Austin starts Pathfinder plant

Starting up: Austin's gas processing plant at the Pathfinder project in Fremont County, Colorado

Australia-listed Austin Exploration has started production from the gas processing plant at its wholly-owned Pathfinder property, in the US state of Colorado.

The plant extracts heavy liquids from the gaseous product at the field and readies the wells to produce pipeline quality methane gas.

Austin said its Niobrara-1 horizontal well at Pathfinder produces roughly 8% to 10% heavy gases.

“This is a significant milestone in the large scale development of our flagship Pathfinder property in Colorado, as it delivers early stage revenue from the project,” Austin chief executive Mark Hart said on Monday.

“The successful installation of our processing plant is a critical component for the commercialisation of the significant amount of gas reserves contained within this property.”

Austin signed a gas infrastructure agreement with Texas-based Gas Processing of America (GPA) earlier this year covering the processing and sale of heavy gas from Pathfinder.

GPA provided the capital to install the processing plant, compression plant and the associated infrastructure required for gathering and processing heavy gas at the project.

GPA owns and operates the facilities and is responsible for transporting the gas, maintaining the plant and marketing and selling the gas.

Austin also revealed on Monday that discussions were progressing to install a main north-south gas pipeline to connect the Pathfinder field to the main Colorado interstate gas pipeline.

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