Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marcellus Shale: Washington County, Pa Update 10/22/08

Today, 10/22/08, Range Resources ( RRC ) and MarkWest Energy ( MWE ) announced the commencement of the initial phase of Pennsylvania’s first large-scale gas processing infrastructure with the successful launch of a mechanical refrigeration processing plant in Washington County.

Today’s announcement is the culmination of efforts by Range Resources and MarkWest to bring Marcellus Shale gas to the local market. Over the past four years, Range Resources has invested more than $700 million in leasehold, drilling and infrastructure.

MarkWest is investing approximately $200 million to construct midstream infrastructure to gather and process the natural gas that Range Resources is extracting from the Marcellus Shale. MarkWest’s investment includes the refrigeration plant announced today, which has capacity to process 30 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf per day) of natural gas. In addition, MarkWest is constructing a 30 Mmcf per day cryogenic processing plant that is expected to commence operations late in the first quarter of 2009. The cryogenic plant is being constructed next to the refrigeration plant and includes a depropanizer to extract propane from the gas stream, which will be sold regionally. MarkWest’s planned investment also includes a 120 Mmcf per day cryogenic plant with a depropanizer to extract additional natural gas liquids from the gas stream. The 120 Mmcf per day cryogenic plant is expected to be completed in late 2009. MarkWest is also evaluating the installation of a large fractionation facility to further enhance the value of the recovered natural gas liquids.