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Ohio Utica Shale

MarkWest opens seven Utica, Marcellus processing facilities

By Bob Downing Published: January 31, 2014

From MarkWest Energy Partners:

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 30, 2014-- MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) (“MarkWest”) (the “Partnership”) announced today an operational update regarding the development of midstream infrastructure projects in the liquids-rich areas of the Marcellus and Utica Shales. In the last four months, MarkWest has commenced operations of seven major infrastructure projects in the Northeast including five new cryogenic processing plants totaling 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of capacity and two fractionation facilities totaling 98,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of C2+ fractionation capacity. MarkWest continues to expand its leading midstream presence throughout the Northeast and currently has 17 major processing and fractionation projects under construction. These projects are occurring at nine locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and are expected to increase the Partnership’s total processing capacity to approximately 4.7 Bcf/d and total fractionation capacity in the region to over 400,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d).

In the Marcellus Shale, the Partnership commenced operations of three new processing plants during the fourth quarter of 2013. These new plants were commissioned at the Majorsville, Mobley, and Sherwood complexes and have increased MarkWest’s total processing capacity in the liquids-rich corridor of the Marcellus to over 2.2 Bcf/d. At the Majorsville complex in Marshall County, West Virginia, MarkWest increased total capacity to 670 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) with the addition of Majorsville V, a 200 MMcf/d plant to support Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) and Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO). At the Mobley complex in Wetzel County, West Virginia, MarkWest increased total capacity to 520 MMcf/d with startup of Mobley III, a 200 MMcf/d plant to support rapidly growing rich-gas production from EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) and Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation (NYSE: MHR). At the Sherwood complex in Doddridge County, West Virginia, MarkWest expanded total capacity to 600 MMcf/d after bringing online Sherwood III, a 200 MMcf/d to support Antero Resources Corporation’s (NYSE: AR) (Antero) extensive Marcellus development program.

In early December 2013, MarkWest doubled its purity ethane fractionation capacity in the Marcellus to 76,000 Bbl/d with the startup of its second de-ethanization facility. The new facility is located at the Majorsville complex and will provide the Partnership’s producer customers’ with the ability to consistently meet residue gas quality specifications and deliver downstream ethane pipeline commitments. In conjunction with the commencement of de-ethanization services at Majorsville, MarkWest’s previously announced Liberty Ethane Pipeline became operational. The Liberty Ethane Pipeline transports purity ethane from the Majorsville complex to the Houston complex in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Once delivered at Houston, the purity ethane has direct access to multiple, major ethane takeaway projects including, Mariner West and ATEX, which began operations in December, and Mariner East, which is scheduled to come online in 2014. MarkWest is the first midstream operator in the Northeast to offer its producer customers the ability to recover and produce purity ethane and provide transportation infrastructure to all announced ethane pipeline takeaway projects. Ethane produced in the Northeast has the potential to become a key driver for the future expansion of the global petrochemical industry.

In the Utica Shale, MarkWest Utica EMG, L.L.C. (“MarkWest Utica EMG”) a joint venture between MarkWest and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) commenced operations of the Seneca complex in Noble County, Ohio. The Seneca complex is currently comprised of two processing plants totaling 400 MMcf/d, which support rich-gas Utica production from Antero, PDC Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDCE), Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: REXX), and others. The Seneca complex is MarkWest Utica EMG’s second large-scale processing complex in the Utica Shale and represents the southernmost assets included in its fully-integrated midstream system spanning a five-county region of eastern Ohio. The system is comprised of hundreds of miles of low- and high-pressure gathering pipeline, nearly 600 MMcf/d of gas processing services, natural gas liquids (NGL) transportation infrastructure, and most recently, a new world-class NGL fractionation facility.

In January 2014, MarkWest Utica EMG and the Partnership commenced operations of the jointly-owned Hopedale fractionation and marketing complex in Harrison County, Ohio. The complex’s 60,000 Bb/d propane and heavier fractionation plant, associated purity product storage capacity and marketing logistics terminal capabilities are critical midstream assets in the heart of one of the most prospective resource plays in the United States. In conjunction with the startup of the Hopedale complex, MarkWest commenced operations of a pipeline connecting its Marcellus and Utica NGL infrastructure. By integrating two industry-leading midstream systems, MarkWest will be able to effectively expand fractionation services for its Marcellus producers, while simultaneously delivering unrivaled reliability and optionality for producers in the Utica.

“We are exceptionally proud to continue expanding our essential midstream services on behalf of producers operating in the Marcellus and Utica,” commented Frank Semple, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. “The completion of one billion cubic feet of new processing capacity and nearly one-hundred thousand barrels per day of added fractionation services over the last four months is a testament to the extraordinary pace of U.S. energy production occurring in the Northeast shales. MarkWest is committed to creating long-term partnerships, developing unique solutions, and the required infrastructure needed to ensure that our customers remain at the forefront of domestic energy production for decades to come.”

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. MarkWest has a leading presence in many unconventional gas plays including the Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, Huron/Berea Shale, Haynesville Shale, Woodford Shale and Granite Wash formation.

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, 2012 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2013. 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.

The Energy & Minerals Group is the management company for a series of specialized private equity funds. EMG focuses on investing across various facets of the global natural resource industry including the upstream and midstream segments of the energy complex. EMG has approximately $8.4 billion of total investor commitments (including co-investments) with approximately $5.2 billion allocated across the energy sector since inception. For additional information on EMG, please contact Alexandra Coolidge at 713-579-5029.

Source: MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.

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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.