Successful Open Season For Mariner West Project

October 2011, Vol. 238 No. 10

A map of existing and planned pipelines in the Marcellus area as of 2010.

MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, L.L.C. announced three critical milestones in the ongoing development of the hydrocarbon-rich area of the Marcellus Shale. The first milestone was made by Sunoco Logistics L.P. of completion of the Mariner West open season and execution of definitive transportation agreements.

Mariner West is a pipeline project jointly developed by Sunoco and MarkWest Liberty that will deliver Marcellus ethane to petrochemical markets in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Mariner West will support the long-term development of more than 1.5 Bcf/d of liquids-rich Marcellus gas in southwest Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

The second milestone was the start of the next phase of MarkWest Liberty’s Houston, PA fractionation facility. The 60,000-bpd facility is the largest natural gas liquids fractionation, storage, and marketing complex in the Northeast and produces high-purity propane, butane, and natural gasoline for sale into the premium Northeast markets.

The third milestone is MarkWest Liberty’s announcement of the development of up to three large de-ethanizers at its Houston and Majorsville processing complexes. When combined, the new de-ethanization facilities could produce in excess of 115,000 bpd of ethane. The first phase of de-ethanization will have capacity of 75,000 bpd and will start operation in mid-2013 to coincide with the start-up of Mariner West.

Since 2008, MarkWest Liberty has invested nearly $1 billion to develop critical midstream infrastructure to support key producers operating in the liquids-rich areas of the Marcellus. MarkWest Liberty operates more than 200 miles of natural gas gathering infrastructure and 625 MMcf/d of cryogenic processing capacity.