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Ohio Utica Shale

Marathon Petroleum plans pipeline from Utica shale to refinery

By Bob Downing Published: December 5, 2013

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is proceeding with a new 49-mile pipeline from the Utica shale in eastern Ohio to its Stark County refinery.

The company discussed the $140 million pipeline to transport shale liquids on Wednesday in a conference call with financial analysts.

The Cornerstone Pipeline as it is being called will run from Harrison and Carroll counties west to the refinery on the Canton-Canton Township border.

It will connect natural gas-processing plants and liquids fractionation plants in those counties to the refinery.

The line, eight inches in diameter, could transport about 40 million barrels per day.

The project is part of an effort to boost the company’s position as the largest refiner in the Utica shale area of eastern Ohio and to gain greater access to the Utica shale play.

"We’re in the best position of any party to take advantage of this locally produced crude oil and condensate and are positioning ourselves for our future growth,spokesman C. Michael Palmer.

The pipeline will be developed by Ohio-based MPLX LP, a master limited partnership that is partially owned by Marathon Petroleum Corp.

The new pipeline is designed to carry crude oil, condensate and natural gasoline, said company spokesman Garry Pfeiffer.

Marathon is currently evaluating its right-of-way options and would like to begin construction in early 2016 and be to be operational by late 2016, he said.

The project would be funded and constructed by one of MPLX’s pipeline subsidiaries, he said.

The Cornerstone Pipeline may be used by Marathon to ship the Utica shale liquids to other refineries in the future, Pfeiffer said.

As the volume of liquids from the Utica shale grows, Marathon says it will be unable to process all of the condensate at its refineries in Canton and Cattlettsburg, Ky.

The company says it could look at shipping the excess liquids to refineries in western Ohio and into Canada for processing.

Marathon is also adding two condensate splitters that together cost $300 million to the refineries in Canton and Cattlettsburg.

That addition is capable of handling 25 million barrels per day and should be in full operation by late 2014. The Cattlettsburg plant would get new equipment to handle up top 35 million barrels per day. It should be operational in mid-2015.

Marathon is also expanding its truck unloading facilities in Canton and its truck-to-barge facilities in Wellsville, Ohio, on the Ohio River.

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.