In early December 2013, MarkWest doubled its purity ethane fractionation capacity in the Marcellus to 76,000 Bbl/d with the startup of its second de-ethanization facility. The new facility is located at the Majorsville complex and will provide the Partnership’s producer customers’ with the ability to consistently meet residue gas quality specifications and deliver downstream ethane pipeline commitments. In conjunction with the commencement of de-ethanization services at Majorsville, MarkWest’s previously announced Liberty Ethane Pipeline became operational. The Liberty Ethane Pipeline transports purity ethane from the Majorsville complex to the Houston complex in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Once delivered at Houston, the purity ethane has direct access to multiple, major ethane takeaway projects including, Mariner West and ATEX, which began operations in December, and Mariner East, which is scheduled to come online in 2014. MarkWest is the first midstream operator in the Northeast to offer its producer customers the ability to recover and produce purity ethane and provide transportation infrastructure to all announced ethane pipeline takeaway projects. Ethane produced in the Northeast has the potential to become a key driver for the future expansion of the global petrochemical industry.
In the Utica Shale, MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. (“MarkWest Utica EMG”) a joint venture between MarkWest and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) commenced operations of the Seneca complex in Noble County, Ohio. The Seneca complex is currently comprised of two processing plants totaling 400 MMcf/d, which support rich-gas Utica production from Antero, PDC Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDCE), Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX), and others. The Seneca complex is MarkWest Utica EMG’s second large-scale processing complex in the Utica Shale and represents the southernmost assets included in its fully-integrated midstream system spanning a five-county region of eastern Ohio. The system is comprised of hundreds of miles of low- and high-pressure gathering pipeline, nearly 600 MMcf/d of gas processing services, natural gas liquids (NGL) transportation infrastructure, and most recently, a new world-class NGL fractionation facility.