Natural gas processor and distributor,
MarkWest Energy Partners LP
) is going to start a binding open season for its
previously-announced Liberty Ethane Pipeline on Nov 8. The open
season is for the shippers willing to carry pure ethane from
Majorsville to Houston, Pennsylvania. The season is expected to
close by Dec 9, 2013.
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The partnership expects the pipeline to start operating by
fourth-quarter 2013, depending on the responses from the open
season along with regulators' approval.
According to MarkWest Energy, Liberty Ethane Pipeline system will
give the shippers an opportunity to get access to the
international ethane markets, by carrying purified ethane
produced from the Marcellus Shale formation's emerging natural
gas fields. Moreover, shippers who commit long-term volume trade
will be offered premium transportation services at attractive
The partnership reveals that the pipeline project will also
include de-ethanization facilities apart from having
infrastructure related to transportation of ethane. Ethane, which
is one of the important components of natural gas, will be
separated from all the other components through de-ethanization
In a separate press release, MarkWest Energy declared that it has
entered into a long-term, fee-based contract with
Antero Resources Corporation
), an oil and gas exploration and production firm.
Per the agreement, MarkWest Energy is expected to manufacture an
extra cryogenic gas processing plant at its Doddridge County,
W.Va-based Sherwood complex. The plant - with an estimated
processing capacity of 200 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) -
is believed to be online by the third quarter of 2014. The plant
will augment the complex's processing capacity, bringing it to
roughly 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d).
MarkWest Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which
implies that it is expected to perform in line with the broader
U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can look at better performing oil and gas
production pipeline partnerships like
Energy Transfer Equity LP
Magellan Midstream Partners LP
) that offer value. Both the partnership sport a Zacks Rank #2