NiSource, Hilcorp set Utica shale joint venture

July 9 Mon Jul 9, 2012 8:29am EDT

July 9 (Reuters) - NiSource Inc and Hilcorp Energy Co will form a joint venture to develop their properties in the Utica-Point Pleasant shale fields of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, the companies said on Monday.

The Utica shale is one of the fastest developing fields in the United States, attracting major investments from companies such as Hess Corp and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Under the new agreements, NiSource will contribute its acreage in the fields into a venture with Hilcorp's properties, which will be developed and operated by Hilcorp, a privately owned oil and gas producer.

The companies will also form a venture called Pennant Midstream LLC, which will construct gathering pipeline systems and a new natural gas processing complex.

The first phase of investment will amount to about $300 million and begin later this year.

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