By Pittsburgh Business Times

EQT Corp. will sell its Langley, Ky., natural gas processing complex and liquids pipeline to MarkWest Energy Partners L.P. for $230 million, the companies announced today.

Colorado-based MarkWest (NYSE: MWE) plans to add another cryogenic processing plant to the complex when it takes over after the deal closes, expected during the first quarter of this year. The Langley plant processes EQTâ¿¿s natural gas liquids recovered from its reserves in the Huron/Berea shale and its Marcellus Shale development in West Virginia.

EQTâ¿¿s President and CEO David Porges said the sale is part of the companyâ¿¿s strategy to devote more of itself to natural gas extraction rather than processing.

Backing that up, the Pittsburgh-based company also released its capital budget today. This yearâ¿¿s capital expenses will total $970 million, a 19 percent drop from 2010, EQT said, also predicting a 31 percent spike in natural gas sales.

Since 2007, EQT (NYSE:EQT) has been spending more and more of its capital budget on natural gas development, with its midstream component becoming a smaller part of the equation.

For 2011, the breakdown between production and midstream spending is $691 million and $244 million respectively, with another $35 million for distribution.

The company plans to drill 86 Marcellus Shale wells this year and continue work on its expansion of the Equitrans pipeline to accommodate its production growth.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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