MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest” or “the Partnership”) announced today a major expansion of midstream infrastructure at its Keystone complex in Butler County, Pennsylvania, to support growing rich-gas production from the Marcellus Shale and Upper Devonian formations. The expansion will be supported by new agreements with Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX) (“Rex Energy”) and EdgeMarc Energy (“EM Energy”). As part of these agreements, MarkWest will construct Bluestone III and IV, both of which are 200 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) plants that are expected to begin operations during the fourth quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016, respectively. In addition, the Partnership will construct 40,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of additional de-ethanization capacity and over 20,000 Bbl/d of additional propane and heavier NGL fractionation capacity.
The Keystone complex currently consists of the Bluestone processing and fractionation complex and the Sarsen processing facility which combined currently provide 210 MMcf/d of processing capacity and 26,500 Bbl/d of fractionation capacity. The Keystone complex is anchored by Rex Energy and in May 2014, MarkWest began operations of the 120 MMcf/d Bluestone II plant and 10,000 Bbl/d each of ethane and propane plus fractionation capacity to continue supporting Rex Energy’s growing rich-gas production. In addition to the new Bluestone processing and fractionation plants, the Partnership completed a 32 mile purity ethane pipeline connecting the Bluestone facility to Sunoco’s Mariner West pipeline project.
In conjunction with additional processing and fractionation infrastructure, MarkWest continues to develop its rich-gas gathering system throughout Butler County and surrounding areas in order to support the growth of its producer customers’ production.
“Our expansion of the Keystone complex is very strategic to producer activity in Beaver, Butler and surrounding counties and we are very excited to continue building our strong relationship with Rex and begin supporting EdgeMarc,” stated Frank Semple, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “Since our acquisition of the Keystone assets over two years ago, volumes continue to increase significantly and we are leading the development of full-service midstream services in the highly prospective rich-gas areas of the northwest Marcellus.”