Caiman Energy LLC has announced completion of the Fort Beeler Processing Plant I, a cryogenic processing facility located in the Marcellus Shale formation near Cameron, W.Va. In connection with bringing online the plant’s 120-million-cubic-feet-per-day capacity, Caiman also announced execution of a definitive long-term agreement with Chesapeake Energy Corp. to process rich gas Chesapeake produces in Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia. Chesapeake is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the United States.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Caiman Energy to accelerate the development of this clean, abundant domestic resource,” says Jim Johnson. “The continued development of the Marcellus Shale is a significant step toward reduction of our country’s oil imports, the creation of thousands of high-paying jobs in the U.S., and the payment of significant local, state and federal taxes.”

Caiman’s total dedicated acreage in the rich gas Marcellus processing area of West Virginia’s Marshall and Wetzel counties have come to more than 160,000 acres. Including dedications in the lean gas areas of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Caiman now has close to 500,000 acres of Marcellus acreage dedicated to its midstream operations.

Drilling projections from numerous existing and potential customers have prompted Caiman to launch construction of a second cryogenic processing facility. The 200-million-cubic-feet-per-day capacity Fort Beeler Processing Plant II is expected to be complete by the end of 2011. Caiman also will explore construction of a third cryogenic processing facility with a capacity of 200 million cubic feet per day as early as the second quarter of 2011. Caiman has more than 60 miles of high-pressure, large-diameter pipeline in service in the Marcellus Shale, and an additional 60 miles of gas gathering lines under construction.

“We are very pleased with the significant scope and pace of our expansion in the Marcellus,” says Caiman Energy president and CEO Jack Lafield. “We are committed to meeting the needs of our dedicated producer base. There are 10 rigs currently running on dedicated acreage in our rich gas areas. To meet our customers’ expanding requirements for infrastructure, we expect to have total processing capacity of 520 million cubic feet per day online by the second half of 2012.”

Lafield says that by the end of 2011, “We expect to have invested more than $400 million for new infrastructure in the Marcellus Shale. Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia are home to some of the best rich gas resources in the entire play. We will continue to develop and grow our assets as drilling activity expands, driving increased requirements for gathering, processing, and access to high-value markets.”