Range Resources Corporation announced the execution of the first ethane sales contract for its Marcellus Shale liquid-rich gas in southwestern Pennsylvania. The contract between NOVA Chemicals Corporation of Calgary, Alberta Canada and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Range Resources Corporation became effective after the successful conclusion of the binding open season of the Mariner West Project.
The Mariner West Project is a Marcellus Shale ethane pipeline project jointly developed by Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. and MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC, a partnership between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. and The Energy & Minerals Group. Sunoco Logistics will transport ethane through its Mariner West system from MarkWest's processing and fractionation facilities in southwest Pennsylvania to the international border near Marysville, Michigan for further delivery into the Sarnia, Ontario petrochemical market. Initial deliveries of ethane under contract are expected to commence in late 2013 with full delivery commencing in early 2014.
Commenting on the announcement, John Pinkerton, Range's Chairman and CEO, said, "This is an important milestone in the development of the Marcellus Shale. After years of planning and studying alternative solutions, this project is the first in a series of projects expected to be built to service the growing liquids-rich area of the Marcellus Shale. Range is excited to be associated with these organizations in pioneering the path of bringing much-needed ethane to the North American petrochemical industry. To Range, this contract will help assure us that we can continue to ramp up our Marcellus Shale development in the liquid-rich area of the play. We are pleased to have NOVA Chemicals as our first ethane customer and look forward to adding additional customers as our ethane production increases. Range is discussing potential sales arrangements with customers throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Europe illustrating the worldwide impact that the Marcellus Shale is having on Pennsylvania and the global petrochemical sector. This project will create good-paying, permanent jobs in Pennsylvania and neighboring states at a time when jobs are needed most."