MarkWest Energy Partners L.P.
) has agreed to render processing, fractionation, and marketing
services to Antero Resources for its liquid acreage in Utica
GULFPORT ENGY (GPOR): Free Stock Analysis
MARKWEST EGY PT (MWE): Free Stock Analysis
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MarkWest will execute the transaction through the joint venture
-- MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. aka MarkWest Utica -- formed with
private-equity group The Energy & Minerals Group ("EMG"). The
operations of the joint venture include the development of
natural gas gathering, transportation and processing and natural
gas liquid (NGL) transportation, fractionation, as well as
marketing infrastructure in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio.
Per the agreement, MarkWest Utica will set up a natural gas
processing unit in Noble County, Ohio with an interim capacity of
45 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). The facility is expected
to be fully completed in the second quarter of 2013.
The joint venture will complement this unit with a cryogenic gas
processing facility of 200 MMcf/d capacity that will likely come
on-line by the third quarter of 2013. A third 200 MMcf/d
cryogenic processing plant will also be developed toward the end
MarkWest Utica also intends to build a NGL gathering system as
well as a fractionation and marketing complex in Harrison County,
All the facilities together will be Utica Shale's largest
fractionation and marketing complex that is slated to be entirely
operational in the first quarter of 2014. The total unit will be
capable of providing about 100,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of C2+
This new complex is designed to be well connected with the
Marcellus Shale where MarkWest enjoys strong exposure and
position. This Harrison facility along with the complex of
Houston will form the biggest fractionation complexes in the
northeast that will offer high-class operating flexibility and
consistency, as well as market access.
MarkWest management remains committed toward developing the
resource rich holdings in the Utica Shale. The company, in early
March, signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with
Gulfport Energy Corporation
), to construct extensive natural gas gathering infrastructure
across the Harrison, Guernsey, and Belmont counties.
MarkWest shares currently retain a Zacks #3 Rank, which
translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are also maintaining
our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.