Marathon to Build Shale Liquids Truck-to-Barge Facility on Ohio River 3

The State Journal
9 October 2012
By Jim Ross

Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced plans Tuesday to build a truck-to-barge loading facility at Wellsville, Ohio, to enable it to take hydrocarbon liquids oil from the Utica Shale to Catlettsburg, Ky., for refining.

The Catlettsburg refinery provides much if not most of the gasoline sold in southern West Virginia, particularly in areas near Huntington, along with other products derived from petroleum. The refinery is about 10 miles from downtown Huntington.

Marathon signed a letter of intent with Harvest Pipeline Co. on Sept. 27, agreeing to jointly develop infrastructure that will facilitate 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 at Wellsville, which is near the Pennsylvania state line.

Marathon already uses river transportation to deliver products refined at Catlettsburg to terminals along the upper Ohio, including the Pittsburgh area. The refinery receives crude petroleum now from pipelines to the Gulf Coast and other points.

The proposed project includes modifications to Marathon`s existing Wellsville river terminal to accommodate the additional volume for loading onto barges. It also includes 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," said George Shaffner, MPC`s senior vice president of transportation and logistics, said in a news release.

Shaffner added that the letter of intent with Harvest 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.

The project is anticipated to be complete late next year.