One of West Virginia’s largest natural gas local distribution companies (LDC) is further expanding its customer base in the Mountain State with a new acquisition months after coming under new ownership.


Hope Gas Inc. disclosed Tuesday an agreement with Essential Utilities to purchase Peoples Gas WV, which serves 15 counties in the state. The deal could close by the middle of the year pending state regulatory approval, according to Hope Gas.

Essential Utilities, based in Texas, distributes gas to customers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky through Peoples Natural Gas Co. By acquiring Peoples’ West Virginia unit, Hope Gas estimated its customer base could grow 10% to around 125,000 customers.

“We are working toward our vision to expand our footprint, including...