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MarkWest Liberty Announces Major Milestones with Successful Open Season for Mariner West, Completion of the Next Phase of Fractionation at the Largest Northeast U.S. Fractionator, and Construction of Mariner West Ethane Fractionation Capacity
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DENVER, Sep 07, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, L.L.C., a partnership between MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: MWE) and The Energy & Minerals Group, today announced three critical milestones in the ongoing development of the hydrocarbon-rich area of the Marcellus Shale. The first milestone was the announcement today by Sunoco Logistics L.P. (NYSE: SXL) of the successful completion of the Mariner West open season and the execution of definitive transportation agreements. Mariner West is a pipeline project jointly developed by Sunoco and MarkWest Liberty that will deliver Marcellus ethane to petrochemical markets in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Mariner West will support the long-term development of more than 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of liquids-rich Marcellus gas in southwest Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.

The second milestone was the commencement last week of the next phase of MarkWest Liberty's Houston, Pennsylvania fractionation facility. The 60,000 barrel per day (Bbl/d) Houston facility is the largest natural gas liquids (NGLs) fractionation, storage, and marketing complex in the northeast United States and produces high-purity propane, butane, and natural gasoline for sale into the premium Northeast markets.

The third milestone is MarkWest Liberty's announcement of the development of up to three large de-ethanizers at its Houston and Majorsville processing complexes. When combined, the new de-ethanization facilities could produce in excess of 115,000 Bbl/d of ethane. The first phase of de-ethanization will have capacity of approximately 75,000 Bbl/d and will commence operation in mid-2013 to coincide with the start-up of Mariner West.

Since 2008, MarkWest Liberty has invested nearly $1 billion to develop critical midstream infrastructure to support key producers operating in the liquids-rich areas of the Marcellus. MarkWest Liberty currently operates more than 200 miles of natural gas gathering infrastructure and 625 million cubic feet per day of cryogenic processing capacity. MarkWest's Liberty's processing capacity will increase to nearly 1 Bcf/d in mid-2012, and MarkWest Liberty is in active discussions with producers to increase the processing capacity to nearly 2 Bcf/d in early 2014. NGLs recovered at MarkWest Liberty's processing complexes in southwest Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia will be transported via pipeline to the Houston complex for fractionation, storage, and marketing.

"We are very excited about the successful open season for Mariner West," said Frank Semple, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MarkWest. "Sunoco Logistics and MarkWest have jointly developed this critical ethane pipeline project and both companies will provide significant value to our producer and petrochemical customers. The successful start-up of the next phase of our Houston fractionator, and the announcement of the de-ethanization facilities that will supply ethane to Mariner West, will add significant capabilities to MarkWest Liberty's existing world-class midstream and NGL infrastructure. The fractionation and marketing of NGLs is critical to the success of Marcellus producers and MarkWest Liberty is the leading provider of integrated NGL transportation, fractionation, storage, and marketing services in the liquids-rich areas of the Marcellus."

About MarkWest Energy Partners

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, transportation, and processing of natural gas; the transportation, fractionation, marketing, and storage of natural gas liquids; and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. MarkWest has extensive natural gas gathering, processing, and transmission operations in the southwest, Gulf Coast, and northeast regions of the United States, including the Marcellus Shale, and is the largest natural gas processor and fractionator in the Appalachian region.

About The Energy & Minerals Group

The Energy & Minerals Group is the management company for a series of private equity funds totaling in excess of $3.3 billion of commitments.EMG focuses exclusively on making direct investments across the natural resources industry in conjunction with experienced management teams focused on hard assets that are integral to existing and growing markets.For additional information on EMG, please contact John Raymond at 713-579-5000.

This press release includes "forward-looking statements."All statements other than statements of historical facts included or incorporated herein may constitute forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary significantly from those expressed or implied in such statements and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that affect our operations, financial performance, and other factors as discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Among the factors that could cause results to differ materially are those risks discussed in the periodic reports we file with the SEC, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2011. You are urged to carefully review and consider the cautionary statements and other disclosures made in those filings, specifically those under the heading "Risk Factors."We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement except as required by law.

SOURCE: MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.
Frank Semple, Chairman, President & CEO
Nancy Buese, Senior VP and CFO
Dan Campbell, VP of Finance & Treasurer
Phone: (866) 858-0482