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SPOTLIGHT

1. NATURAL GAS:

As infrastructure comes online in Appalachia, producers hope a market will follow

Along the Ohio River below Wheeling, W.Va., the $500 million Natrium I gas processing plant has begun operating, signaling a new chapter in Appalachia's unfolding shale gas story. The plant's fractionation unit will split methane pipeline gas from heavier hydrocarbons to create a daily 39,000-barrel stream of ethane, propane and other gas liquids. Operated by Blue Racer Midstream -- named for the region's swift-moving snake -- the plant is the first of a rush of new gas processing and fractionation projects springing up around the Marcellus and Utica shale formations on either side of the Ohio River.

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