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MarkWest Files to Build Arkoma Connector Pipe

June 2, 2008
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MarkWest Pioneer LLC, a subsidiary of MarkWest Energy Partners LP, has filed an application at FERC seeking approval to build an interstate natural gas pipeline that would allow producers in the Woodford Shale area of Oklahoma to interconnect with the proposed Midcontinent Express Pipeline.

Denver-based MarkWest's proposed Arkoma Connector Pipeline would extend approximately 50 miles from an interconnect with the company's gathering system in the Woodford Shale production area in southeastern Oklahoma to an interconnect with the proposed Midcontinent Express Pipeline in Bennington, OK. The project also consists of approximately 19,500 hp of total compression at two compressor stations and associated facilities in Coal, Atoka and Bryan counties in Oklahoma.

The proposed Arkoma Connector would have the capability to deliver 638,000 Dth/d out of the Woodford Shale area to the Bennington area. MarkWest held a binding open season through April 21 for capacity on the Arkoma Connector.

MarkWest earlier this year entered into an option agreement to acquire 10% of the equity of Midcontinent Express after construction is completed and it is placed into service. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Energy Transfer Partners LP will each own a 45% interest in Midcontinent Express.

The estimated $1.3 billion Midcontinent Express would extend 500 miles from southeastern Oklahoma, across northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and central Mississippi to an interconnection with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) near Butler, AL. The proposed pipeline is expected to interconnect with several pipes that serve downstream markets, including Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America, Transco, Texas Eastern Transmission, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Columbia Gulf Transmission, Texas Gas Transmission, Southern Natural Gas, Destin Pipeline and ANR Pipeline.

Midcontinent Express, which filed an application at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last October, would have an initial capacity of 1.4 Bcf/d, and is targeted for operation in March 2009, according to the sponsors . The Commission Friday issued the project a favorable final environmental review in February (see separate story).

The much-anticipated project is in response to robust natural gas production in Oklahoma and North Texas. It would help move gas eastward to markets in Florida and the Northeast. The pipe project is also seen as a way to keep supply and markets connected should Gulf of Mexico production go off-line in the event of a hurricane.

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