MarkWest Liberty, Sunoco expand Marcellus Shale pipeline project to include Mariner West ethane transport

Source: MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources

MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC, a partnership between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:MWE) and The Energy & Minerals Group, and Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE:SXL) are moving forward with the development of Project Mariner West, a pipeline project to deliver Marcellus Shale ethane from MarkWest Liberty’s Houston, Pennsylvania processing and fractionation complex to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada markets. 

Mariner West, which is being developed at the request of Marcellus producer customers and is supported by Sarnia ethane consumers, will utilize new and existing pipelines and is anticipated to have a maximum capacity to transport up to 65,000 barrels per day of ethane by the third quarter of 2012. Mariner West is an expansion of Project Mariner, a pipeline and marine project developed to transport ethane produced in the Marcellus Shale basin to US Gulf Coast and international markets by mid-2013. 

To support deliveries to Canadian markets in 2012, MarkWest Liberty will make minor modifications to its natural gas processing complexes and will install ethane extraction facilities at its Houston complex to deliver ethane to Mariner West earlier than will be required for deliveries to Project Mariner. In addition, MarkWest Liberty will construct a 25-mile pipeline from the Houston complex to an interconnection with an existing Sunoco Logistics pipeline at Vanport, Pennsylvania. The ethane will then be transported from Vanport to markets in Sarnia utilizing existing Sunoco Logistics pipelines, which will be modified for ethane service. Project Mariner and Mariner West are both designed to provide Marcellus producers with access to multiple ethane markets to match the growing rich-gas production in the Marcellus. 

“When combined with our growing NGL pipeline network in the Marcellus and our highly integrated Houston fractionation and marketing complex, Mariner West provides a very significant advantage to Marcellus producers,” said Frank Semple, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “MarkWest and The Energy & Minerals Group are very pleased to partner again with Sunoco Logistics to further expand the midstream services we provide to our producer customers.” 

“Project Mariner West has the advantage of allowing us to modify our existing pipeline facilities to reach Sarnia, Canada where there is a market for Marcellus ethane. We are pleased to participate in Project Mariner West and to partner with MarkWest Liberty in serving Marcellus producer customers," said Lynn L. Elsenhans, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sunoco Logistics. “Our existing infrastructure is well positioned to provide an efficient solution for producers to move ethane to Sarnia as well as across Pennsylvania to a Delaware River marine port to access multiple markets.”



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