) business division NiSource Midstream Services announced the
commencement of service from its Big Pine Gathering facility in
support of the long-term gathering agreement with XTO Energy Inc.
NiSource Midstream is an affiliate of the company's Columbia
Pipeline Group (CPG).
The entire Big Pine system came online in Apr 2013 providing
an outlet for Marcellus shale production in western Pennsylvania.
It is a 57-mile, 20-24 inches gathering system situated at the
center of the Marcellus formation. The facility spans across the
hydrocarbon endowed counties of Alleghany, Butler, Armstrong,
Indiana and Westmoreland.
The Big Pine system offers gas gathering and residual gas
takeaway services to natural gas operators. It is linked to CPG's
Columbia Gas Transmission, the Texas Eastern Transmission and
Dominion Transmission complexes. NiSource's timely execution of
the project will allow the company to meet the needs of the
Marcellus producers by delivering natural gas to their chosen
With this midstream initiative, the company hopes to find more
investments for further development of the Big Pine system. In
fact, NiSource has already found an investor, Penn Energy into
the venture and recently inked an individual gathering agreement
Of late, the company has increased its focus on the expansion
of its various midstream programs. Besides Big Pine NiSource's
other notable project, the Pennant pipeline and processing system
is nearing completion and will further boost its transmission
Meanwhile, the company is also seeking options to expand its
transmission footprint in Northern Indiana. We believe the
current shale gas explosion in the U.S. will complement
NiSource's varied midstream ventures.
Total natural gas consumption is expected to increase
considerably in the future driven majorly by the industrial and
power sectors. Industrial sector's gas usage will climb by 14.7%
in 2025 from the 2011 level while share of power generation will
jump to 27% in 2025 as per the Energy Information Administration.
This will certainly bode well with NiSource's broad future growth
At present, the company holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other
industry counterparts currently placed well are Zacks Ranked #2
DTE Energy Company
Based in Merrillville, Ind., NiSource together with its
subsidiaries provides natural gas, electricity, and other
products and services in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky,
Maryland, Indiana, and Massachusetts.
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