MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. (MarkWest Utica), a joint venture between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MWE) (MarkWest) and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) today announced the completion of definitive agreements with Antero Resources (Antero) to provide processing, fractionation, and marketing services in the liquids-rich corridor of the Utica Shale.
Antero has over 60,000 net acres of leasehold in Ohio that holds rich gas and condensate resources in the Utica Shale Play. The company is currently running one drilling rig in the play and plans to add a second drilling rig in the second quarter of 2013. Antero is in the process of building the initial gathering infrastructure to move rich gas production to processing infrastructure to be located in Noble County, Ohio.
Under the terms of the agreements, MarkWest Utica will develop natural gas processing infrastructure located in Noble County, Ohio to process Antero’s rich gas Utica Shale production. MarkWest Utica will initially bring online an interim 45 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) refrigeration natural gas processing plant at its Seneca processing complex, with an expected second quarter 2013 completion date. This interim facility will be followed by Seneca I, a 200 MMcf/d cryogenic gas processing facility, which is expected to begin operations by the third quarter of 2013. The definitive agreements also provide for the construction of an additional facility, Seneca II, a 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing facility, which may be installed as soon as the end of 2013.
In addition to its Seneca processing complex, MarkWest Utica will construct an NGL gathering system to its Cadiz processing complex and on to a new fractionation and marketing complex both located in Harrison County, Ohio. The Cadiz processing complex will include a de-ethanization facility where purity ethane will be produced and delivered into the ATEX ethane pipeline. The propane and heavier natural gas liquids will then flow via pipeline to the Harrison County fractionator for further separation into valuable purity products. Together these facilities will represent the largest fractionation and marketing complex in the Utica Shale, providing 100,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of C2+ fractionation capacity with an expected completion date of first quarter 2014. Prior to the completion of the Harrison County fractionation complex and associated pipeline infrastructure, Antero NGLs produced at the Seneca complex may be transported to either MarkWest’s Houston, Pennsylvania fractionation and marketing complex or its Siloam fractionator located in South Shore, Kentucky.
The Harrison County fractionation complex will be connected through an expansion of MarkWest’s Marcellus NGL gathering system to its Houston facility, the largest fractionation and marketing complex in the Marcellus Shale. The Houston and Harrison County facilities will provide tremendous operating flexibility and reliability as well as access to multiple markets. The Harrison County fractionator will be owned jointly by MarkWest Liberty Midstream, L.L.C. and MarkWest Utica, and the capital required to build the complex will be shared accordingly. By the end of 2014, MarkWest will be able to provide its producer customers with nearly 275,000 Bbl/d of C2+ fractionation capacity and extensive market access to all of the planned ethane and propane pipeline projects in the Marcellus and Utica Shales.
“We are excited to extend our strong partnership with Antero Resources and continue the development of leading midstream infrastructure in the heart of the Utica Shale,” said Frank Semple, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “We believe that Antero’s success in the Marcellus will prove to be a natural extension into the hydrocarbon-rich area of the Utica. With the support of our strong partner EMG, we are committed to providing best-of-class, fully-integrated midstream services for our producer customers.”
”We are fortunate to have a rich gas and condensate play in Ohio in such close proximity to our Marcellus Shale rich gas project,” said Paul Rady, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Antero. “MarkWest is a natural fit for Antero to partner with in the Utica to build the first processing complex near our acreage position, given their processing and fractionation plans in the Utica and the integration with their leading position in the Marcellus.”
About MarkWest Energy Partners, LP
MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, transportation, and processing of natural gas; the transportation, fractionation, marketing, and storage of natural gas liquids; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. MarkWest has extensive natural gas gathering, processing, and transmission operations in the southwest, Gulf Coast, and northeast regions of the United States, including the Marcellus Shale, and is the largest natural gas processor and fractionator in the Appalachian region.
This press release includes “forward-looking statements.” All statements other than statements of historical facts included or incorporated herein may constitute forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary significantly from those expressed or implied in such statements and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Although MarkWest believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, MarkWest can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that affect operations, financial performance, and other factors as discussed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Among the factors that could cause results to differ materially are those risks discussed in the periodic reports filed with the SEC, including MarkWest’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2012 and June 30, 2012. You are urged to carefully review and consider the cautionary statements and other disclosures made in those filings, specifically those under the heading “Risk Factors.” MarkWest does not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement except as required by law.
About Antero Resources
Antero Resources is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the acquisition, development and production of unconventional oil and liquids-rich natural gas properties primarily located in the Appalachian Basin in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in the Piceance Basin in Colorado. Our website is located at www.anteroresources.com.
This release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Antero’s control. All statements, other than historical facts included in this release, are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. Although Antero believes that the plans, intentions and expectations reflected in or suggested by the forward-looking statements are reasonable, there is no assurance that these plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. Therefore, actual outcomes and results could materially differ from what is expressed, implied or forecast in such statements.
We caution you that these forward-looking statements are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control, incident to the exploration for and development, production, gathering and sale of natural gas and oil. These risks include, but are not limited to, commodity price volatility, inflation, lack of availability of drilling and production equipment and services, environmental risks, drilling and other operating risks, regulatory changes, the uncertainty inherent in estimating natural gas and oil reserves and in projecting future rates of production, cash flow and access to capital, the timing of development expenditures, and the other risks described under the heading “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.
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