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Natural Gas Processing Plants in the United States: 2010 Update

Release Date:  Jun 17, 2011

Regional Analysis

Midwestern and Eastern States

Midwestern and Eastern States

  • Midwestern and Eastern States combined accounted for about 13 percent of total U.S. processing capacity in 2009, accounting for the smallest portion of any region in the lower 48 States.
  • The combined processing capacity in these States more than doubled, although a few of the States saw decreased capacity compared with 2004.
  • Processing capacity in Illinois, Kansas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania fell since 2004, with the highest decrease occurring in Kansas, which saw a 65 percent drop in processing capacity. At the same time, the number of plants in Kansas decreased by four. The decrease was likely the result of falling natural gas proved reserves, which decreased in this State between 1995 and 2005. While the proved reserves have increased somewhat since 2005, it is likely that the currently available capacity is sufficient for natural gas production in the area.
  • Processing capacity in Arkansas increased more than tenfold since 2004, increasing from 67 MMcf per day to 710 MMcf per day. During the same time period, the number of plants in Arkansas decreased by a net of three plants.
  • Michigan also saw a significant increase in processing capacity since 2004, which more than doubled from 483 MMcf per day to 977 MMcf per day. As was the case in Arkansas, the increase in capacity occurred as the overall number of plants fell by six. In fact, seven of the ten States noted a decrease in the number of plants operating in 2009 compared with those operating in 2004.
  • Capacity utilizations in the Midwestern and Eastern States varied widely. For example, in Michigan, where the total capacity more than doubled since 2004, the capacity utilization of the plants was only 31 percent. In Arkansas, which saw a huge capacity expansion between 2004 and 2009, the utilization rate averaged 44 percent statewide.
  • In Oklahoma, where significant volumes of natural gas continue to be produced (and which has the highest capacity of any State in the Midwest and the East), average capacity utilization was almost 70 percent in 2009.
  • The average annual Btu content of natural gas processed in the Midwestern and Eastern plants ranged between 1,060 and 1,340.