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FirstEnergy Corp. is working on electric transmission projects that will benefit producers operating in northern West Virginia's portion of the Marcellus Shale. The company is spending about $100 million on these projects and is evaluating additional system upgrades, it said Monday. New facilities include high-voltage substations and transmission lines to accommodate expanding gas processing facilities and other operations. The new gas customer facilities account for projected load growth of about 400 MW through 2019, or the equivalent of about 200,000 new homes in area utility Mon Power's system, FirstEnergy said. Projects include the Waldo Run transmission substation and a short 138-kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Doddridge County near Sherwood, WV.  The $52 million project was energized in November, and the substation will accommodate load growth at a new natural gas processing facility. FirstEnergy is also working on a 138-kV transmission line that will support the gas industry and enhance service reliability for other customers. The 18-mile, $55 million Oak Mound-Waldo Run transmission project is expected to enter service by the end of next year. And FirstEnergy is evaluating new transmission facilities in Wetzel County to support a midstream gas processing plant that continues to expand.

XTO Energy Inc. has purchased Royal Dutch Shell plc affiliate SWEPI LP's Appalachian regional headquarters in Pittsburgh for $3.7 million. The building is located in an industrial park in the city and has more than 30,000 square feet. XTO, one of the basin's largest producers with about 580,000 acres under lease in Pennsylvania and Ohio, will consolidate its administrative operations early next year at the new location. The company lists regional offices in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania on its website. SWEPI still has offices located throughout the state. 

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