Announced in January, NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage's (NGT&S) Midstream Services today confirmed additional details on its Western Pennsylvania natural gas pipeline project. Newly named the Big Pine Gathering System, the project includes the installation, refurbishment and operation of approximately 70 miles of pipeline facilities in the hydrocarbon-rich Western Pennsylvania shale production region, including Allegheny, Butler, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.
Anchored by a long-term gathering agreement with producer XTO Energy Inc. (XTO), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, the Big Pine Gathering System is expected to provide an initial capacity of approximately 425 million cubic feet per day with interconnects to NGT&S' own Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline system, as well as Texas Eastern Transmission and Dominion Transmission. The NiSource Midstream team also is in discussions with additional producers in the area looking to secure long-term commitments on the project.
"The Big Pine Gathering System supports the critical needs of Pennsylvania's Marcellus producers to safely, efficiently and reliably get their natural gas to a choice of markets," said Jimmy D. Staton, executive vice president and NGT&S group CEO. "We're pleased to have this initial agreement with XTO Energy. They, along with other producers in the area, will now have the capacity and access to markets needed in this burgeoning shale gas development play in western Pennsylvania by the end of this year."
"This investment underscores NiSource's commitment to being the premier provider of midstream services to producers, including gathering, treating, conditioning, processing, compression and liquids handling in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays," said Joseph A. Blount Jr., president and chief operating officer of the NiSource Midstream and Minerals Group.
The Big Pine Gathering System involves an approximately $150 million investment in pipeline facilities. Stakeholder outreach has begun, as well as preliminary preparation and right-of-way clearing. Construction is anticipated to begin in late summer, with an expected in-service date of December 2012.
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