More on MarkWest’s New Investment in Ohio’s Utica Shale

Yesterday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and others provided more details about MarkWest’s Tuesday announcement that they will build two new natural gas liquids (NGL) processing plants and a new fractionation plant in Ohio’s Utica Shale (see MDN’s story on the original announcement here).

During a JobsOhio board meeting Wednesday, Gov. John Kasich announced a $500 million investment by MarkWest of Denver, would result in construction of three new processing plants in Monroe and Harrison counties.

Kasich said the plants would employ 50 to 100 people and are expected to be online in 2013.

Plans for the plants were initially announced in a MarkWest company news release Tuesday, which noted the effort would be a joint venture between MarkWest Energy and The Energy & Minerals Group (EMG), based in Houston, Texas.

The release said the two companies formed MarkWest Utica in December "to focus on the development of significant gas processing and NGL (natural gas liquids) fractionation, transportation, and marketing infrastructure to serve producers’ aggressive drilling programs in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio."

The exact locations of the new facilities within Monroe and Harrison counties have not yet been determined, according to Dan Campbell, vice president of finance and treasurer for MarkWest.

"We chose the Ohio counties for several reasons," he said. "One is the location of wells being drilled by our customers as well as the proximity to gas pipelines across Ohio."

Campbell noted the company would also eventually require the ability to move product by rail.

"We put it all together to make the best geographic and business decision," he said.

The facilities will include a fractation plant and two processing units that remove liquids from the natural gas-containing materials extracted out of the Utica shale beds.

"The gas requires processing before it can be put in the pipeline that delivers natural gas into homes," Campbell explained.*

*The Marietta Times (Feb 3, 2012) – Monroe Co. bonanza