MarkWest Energy to expand fractionation capacity at Ohio NGL complex

MarkWest Energy Partners and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) plan to add additional capacity at their Hopedale fractionation and marketing complex in Harrison County, Ohio, the companies announced on Thursday.

The move comes in order to meet growing natural gas liquids (NGLs) production in the Utica and Marcellus Shale regions under new contracted commitments from numerous producer customers.

The Hopedale complex is jointly owned by a subsidiary of MarkWest and MarkWest Utica EMG, a joint venture between MarkWest and EMG.

The expansion will double the propane and heavier fractionation capacity at the Hopedale complex to 120,000 bpd and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015.

Once the Hopedale expansion is complete, MarkWest will operate 300,000 bpd of ethane and heavier fractionation capacity at four complexes in the Northeast.

The company also has an NGL gathering pipeline connecting its Hopedale complex to its existing NGL infrastructure in the Marcellus Shale.

MarkWest says NGL takeaway solutions to the Gulf Coast and international markets will be complementary to existing fractionation infrastructure and will provide producers with additional market outlets that are crucial to the long-term development of the region.

“Together with EMG, our expansion of fractionation capacity in Ohio is a resounding commitment to deliver exceptional midstream services and NGL solutions in the Northeast,” said Frank Semple, CEO of MarkWest.

“As Northeast NGL production continues to grow, in-basin fractionation will be essential to support the ongoing development plans of our producers in the Utica and Marcellus," he added.

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