Howard Midstream plans new gas plant, rail hub

Howard Midstream Energy Partners LLC will build a new natural gas plant in Webb County to process 200 million cubic feet of gas per day, as well as a logistics railroad hub at the new Live Oak Railroad in Live Oak County.

The company, which does business as Howard Energy Partners, announced the projects last week, which will total $100 million.

The Reveille natural gas processing plant and associated pipelines will tie into the Cuervo Creek gathering pipeline system that Howard Energy Partners acquired last March. Construction should start in April, with the facilities becoming operational in January 2014.

The company has signed long-term natural gas gathering and processing contracts with Escondido Resources II and Laredo Energy that support construction, but is seeking additional customers.

The railroad hub on 260 acres near Three Rivers will be able to handle manifest trains and unit trains carrying cargo that includes crude oil, condensate, water, pipe and sand for hydraulic fracturing. It will have access to multiple pipelines and the Union Pacific line that runs from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. The company is looking for tenants.

It started construction of the Live Oak Rail hub’s rail switch in January and expects to be ready to handle manifest trains in May.

Howard Energy Partners is a midstream energy company that owns and operates approximately 500 miles of natural gas pipelines, natural gas liquids processing plants, amine treating plants and related facilities in South Texas. The company primarily serves the Olmos, Escondido and Eagle Ford resource plays. It has offices in Houston, San Antonio, Three Rivers and Asherton.

“We currently operate approximately 500 miles of pipeline in the western Eagle Ford, delivering lean natural gas into domestic markets and Mexico, and gathering rich natural gas for processing,” said Mike Howard, chairman and CEO of Howard Energy Partners, in a press release. “As we continue to grow our business, we anticipate extending our midstream services into other plays and geographic areas when the time is right.”