A new natural-gas-processing plant in eastern Ohio’s Utica shale is soon to begin operations, MarkWest Energy Partners LP reported on Thursday.
That plant at Cadiz in Harrison County is the first cryogenic plant of its kind in Ohio, said Frank Semple, company chairman, president and CEO in a teleconference on the firm’s first quarter 2013 report on operations and finances.
It is “one of the most important” facilities in Ohio for processing natural gas from the Utica shale, he said.
It is part of $1.8 billion in midstream projects planned by MarkWest in eastern Ohio.
In the last year, Colorado-based MarkWest has built two large gas-processing plants in the Utica shale, added 60 miles of pipelines and signed contracts with six major producers, he said.
That includes such companies as Gulfport Energy and Antero Resources.
The $500 million plant in Cadiz is capable of handling about 125 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
An addition to the Cadiz plant to handle 200 million cubic feet of gas per day is expected to open in the second quarter of 2014.
MarkWest has a refrigeration unit at Cadiz that began operations last fall and can handle up to 60 million cubic feet per day.
The company is also developing additional processing capacity at a separate processing plant near Summerfield in Noble County.
The first 200 million cubic feet per day of capacity will come online by October — with an additional 200 million cubic feet of capacity being added before the end of the year, Semple said.
Another 200 million cubic feet per day expansion is planned to begin operations in the second quarter of 2014, he said.
Pipelines for transporting natural gas liquids will also connect the two plants in Harrison and Noble counties, he said.
In the next year, MarkWest anticipates adding 200 miles of pipelines and expanding capacity to 800 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in the Utica, Semple said.
His company’s Ohio operations are a joint venture with the Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) to offer gathering, processing, fractionation and marketing services.
The companies are also planning a fractionation facility in Harrison County that can handle up to 100,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids. The liquids will be separated, processed and shipped to markets.
MarkWest, also active in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, is currently processing 645 million cubic feet of natural gas per day at four plants in the Utica and Marcellus shales, Semple said.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.