Regency Energy Partners LP plans to buy PVR Partners LP in a $5.6 billion deal (including $1.8 billion of debt) to create a natural gas gathering and processing giant with a presence in Appalachia, West Texas, South Texas, the Midcontinent and North Louisiana.

“This acquisition enhances our overall geographic diversity by providing Regency with a strategic presence in two prolific producing areas,” the Marcellus and Utica shales in the Appalachian Basin and the Granite Wash in the Midcontinent region, said Regency CEO Michael J. Bradley. “These are tremendously complementary businesses…”

During a conference call with financial analysts, Bradley noted the bulking up taking place among midstream players as more infrastructure is needed to get growing oil and natural gas production from shales to market.

Also on Thursday, Crestwood Midstream Partners LP said it is buying privately-held Arrow Midstream Holdings LLC for $750 million, expanding its focus in the Bakken Shale and building on its just-completed merger with Inergy Midstream.

(To read the full story go to