HOUSTON, May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eagle Rock Energy Partners, L.P. (Nasdaq:EROC) (the "Partnership") announced today that it has entered into a new fee-based Gas Gathering, Processing and Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") with Monarch Natural Gas, LLC ("Monarch"), who has offices in Austin, Dallas, and Denver. As part of the Agreement, Monarch has dedicated to the Partnership, for further gathering and processing, all of its gathered natural gas volume from wells within an area encompassing more than 150,000 gross acres, located in Hemphill, Lipscomb and Ochiltree counties, Texas, under market-based terms. The underlying acreage covers the Granite Wash, Tonkawa, Marmaton and Cleveland plays in the Anadarko Basin of the Texas Panhandle. In the dedicated area in the Texas Panhandle, Monarch has a dedication of, and will construct all gathering lines to, existing and future wells from a major third party operator, gather the natural gas from all of these wells, and deliver the associated volumes to Eagle Rock at central delivery points for further gathering and processing by Eagle Rock. The Agreement provides for fee-based compensation to the Partnership and fixed recoveries on natural gas liquids for Monarch, and applies to all volume delivered by Monarch to Eagle Rock for further gathering and processing. This arrangement complements the capabilities of Eagle Rock's gathering and processing footprint in the Texas Panhandle. The associated Monarch deliveries will be gathered and processed at one or more of the Partnership's cryogenic processing plants in the Texas Panhandle. Eagle Rock's Texas Panhandle assets consist of approximately 6,500 miles of gathering pipeline and over 480 MMcf/d of high-efficiency processing capacity, with an additional 60 MMcf/d of processing capacity expected to come on-line in the second quarter of 2013 following the completion of Eagle Rock's previously announced Wheeler Plant. Since the third quarter of 2012 and including this new dedication and commitment from Monarch, the Partnership has successfully executed new long-term, fixed-fee commercial agreements associated with over 625,000 dedicated acres in the Texas Panhandle.