The surge in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) production in the Permian is driving a massive buildout of midstream infrastructure designed to move the hydrocarbons to end-use markets. On the gas processing front, there are literally dozens of projects announced or in the planning phase that are scheduled to start up over the next two years. Some are small projects aimed at a few producers, while others are set to significantly expand processing capacity and affect large areas of the basin’s gas gathering and transmission network. Today, we discuss Vaquero Midstream’s ambitious Delaware Basin gathering and processing projects.
We last looked at Permian gas gathering and processing infrastructure in Part 3 of our Waha Hub blog series, “It Was Good Living With You, (W)aha.” In that blog, we reviewed the Agua Blanca pipeline and how it fits in with the development of more than 5 Bcf/d of natural gas processing capacity in the basin. Keeping up with the myriad of infrastructure changes taking place in Permian midstream is a challenge, so we never miss a chance to dive deeper into the key projects underway in the basin. Today, we look at another intra-basin pipeline built to aggregate large quantities of gas to Waha: Vaquero’s Lariat pipeline and the associated Caymus processing facility.
Vaquero (from the Spanish for cowboy and horse training where building willing partners is paramount) is a private-equity funded midstream company formed to develop natural gas gathering and processing assets in the Permian. Its first project is located within the central and southern Delaware Basin, and it’s a big one. The company’s midstream assets span 100 miles in Texas’s Reeves, Loving, Ward and Pecos counties and include all the essential pieces needed to gather and process a portion of the rich natural gas being produced in the Delaware Basin as a byproduct of oil-directed drilling. The Vaquero system is shown in Figure 1 and consists of the following infrastructure:
- Rich gas gathering pipelines and the 24- and 30-inch-diameter Lariat gathering pipeline (long brown line), capable of transporting 1.0 Bcf/d and expandable with future compression;