601

3.1

35

76

76

Kansas

852

1.7

51

84

68

Alabama

746

1.5

32

80

60

Utah

728

1.4

22

100

61

Mississippi

688

1.3

29

67

30

California

557

1.1

2

100

64

West Virginia

382

0.7

70

91

82

Kentucky

217

0.4

40

92

75

Michigan

182

0.4

5

100

19

North Dakota

158

0.3

33

94

80

Montana

89

0.2

27

88

54

Pennsylvania

36

0.1

43

89

70

Arkansas

27

0.1

3

90

4

Florida

20

0.0

22

22

22

Tennessee

16

0.0

64

64

64

TOTAL U.S.

51,289

100.0

2

100

66

Note: Average utilization rates are based on 2008 flows and 2009 capacity, which were used as a proxy for 2009 and reported 2009 capacity reported on Form EIA-757.
Source: Energy Information Administration, Office of Oil and Gas. Data in the table are based on information collected on Form EIA-757, Natural Gas Processing Survey, Schedule A.


Figure 3. Natural Gas Processing Plant Utilization Rates Based on 2008 Flows
Figure 3. Natural Gas  Processing Plant Utilization Rates Based on 2008 Flows

Note: Average utilization rates are based on 2008 flows and 2009 capacity, which were used as a proxy for 2009 and reported 2009 capacity reported on Form EIA-757.
Source: Energy Information Administration, Office of Oil and Gas. Processing plant count and capacities are based on 2009 data collected on Form EIA-757, Natural Gas Processing Survey, Schedule A.