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New natural gas pipeline planned

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A company is planning a $1.75 billion project that includes laying 160 miles of natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and Ohio.

Columbia Pipeline Group announced the investment in a news release Tuesday. The proposal would help transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

Columbia expects to start construction in fall 2016 before putting the pipeline in service in the second half of 2017.

Columbia said the project will support natural gas development in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio by linking to Marcellus and Utica shale deposits.

The new pipeline would ship more gas to the company's interchange in Leach, Kentucky, where it would head to other markets.

"This investment will further support our commitment to economic growth and development by creating new project-related jobs and generating ongoing tax revenue for local communities," Columbia Chief Executive Officer Glen Kettering said in the release.

The initiative includes long-term service agreements with Range Resources-Appalachia, Noble Energy, Kaiser Marketing Appalachian and American Energy Utica.

A second component will allow for more Appalachian shipments through a corridor stretching to the Gulf Coast by primarily adding compression for existing pipelines.

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