Kinder Morgan Energy and Copano Energy have entered into formal agreements for Eagle Ford Gathering, a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to provide gathering, transportation and processing services to natural gas producers in the Eagle Ford Shale resource play in South Texas.

Kinder Morgan and Copano have each increased their committed capacity from 150,000mmbtu to 375,000mmbtu per day to Eagle Ford Gathering for transportation on Kinder Morgan’s Laredo-to-Katy pipeline and processing at Copano’s Houston Central processing plant. Additionally, the JV expects the first phase of construction to extend beyond the original 22 miles previously announced.

In connection with the execution of the JV agreements, Copano and Kinder Morgan also amended and extended their existing straddle processing agreement and transportation agreement through the end of 2024.

According to the companies, representatives of Eagle Ford Gathering have been in negotiations with multiple producers regarding potential contracts for gathering, transportation and processing services. Copano will serve as operator and managing member of Eagle Ford Gathering.

Bruce Northcutt, president and CEO of Copano, said: “This project builds on the long-standing partnership between Copano and Kinder Morgan to capitalize on the strong and growing demand in South Texas.

“This new joint venture will provide producers in the western Eagle Ford Shale a new, fully integrated midstream alternative for their gathering, transportation, processing and fractionation needs, including access to multiple residue gas markets.”