MarkWest, Gulfport gear up Utica shale operations

MarkWest Utica EMG LLC has started up the 60 MMcfd Cadiz refrigeration plant in Harrison County, Ohio, supported by production from two Utica shale wells operated by Gulfport Energy Corp., Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, Gulfport reported strong gas and liquids flows from another Utica well that it hopes to connect to sales by the end of January 2013.

Gulfport said its Wagner 1-28H well and Boy Scout 1-33H wells in Harrison County are feeding the Cadiz plant. Wagner 1-28H had 28 frac stages in an 8,143-ft horizontal leg, and Boy Scout 1-33H had 22 frac stages in a 7,974-ft lateral.

MarkWest Utica said its partnership with Gulfport includes the development of extensive midstream infrastructure in Harrison, Guernsey, and Belmont counties, Ohio.

MarkWest Utica is building the Cadiz I cryogenic processing plant with a capacity of 125 MMcfd expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2013. A further 200 MMcfd facility, Cadiz II, is to be operational by the third quarter of 2013 to support Gulfport’s rapidly growing liquids-rich Utica production.

By the beginning of 2014, MarkWest Utica is expected to construct up to 140 miles of gathering pipeline and associated compression for Gulfport’s planned $215-225 million drilling program of 50 gross wells in 2013.

MarkWest Utica’s planned investment includes a deethanization facility at the Cadiz processing complex where purity ethane will be produced and delivered to Gulf Coast markets. The propane and heavier hydrocarbons will then flow via pipeline to the Harrison County fractionator for further separation into valuable purity products.

Together these facilities will represent the largest fractionation and marketing complex in the Utica shale, providing 100,000 b/d of C2+ fractionation capacity with an expected completion date in the first quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, Gulfport tested its Shugert 1-12H well in Belmont County following a 60-day rest period. Flow-tested for 48 hr, it reached an average sustained 18-hr rate of 28.5 MMcfd of gas and 300 b/d of condensate on a 32/64-in. choke with 4,208 psi flowing casing pressure. Shut-in casing pressure was 5,250 psi 12 hr after the test.

Assuming full ethane recovery, the 1,204-Btu rich gas is expected to yield an additional 102 bbl of natural gas liquids per million cubic feet and result in a natural gas shrink of 10%, Gulfport said. In ethane rejection mode, the composition is expected to yield 41 bbl of NGL/MMcf and result in a natural gas shrink of 2%.

Gulfport has 64,000 net acres in the Utica shale play. The company is running two rigs that have spudded 12 wells this year.

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