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Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) and Targa Resources Partners LP (NYSE: NGLS) today announced they have signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture to construct new natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation facilities at Mont Belvieu, Texas, to provide services for producers in the Utica and Marcellus Shale resource plays in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
In order to allow producers and shippers sufficient time to assess their Gulf Coast fractionation and pipeline needs, a binding open season currently under way for the Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP), a proposed joint venture between MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. and KMP, will be extended until Feb. 28, 2014. The UMTP will involve the abandonment and conversion, subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, of over 1,000 miles of KMP’s existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline system, currently in natural gas service, from Mercer, Pa., to Natchitoches, La., and building approximately 200 miles of new pipeline from Natchitoches to Mont Belvieu for fractionation. The facilities will be located adjacent to Targa’s existing fractionation facilities at Mont Belvieu and will provide fractionation services for customers of UMTP of up to approximately 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), and potentially serve up to 400,000 bpd of maximum pipeline capacity over time.
“The joint venture with Targa will provide our NGL pipeline customers with a fully integrated NGL solution from the tailgate of their processing plants in Utica and Marcellus to the ultimate consumer of the purity products along the Gulf Coast,” said Don Lindley, president of Natural Gas Liquids for KMP. “Targa’s market connectivity, storage, and expertise in fractionation and in LPG export infrastructure and services on the Gulf Coast may provide the Utica and Marcellus producers with maximum value and optionality at the largest NGL hub in the United States.”
“We are pleased to team up with Kinder Morgan to offer Utica and Marcellus pipeline customers the opportunity to obtain fractionation and related services at our expanding Mont Belvieu complex,” said Joe Bob Perkins, Chief Executive Officer of Targa. “We believe that this fractionation joint venture in combination with the Kinder Morgan and MarkWest Utica EMG pipeline project provides a solid long-term liquids solution for production growth in the Utica and Marcellus.”