The two companies sign a letter of intent to construct a truck-to-barge project on the Ohio River.
Marathon Petroleum Corp.
, the fifth-largest refiner in the United States, and Harvest Pipeline Co., which operates a network of pipelines, plants and terminals through Texas and Louisiana, have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to jointly develop the infrastructure that the companies say will facilitate the transportation of hydrocarbon liquids production from the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The project will result in up to 24,000 barrels per day (bpd) of truck unloading capacity and a terminal capable of loading up to 50,000 bpd onto barges on the Ohio River in Wellsville, Ohio.
The proposed project includes the modification of MPC’s existing Wellsville river terminal to accommodate the additional volume for loading onto barges, and a new truck rack to be built on property leased by Harvest Pipeline next to the MPC facility.
“With two of our refineries literally on top of the Utica shale formation, we are committed to positioning ourselves as the customer of choice for liquids production from the Utica,” says George Shaffner, MPC’s senior vice president of transportation and logistics. “This project with Harvest Pipeline Co. will strengthen our competitive position, and will benefit MPC, Harvest, and our customers.”
Shaffner adds that the LOI represents the second investment MPC is making toward accommodating Utica production, after its completion earlier this summer of a new truck rack capable of unloading 12,000 bpd, expandable to 24,000 bpd, at its Canton, Ohio, refinery.
“We are pleased to be working with MPC to offer solutions for producers to market their Utica and Marcellus production,” Harvest Pipeline president Steve Jacobs says. “This will help provide maximum value from oil produced in the region.”
The joint project is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2013.