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Canadian company buys Columbia Pipeline Group

WHEELING, W.Va. — In a deal worth $13 billion, the company developing two large pipelines to ship Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas southward from Marshall County will sell its assets to Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada.

Columbia Pipeline Group is building the Leach XPress pipeline to move 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the MarkWest Energy plant at Majorsville, as well as the Mountaineer XPress to move 2.7 billion Bcf per day southward from Marshall County. TransCanada will pay $10.2 billion in cash for Columbia Pipeline, while assuming $2.8 billion in debt to complete the acquisition.

“The acquisition represents a rare opportunity to invest in an extensive, competitively-positioned, growing network of regulated natural gas pipeline and storage assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale gas regions,” TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling said. “At the same time, we will be well positioned to transport North America’s abundant natural gas supply to liquefied natural gas terminals for export to international markets.”

Columbia operates 11,300 miles of pipelines and 286 Bcf of natural gas storage capacity in the Marcellus and Utica areas. It also maintains the 3,300-mile Gulf Transmission system that extends from Appalachia to the Gulf Coast.

“This transaction delivers tremendous value to our shareholders and places Columbia Pipeline Group within a leading energy platform that can maximize the value of our strategic positioning and deep inventory of transformational growth projects,” Robert C. Skaggs, Jr., CPG’s chairman and chief executive officer, said.

“With a combined portfolio of $23 billion in near-term projects secured by cost of service regulation or long-term contracts, we are well positioned to generate significant growth in earnings into the next decade,” Girling added.

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