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Columbia, MarkWest Partner Again on Appalachia Gathering

October 27, 2008
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Looking to capitalize on the burst of activity and increased production volumes coming out of the Appalachian Basin of central West Virginia, NiSource Inc. unit Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. has once again partnered with MarkWest Energy Partners LP to expand gas gathering and processing services for the region.

Columbia Gas and MarkWest said they are in discussions with several gas producers regarding plans to provide new gathering and processing services near Columbia Gas' Cobb aggregation system in Kanawha, Jackson and Roane counties of West Virginia. The expansion includes MarkWest's previously announced expansion of its Cobb gas plant (see NGI, Nov. 26, 2007), which will increase processing capacity to approximately 70 MMcf/d by mid 2009.

The natural gas liquids recovered at the Cobb plant will continue to be fractionated at MarkWest's Siloam fractionation, marketing and storage complex, which is in the final stages of expansion. The Cobb and Siloam expansions are currently under construction and require no additional capital beyond that included in MarkWest's previously announced growth capital program.

The expansion also would include Columbia adding horsepower to its existing Cobb compressor station and installing new field gathering and compression facilities to bring new gas volumes to the Cobb gas processing plant. As increases in production warrant, additional capacity could be added with incremental horsepower and additional expansion of the Cobb gas processing plant.

These expansion plans of gathering and processing services are in addition to the Columbia Gas Transmission and MarkWest announcement in August to expand similar services near Majorsville, WV, serving the northern panhandle area of West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. At that time the companies said they were jointly developing several natural gas gathering and processing projects in the Appalachian Basin to take advantage of the emerging Marcellus Shale gas play.

Producers and natural gas shippers with questions can contact Brian Blount, NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage business manager of Appalachian supply and origination, at (304) 357-2626, or bblount@nisource.com.

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