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Marathon energy firm to acquire Marcellus shale gas processor

The pipeline unit of refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp. plans to buy MarkWest Energy Partners LP, the second-largest USA processor of natural gas, for about $15.8 billion in stock and cash.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, the companies said. There is continued consolidation in the pipeline industry. It will have shipping and processing capabilities for crude oil, refined products and natural gas from Texas to Pennsylvania.

After the deal, MarkWest would become a wholly owned subsidiary of MPLX. The combined company would have a market capitalization of about $21 billion.

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