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DCP Midstream divests helium plant, gathering system to Tumbleweed Midstream

DCP Midstream LP sold its Ladder Creek helium plant and gathering system to privately-held Tumbleweed Midstream LLC for an unknown amount.

The Ladder Creek plant and system serve natural gas producers in eastern Colorado and western Kansas, where production has a high helium content, according to a Jan. 8 news release. The plant, located near Cheyenne Wells, Colo., has a processing capacity of 40 MMcf/d, and it has the potential to be expanded to 50 MMcf/d. It can also extract and liquefy 1.5 MMcf/d of helium and produce NGLs and residue gas. The Ladder Creek system has about 730 miles of pipeline and is supported by long-term acreage dedications.

Tumbleweed was formed in late 2019 to operate the Ladder Creek plant and gathering system. It is underpinned by capital commitments from its management and founders. The company is headed by CEO Durell Johnson, who previously served as Stakeholder Midstream LLC's senior vice president of engineering and operations.

"The U.S. is the world's largest helium producer. At the same time, the world supply of helium is suffering from a multiyear shortfall. This has boosted prices for natural gas with a high helium content ..." Johnson said in the release. "The helium is there, it's highly valuable, and by extracting it Tumbleweed can return premium netbacks to the producers in the region."

The companies have not disclosed other details of the transaction.