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Markwest Energy and the Utica Shale

While several oil and gas operators have cut back on drilling, MarkWest Energy Partners LP hasn’t slowed down and continues to grow in the Utica Shale formation.

Currently, MarkWest Energy has 18 projects underway in the Appalachian region that is home to the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations. The company focuses on operating pipelines, fractionation plants and other equipment associated with delivering and processing gas. MarkWest Energy is able to continue its expansion in the region thanks to its pipelines and related facilities having long-term agreements with oil and gas producers that have produced more oil and natural gas than existing infrastructure can handle.

So far, MarkWest Energy has spent billions on projects in Ohio and neighboring states and has plans to spend even more. As reported by the Columbus Business First, “It’s finalizing three major Ohio plant expansions: a 60,000 barrel-a-day expansion of its Hopedale fractionation plant; adding a third plant with 200 million cubic feet a day of capacity to its cryogenic facility in Cadiz; and a fourth plant with 200 million cubic feet of extra capacity will be added to its Seneca processing complex in Noble County.” MarkWest Energy’s VP of Utica and Appalachia Operations David Ledonne explained that with current market conditions, the expansions would allow the company plenty of capacity to fulfill current needs.

The company is also considering the future of the industry with its expansion projects. Ledonne said MarkWest is looking two to three years in the future, and if prices stabilize and drilling picks up, they will be ready.

As mentioned before, the downturn in the industry has caused several operators to cut back on drilling and spending, but for some, like MarkWest Energy, it has allowed them to “play catch-up.” Today, there are still several wells in the Appalachian region that have been drilled but left uncompleted. With being able to catch up, MarkWest Energy has been able to solve Ohio’s biggest issue, lack of infrastructure to deliver and process the oil and gas.

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