MarkWest Utica Announces Completion of Definitive Agreements with Gulfport Energy Corporation to Construct Midstream Infrastructure in the Utica Shale
MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. , a joint venture between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) focused on the development of natural gas gathering, transportation, and processing and natural gas liquid (NGL) transportation, fractionation, and marketing infrastructure in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio, today announced the completion of definitive agreements with Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR) to provide gathering, processing, fractionation, and marketing services in the liquids-rich corridor of the Utica.
Under the terms of the agreements, MarkWest Utica will develop natural gas gathering infrastructure primarily in Harrison, Guernsey, and Belmont counties that is expected to come online beginning in 2012. It is anticipated MarkWest Utica will have approximately 60 miles of gas gathering pipelines and associated compression to move Gulfport volumes by the end of 2012 and up to 140 miles of gathering pipelines by the first quarter of 2014. MarkWest Utica will process the gas at its Harrison County processing complex, and will provide NGL fractionation and marketing services at the Harrison County fractionator, where NGL purity products will be marketed by truck, rail, and pipeline. MarkWest Utica will initially bring online an interim 40 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) refrigeration natural gas processing plant at its Harrison processing complex, with an expected third quarter 2012 completion date. This interim facility will be followed by Harrison I, a 125 MMcf/d cryogenic gas processing facility, which is expected to begin operations by the first quarter of 2013. An additional 200 MMcf/d of cryogenic processing capacity for the Harrison processing complex could be installed as soon as 2013 to support the growing Utica production.
In addition to its Harrison processing complex, MarkWest Utica is developing a second processing complex in Noble County. MarkWest Utica will initially bring online an interim 45 MMcf/d per day refrigeration natural gas processing plant, with an expected fourth quarter 2012 completion date. The Noble interim facility will be followed by an additional 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing plant, which is expected to be completed in mid-2013. The Harrison and Noble processing complexes will be connected through a NGL gathering system to the Harrison fractionation complex, which will include 100,000 barrels per day of C2+ fractionation capacity by the first quarter of 2014. The Harrison fractionation complex will be connected through an expansion of MarkWest's Marcellus NGL gathering system to its Houston fractionation complex. The Houston and Harrison facilities will be the largest fractionation complexes in the northeast, and will provide tremendous operating flexibility, and reliability, as well as market access. The Harrison fractionator will be owned jointly by MarkWest Liberty Midstream, L.L.C. and MarkWest Utica and the capital required to build the complex will be shared accordingly.
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