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Sunoco Logistics might build new pipeline in addition to converting existing line

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Philadelphia-based Sunoco Logistics Partners LP is considering building a Mariner East II pipeline roughly paralleling the Mariner East I line through Pennsylvania.

The company already is converting the existing pipeline running through the midstate to bring propane and ethane to the Marcus Hook petrochemical facility near Philadelphia, spokesman Jeffrey Shields said.

Sunoco Logistics expects to start shipping propane east through the Mariner East I pipeline to its Marcus Hook facility – formerly an oil refinery on the Delaware River - in the second half of next year.

Mariner East I used to carry refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil in the opposite direction, he said.

The natural-gas products it now will carry are liquefied, Shields said.

The firm will be using the pipeline by the middle of 2015 for both propane and ethane, Shields said.

The products come out of the ground along with methane in the so-called wet gas production areas of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, he said.

According to a map provided by the company, the pipeline corridor comes through Cumberland County and briefly hits far northern York County before crossing the Susquehanna River and continuing through Dauphin, Lebanon and northern Lancaster counties.

From Marcus Hook, Sunoco Logistics expects to primarily export to Europe, but the company also envisions serving users in regional domestic markets, Shields said.

For example, ethane is used to make plastics, he said.

There is plenty of wet gas and not enough capacity to bring it to market, Shields said.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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