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|NiSource subsidiary Columbia Gas Transmission and MarkWest Energy Partners Announce Plans to Move More Appalachian Gas to Market|
HOUSTON and DENVER – August 13, 2008– NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) unit Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. and MarkWest Energy Partners, LP (NYSE:MWE) today announced their intention to jointly develop several natural gas gathering and processing projects to support increased production volumes in the Appalachian Basin.
Columbia Gas and MarkWest are in discussions with several interested natural gas producers regarding plans to provide new gathering and gas processing services in association with Columbia Gas’ existing Majorsville, W.Va., compressor station, which serves the northern panhandle area of West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.
Several existing Columbia Gas pipelines in Washington and Greene counties in Pennsylvania and Marshall and Wetzel counties in West Virginia would serve as the backbone of the gathering system connecting with a proposed MarkWest processing plant at Majorsville. MarkWest could offer processing at Majorsville as early as January 2009 and could ramp up the capacity to approximately 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) by mid 2009 and to over 200 MMcf/d by mid 2010. MarkWest would likely complement these processing facilities with a natural gas liquids fractionation facility to take advantage of the premium regional markets and maximize the value of the producers’ gas.
The gathering capacity would be made available in the near future with access to Columbia Gas’ regulated transmission and storage services. A portion of the transmission capacity could be available for service as early as December 2008, with the remaining capacity available by April 2009. Additional expansions of gathering and processing capabilities in the region will be made available as producers expand their drilling activities in the area. Initial primary delivery points from MarkWest’s proposed processing facility at Majorsville would be to Columbia Gas and to Spectra subsidiary Texas Eastern Transmission Co. at Windridge, Pa.
“With the significant increase in drilling activity and recent uplift in deliverability in the Marcellus Shale, there is a critical, immediate need for capacity to allow producers to move their gas out of the basin and further develop the area,” said Christopher A. Helms, executive vice president and Group CEO for Columbia Gas parent NiSource Gas Transmission & Storage. “Providing new solutions for delivering supplies to high-value markets is an important growth area for Columbia Gas Transmission, and this joint project with MarkWest is a great opportunity for all concerned. With this and other projects, we are working hard to advance NiSource’s balanced plan to meet customer needs and generate long-term, sustainable earnings growth.”
“The Appalachian basin is one of the fastest growing resource plays in the United States, and MarkWest has successfully operated in the basin for over twenty years,” said Frank Semple, president and chief executive officer of MarkWest Energy Partners. “MarkWest is ideally positioned to support increased gathering and processing capacity in the Marcellus Shale and surrounding areas, and we look forward to working with Columbia Gas Transmission to develop the critical link that allows our producer customers to deliver gas and NGLs to favorable markets.”
About Columbia Gas Transmission and NiSource
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), based in Merrillville, Ind., is a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, as well as electric generation, transmission and distribution. NiSource operating companies deliver energy to more than 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. Information about NiSource and its subsidiaries is available via the Internet at www.nisource.com.
About MarkWest Energy Partners
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MarkWest Energy Partners Forward-Looking Statements
MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P.