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MPLX's Cornerstone Pipeline Now Moving Utica Shale Liquids

Condensate is flowing on MPLX LP's Cornerstone Pipeline system, which is designed to move liquids from processing facilities in Harrison County, OH, to Marathon Petroleum Corp.'s (MPC) refinery in Canton, OH.

About 50,000 b/d started moving on the 16-inch diameter pipeline last week from MPLX subsidiary MarkWest Energy Partners LP's Cadiz complex and Williams and M3 Midstream LLC's Utica East Ohio processing facility in Harrison County. MPLX, Marathon's midstream master limited partnership, held a binding open season for the pipeline early last year.

The 180,000 b/d, 50-mile system is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Current volumes are flowing to a storage facility in East Sparta, OH, just south of Canton. The system is one of the Utica's first batched pipelines. It is designed to move both condensate and natural gasoline and traverses Ohio's Carroll, Harrison, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.  

From East Sparta, Cornerstone would continue as an eight-inch diameter pipeline with 45,000 b/d of capacity to the MPC refinery in Canton. That facility currently receives Utica liquids from  trucks, but Cornerstone is expected to reduce traffic to the facility. Another connector is under construction to tie MarkWest's Hopedale Fractionation Facility in Harrison County into Cornerstone.

The company's Utica buildout projects would expand on the system to move more liquids from storage in East Sparta to other markets, including refineries in the Midwest, Chicago and Western Canada. At an industry conference in Pittsburgh last month, MPLX said it was focused on creating more demand for Appalachian liquids both inside the basin and across the country (see Shale DailySept. 2).

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