Range Resources nails first ethane sales contract for Marcellus shale

By OGJ editors

Range Resources Corp., Fort Worth, has executed the first ethane sales contract for its Marcellus shale gas in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The contract, between Nova Chemicals Corp., Calgary, and a unit of Range Resources, follows a binding open season for the Mariner West project (OGJ, June 6, 2011, p. 88).

Mariner West is a Marcellus shale ethane pipeline project being developed by Sunoco Logistics Partners LP and MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources LLC, a partnership between MarkWest Energy Partners LP and the Energy & Minerals Group.

Sunoco Logistics will move ethane through Mariner West from MarkWest's processing and fractionation in southwest Pennsylvania to the international border near Marysville, Mich., for further delivery into the Sarnia, Ont., petrochemical market.

Under the contract, initial deliveries of ethane are scheduled to begin in late 2013 with full delivery starting early 2014.

John Pinkerton, Range's chairman and CEO, called the contract an "important milestone” in development of the Marcellus shale. “After years of planning and studying alternative solutions, this project is the first in a series of projects expected to be built to service the growing liquids-rich” Marcellus.

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