MarkWest Utica joint venture signs midstream agreement

By OGJ editors

MarkWest Utica EMG LLC, a joint venture of MarkWest Energy Partners LP, Denver, and Energy & Minerals Group, Houston, have signed agreements with Gulfport Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, to provide gathering, processing, fractionation, and marketing in the liquids-rich Utica shale in eastern Ohio.

Under the agreements, MarkWest Utica will develop natural gas gathering infrastructure primarily in Harrison, Guernsey, and Belmont counties that will come online in 2012. The JV anticipates MarkWest Utica will have about 60 miles of gas gathering pipelines and associated compression to move Gulfport gas by yearend 2012 and up to 140 miles of gathering pipelines by first-quarter 2014.

MarkWest Utica will process the gas at its Harrison County processing plant and provide NGL fractionation and marketing at the Harrison County fractionator, where NGL purity products will be marketed by truck, rail, and pipeline (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 88), the JV said.

MarkWest Utica will initially bring online an interim 40-MMcfd refrigeration natural gas processing plant at Harrison by this year’s third quarter. This interim plant will be followed by Harrison I, a 125-MMcfd cryogenic gas processing plant, which will begin operations by first-quarter 2013. An additional 200 MMcfd of cryogenic processing capacity for the Harrison processing complex could be installed as soon as 2013 to support growing Utica production.

In addition to its Harrison processing, MarkWest Utica is developing a second complex in Noble County. The JV will initially bring online an interim 45 MMcfd refrigeration natural gas processing plant by fourth-quarter 2012. The Noble interim plant will be followed by an additional 200 MMcfd cryogenic processing plant completed in mid-2013.

The Harrison and Noble processing complexes will be connected through an NGL gathering system to Harrison fractionation, which will include 100,000 b/d of C2+ fractionation capacity by first-quarter 2014. The Harrison fractionation complex will be connected through an expansion of MarkWest’s Marcellus NGL gathering system to its Houston, Pa., fractionation complex (OGJ, May 7, 2012, p. 104). The Houston and Harrison plants will be the largest fractionation complexes in the Northeast.

The Harrison fractionator will be owned jointly by MarkWest Liberty Midstream LLC and MarkWest Utica.

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