US natural gas and gas liquids production has increased dramatically in recent years, driven in large part by output from tight geologic formations in Texas. In order to bring these resources to the marketplace, there is a constant need to build more gathering systems and pipelines.

Alleviating infrastructural bottlenecks is an ongoing challenge for the industry, something that Howard Energy aims to address by acquiring Meritage Midstream Services’ South Texas natural gas gathering assets.

“Adding the Eagle Ford Escondido and Cuervo Creek assets to our portfolio enhances our position in the prolific South Texas area,” said Mike Howard, Chairman and CEO of Howard Energy Partners.

As part of the transaction, Howard Energy will get 185 miles of Meritage pipeline assets, including the Eagle Ford Escondido Gathering System – which manages mostly dry gas – and the Cuervo Creek Gathering System, a wet gas stream.

Funding for the transaction is being facilitated by several companies, including Crosstex Energy, Quanta Services and Clear Springs Energy Company. GE Energy Financial Services is also acquiring a 30.6 percent stake in Howard energy, a deal expected to close in April.