MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. (MarkWest Utica), a joint venture between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (MarkWest) and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) today announced the completion of definitive agreements with Antero Resources (Antero) to provide processing, fractionation, and marketing services in the liquids-rich corridor of the Utica Shale.
Antero has over 60,000 net acres of leasehold in Ohio that holds rich gas and condensate resources in the Utica Shale Play. The company is currently running one drilling rig in the play and plans to add a second drilling rig in the second quarter of 2013. Antero is in the process of building the initial gathering infrastructure to move rich gas production to processing infrastructure to be located in Noble County, Ohio.
Under the terms of the agreements, MarkWest Utica will develop natural gas processing infrastructure located in Noble County, Ohio to process Antero’s rich gas Utica Shale production. MarkWest Utica will initially bring online an interim 45 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) refrigeration natural gas processing plant at its Seneca processing complex, with an expected second quarter 2013 completion date. This interim facility will be followed by Seneca I, a 200 MMcf/d cryogenic gas processing facility, which is expected to begin operations by the third quarter of 2013. The definitive agreements also provide for the construction of an additional facility, Seneca II, a 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing facility, which may be installed as soon as the end of 2013.
In addition to its Seneca processing complex, MarkWest Utica will construct an NGL gathering system to its Cadiz processing complex and on to a new fractionation and marketing complex both located in Harrison County, Ohio. The Cadiz processing complex will include a de-ethanization facility where purity ethane will be produced and delivered into the ATEX ethane pipeline. The propane and heavier natural gas liquids will then flow via pipeline to the Harrison County fractionator for further separation into valuable purity products. Together these facilities will represent the largest fractionation and marketing complex in the Utica Shale, providing 100,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of C2+ fractionation capacity with an expected completion date of first quarter 2014. Prior to the completion of the Harrison County fractionation complex and associated pipeline infrastructure, Antero NGLs produced at the Seneca complex may be transported to either MarkWest’s Houston, Pennsylvania fractionation and marketing complex or its Siloam fractionator located in South Shore, Kentucky.