KMEP, MarkWest launch open season for Utica, Marcellus NGL

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMEP) and MarkWest Utica EMG LLC have started a binding open season to solicit commitments for a proposed Y-grade pipeline project to transport natural gas liquids produced from the Utica and Marcellus shales to Mont Belvieu, Tex.

The pipeline will have an initial design capacity of 150,000 b/d and would be expandable to 400,000 b/d with the addition of pump stations, and is projected to be in service in second-quarter 2016. The open season concludes Dec. 20.

The pipeline requires converting more than 1,000 miles of KMEP’s 24-in. and 26-in. Tennessee Gas Pipeline system, currently in natural gas service, from Mercer, Pa., to Natchitoches, La. Two hundred miles of new pipeline of similar diameter will be built from Natchitoches to a proposed KMEP-MarkWest Utica joint venture fractionation facility with a third party that has facilities at Mont Belvieu.

In August 2012, MarkWest Energy Partners said it would add more than 600 MMcfd of processing capacity for the Marcellus and Utica, along with 140,000 b/d of fractionation, resulting in the capacity to operate 2.3 bcfd of processing and 300,000 b/d of fractionation for Northeast US shale plays (OGJ Online, Feb. 1, 2012). Operations began last week on two new cryogenic gas processing plants serving shale production in the Marcellus and Utica (OGJ Online, Nov. 8, 2013).

MarkWest Utica is a joint venture of MarkWest Energy Partners LP and Energy & Minerals Group.

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