The boom of the Marcellus and Utica has undisputedly done amazing things for the domestic energy supply in the U.S., including giving producers and processors record-breaking numbers.

One of the biggest benefactors has been MarkWest Energy Partners. The master limited partnership (MLP) company only formed in 2002 but has had the success of a company much older. Scott J. Garner, vice president, corporate development for MarkWest, shared some insight on the company’s success at the recent Marcellus Utica Midstream Conference.

“We are the largest processors in the Marcellus and Utica shale and the largest fractionator in the northeast,” Garner said. “We have spent about $9 billion over the life of the MLP. What is interesting about that is about two-thirds of that, or $6 billion, has been spent in the Marcellus and the Utica since 2008.”

MarkWest may seem big but it isn’t done growing yet. Garner explained that the company had a plan in place to spend another $2 billion in 2014 with most of that being allocated to the Northeast.

“Currently we are at 2.2 BCF per day (of processing capability). We will be at just over 3 Bcf a day by the end of this year, and by the end of 2015 we will be approaching 3.75 Bcf per day,” Garner said. “We are very excited about what is going on in the Marcellus range, and others have announced spectacular or much-improved performance for their wells as they continue refining their technology. So we actually envision that there will be continued growth in these facilities and additional facilities as a result of those volumes that will be realized.”

MarkWest has five major cryogenic processing complexes in the Marcellus shale alone and has additional capacity coming online at four of the complexes, including Bluestone, Majorsville, Mobley and Sherwood, during 2014. The company already has a growth plan in place to carry them through 2015.

The company has plans to grow processing to “nearly 1Bcf per day by the end of 2014,” Garner said. The Senica II plant was just completed and Senica III and Cadiz II will be completed in 2014 if all goes as planned.

In addition to gathering lines, the company owns fractionation capacity as well. The fraction capacity, like other company assets, will be expanded this year.

Gartner attributes the company’s success partially to its well thought-out plans. “One of the things we designed into our plants was connectivity between all the complexes. That provides for redundancy and reliability of service,” he said.
The plants are not only tied to one another but also provide access to all the major NLG takeaway pipeline projects in the Northeast. The plan is for the plants to provide access to the Kinder Morgan/Targa pipeline to the Gulf Coast should it be built.