MarkWest Energy Partners Announces Significant Long-Term Fee-Based Agreements With Chesapeake Energy And Antero Resources To Expand Its Marcellus Shale Midstream Facilities In West Virginia
The Majorsville expansion will increase MarkWest’s total processing capacity in the rich gas area of the Marcellus to more than 2.1 Bcf/d, essentially all of which is supported by long-term agreements with MarkWest’s producer customers. All of the natural gas liquids (NGLs) recovered at MarkWest’s four large Marcellus processing complexes in southwest Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia are or will be connected through MarkWest’s extensive NGL gathering system for delivery to its Houston, Pennsylvania fractionation, storage, and marketing complex. MarkWest previously announced that, to support its significant Marcellus expansions, it is constructing a second fractionation complex in Harrison County, Ohio, in conjunction with its Utica shale expansion and associated Utica shale joint venture. The Houston, PA and Harrison, OH fractionation complexes will be connected through MarkWest’s NGL gathering system to provide significant reliability, flexibility and critical downstream marketing options. Following the completion of its announced Marcellus and associated Utica gas gathering, processing and fractionation facilities, MarkWest and its affiliates will have the capacity to produce approximately 155,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of purity ethane and 120,000 Bbl/d of propane and heavier NGLs. This represents more than 10 percent of the total US supply of purity ethane and more than 5 percent of the total US supply of propane. The first phase of MarkWest’s purity ethane facilities are expected to come online in mid 2013 in conjunction with the completion of Mariner West, a pipeline project jointly developed by MarkWest and Sunoco Logistics L.P. (NYSE: SXL) to deliver Marcellus ethane to petrochemical markets in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
Both of the projects announced today were included in MarkWest’s previously announced 2012 capital investment estimates. MarkWest will discuss both projects in more detail at the Partnership’s first quarter earnings call.
“We are excited to expand our existing relationships with Chesapeake and Antero,” said Frank Semple, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “MarkWest continues to focus on providing best of class fully integrated midstream services that are critical to the rich-gas development in the northeast United States and we are pleased to further strengthen our leading midstream presence in the liquids-rich area of the Marcellus.”
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