Kinder Morgan, MarkWest Utica EMG to develop gas plant, pipeline

MarkWest Utica EMG formed a joint venture with Kinder Morgan to open a 1,100-mile natural gas liquids pipeline to the Gulf Coast, expand northern Ohio rich-gas processing capacity, and add Gulf Coast fractionation capacity.

Kinder Morgan and MarkWest will develop a 200,000 b/d C2+ NGL pipeline extending from a gas processing complex it plans to build in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, to Gulf Coast fractionation capacity. The pipeline will include 900 miles of converted existing Kinder Morgan line and about 200 miles newbuild. The pipeline would be expandable to 400,000 b/d. The companies expect the line to enter service in fourth-quarter 2015, pending sufficient shipper interest and regulatory approvals.

Kinder Morgan would own at least 75% of the pipeline and MarkWest would have the option to invest in as much as 25%.

The Tuscarawas complex will have an initial capacity of 200 MMcfd, expandable to 400 MMcfd. Kinder Morgan will convert a 65-mile segment of its existing 26-in. OD Tennessee Gas Pipeline into rich-gas gathering service in conjunction with the expansion. MarkWest will build additional rich-gas and NGL pipelines to connect the complex with its midstream infrastructure. The complex will serve new customers in Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties in northern Ohio. The JV will own the processing complex on a 50-50 basis.

The JV project will also focus on developing fractionation on the Gulf Coast, both new and third-party.

MarkWest also is installing of a 38,000 b/d de-ethanization plant at its Utica shale Seneca complex, expected to be operational as soon as fourth-quarter 2014.

MarkWest last month began operations at its 38,000 b/d Houston, Pa., de-ethanizer. The fractionator is producing purity ethane from Marcellus rich-gas production to supply the Mariner West pipeline, a joint project with Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, and future ethane-takeaway pipeline projects.

The company is expanding its Mobley gas processing complex in Wetzel County, W.Va., to support EQT Corp. and other producers’ rich-gas development. EQT has requested 145 MMcfd of additional priority capacity at the Mobley complex and MarkWest will build Mobley IV, a new 200 MMcfd gas processing plant scheduled to begin operations by first-quarter 2015. The new plant will bring Mobley’s total processing capacity 720 MMcfd.

MarkWest is also adding regional fractionation. By first-quarter 2014 it will install de-ethanization and de-propanization units totaling 20,000 b/d of capacity at the Keystone complex in Butler County, Pa. It expects a 38,000 b/d de-ethanization plant planned for the Sherwood complex in Doddridge County, W.Va., to be operational first-quarter 2015.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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