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MarkWest Tests Interest in Pennsylvania Ethane Pipe

A binding open season through Dec. 9 is gauging interest in capacity on the proposed 30-mile Liberty Ethane Pipeline to transport purity ethane from Majorsville to Houston, PA, and on to markets in North America and overseas, said MarkWest Energy Partners LP.

The MarkWest Liberty Ethane Pipeline LLC project is part of the Denver-based operator's comprehensive "ethane solution" for the Northeast corridor that would include purity ethane transportation, infrastructure and de-ethanization facilities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

If the binding season proves successful, shippers would have access to several takeaway facilities soon to be completed, including Mariner West, Mariner East and the Appalachia-to-Texas (Atex) Express pipelines (see Shale Daily,Nov. 1). MarkWest is advancing Mariner West with Sunoco Logistics Partners LP to deliver ethane to Sarnia, Ontario. Mariner East, also a Sunoco venture, would carry liquids from Houston to Sunoco's Marcus Hook facility near Pittsburgh. Atex Express, an Enterprise Products Partners LP venture, is designed to transport liquids from Houston to its complex at Mont Belvieu, TX.

MarkWest also is attempting to remain ahead of producer needs in the Appalachian Basin, executives said. On Thursday, Antero Resources Corp. agreed to help MarkWest develop a fifth 200 MMcf/d compressor for startup in 2014 at the Sherwood complex in Doddridge County, WV (see related story). Once all five complexes are completed at the end of next year, Sherwood would have 1 Bcf/d of total capacity.

In addition, MarkWest has started up Majorsville V, a 200 MMcf/d project in Marshall County, WV. The plant is processing 670 MMcf/d, with another 200 MMcf/d plant set to be finished by the end of March, and a sixth plant scheduled for launch in early 2016. Once all of the Majorsville facilities are in operation, the complex is expected to have more than 1 Bcf/d of capacity.

For information on the open season, contact Joshua Hallenbeck, (866) 858-0482 or investorrelations@markwest.com.

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