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More US Marcellus projects needed to absorb ethane production

October 11/2011

(ICIS) -- Additional infrastructure in the US Marcellus shale region will be needed by 2016 to keep pace with growing ethane production and prevent a stall in the drilling of rich gas, an industry analyst said on Monday. УI feel good about more announcements to come,Ф said senior natural gas liquids (NGL) analyst Jennifer Brickle with Bentek Energy. By 2016, current processing and fractionation will be unable to absorb ethane production and more infrastructure will be needed, she said.

Ethane supplies in the Marcellus are expected to grow by 25% by 2016. Ethane production will exceed expected infrastructure capacities by tens of thousands of barrels, she said.

Shell and Dow Chemical have expressed interest in building fractionators in the US northeast.
Currently, gas processing capacity in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is 162m cubic feet/day (4.58m cubic metres/day), of which MarkWest owns 62% and Dominon owns 20%.

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