MarkWest starts Marcellus, Utica cryo plants

MarkWest Energy Partners LP, Denver, has begun operations at two new cryogenic gas processing plants serving shale production in the Marcellus and Utica plays in West Virginia and Ohio.

In the Marcellus, the company has started up Majorsville V, a 200-MMcfd plant at the complex in Marshall County, W.Va. The new plant supports rich-gas production from Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Statoil ASA and increases total processing capacity at Majorsville to 670 MMcfd (OGJ Online, Sept. 16, 2009)

In the Utica shale, MarkWest Utica EMG LLC, a joint venture between MarkWest and the Energy and Minerals Group (EMG), has started up its first cryogenic gas processing plant at the Seneca complex in Noble County, Ohio.

Plans

MarkWest continues to expand midstream operations throughout the Northeast and currently has 21 major processing and fractionation projects under construction, said the company in a wrap-up of its recent activity and plans.

These projects are occurring at eight large complexes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and will increase MarkWest’s total processing capacity to more than 4 bcfd and total fractionation capacity to nearly 300,000 b/d by yearend 2014.

At Majorsville, MarkWest said it expects to complete an additional 200-MMcfd plant during first-quarter 2014 and will bring on a sixth plant there in early 2016. Completing these plants will bring the complex to more than 1 bcfd of capacity.

Also, over the next month, MarkWest will bring online at Majorsville its second large de-ethanizer in the Marcellus, doubling the company’s purity ethane fractionation capacity to 78,000 b/d in the play. Ethane produced at the new Majorsville fractionation plant will initially be delivered into the Mariner West pipeline and, later, to the ATEX and Mariner East pipeline projects (OGJ Online, Aug. 9, 2013).

In Ohio, the 200-MMcfd Seneca I plant will be followed by a second 200-MMcfd plant by yearend and a third 200-MMcfd plant by second-quarter 2014 (OGJ Online, May 31, 2013).

The Seneca complex is MarkWest Utica EMG’s second major processing complex in the Utica. By yearend 2014, total processing capacity in Ohio will reach almost 1 bcfd.

The Seneca complex is supported by long-term, fee-based contracts with several producers, said the announcement. Antero Resources Corp. will anchor the complex, and it will also support rich-gas development by Gulfport Energy Corp., Rex Energy Corp., PDC Energy Inc., Consol Energy Inc., and others.

The Seneca complex is connected to MarkWest Utica EMG’s Cadiz complex in Harrison County, Ohio, by a high-pressure rich-gas header system.

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