MarkWest Energy Partners said Wednesday it plans to add 200 MMcf/d of natural gas processing infrastructure this month at its Mobley complex in Wetzel County, WV, to support rich-gas production in the Marcellus Shale by EQT Corp., Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. and others.

MarkWest CEO Frank Semple said the Marcellus is a “significant resource play” that “continues to provide great opportunities for future organic growth projects for MarkWest.” The Mobley plant is supported by long-term, fee-based contracts.

EQT gas would be delivered to the processing complex by pipelines owned and operated by its subsidiaries. Magnum Hunter gas is to be transported by subsidiary Eureka Hunter Pipeline LLC. Both pipelines also would deliver third-party gas to the Mobley complex.

In late September Magnum Hunter said its Appalachian Basin production remained “substantially curtailed” almost three months after a severe thunderstorm knocked out electricity to the region (see Shale Daily, Sept. 27). In early August full power was restored, which allowed the producer to restart production, but it still faced a lack of available processing for about 9.5 MMcf/d at Dominion Transmission Inc.’s processing facility in Hastings, WV, kept a lid on growth. Magnum Hunter said then it was awaiting the startup of MarkWest’s Mobley facility.

MarkWest’s Mobley II facility, a 120 MMcf/d plant that had been set to startup this year, now is set to be operational early next year, followed by Mobley III, scheduled to be completed in late 2013. Once all of the announced projects are operational, the Mobley complex would have about 520 MMcf/d of processing capacity.

The natural gas liquids (NGL) recovered at Mobley are to be fractionated and marketed at MarkWest’s 60,000 b/d Houston, PA, complex in Washington County. The Mobley NGLs would be transported via the company’s Marcellus NGL gathering system.

This week MarkWest Utica, a joint venture of MarkWest Energy Partners and The Energy and Minerals Group, said it would develop midstream infrastructure in Ohio to serve the Utica Shale production of Antero Resources (see Shale Daily, Nov. 7).

By the middle of 2013 the Denver-based master limited partnership expects to add the ability to extract ethane once it completes 78,000 b/d of combined de-ethanization facilities at its Majorsville, WV, and Houston complexes. Ethane that is recovered would have access to all of the planned ethane pipeline projects originating from MarkWest’s Houston complex.