By Houston Business Journal

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Copano Energy LLC are expanding their Eagle Ford shale joint venture.

Through their partnership, Eagle Ford Gathering LLC, the $100-million expansion will add 200,000 MMBtu per day of natural gas transportation capability through the construction of additional pipeline facilities and a long-term agreement with Point Comfort, Texas-based Formosa Hydrocarbons Co.

The new projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMP) and Copano (NASDAQ: CPNO), both based in Houston, unveiled their original $175 million project to build a 30-inch pipeline for Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. in November.

That project is under construction and expected to be completed in the third quarter.

⿿This expansion of our joint venture with Kinder Morgan provides significant additional capacity for Eagle Ford Shale producers and will allow the joint venture to more fully utilize the 600 million cubic feet per day of capacity on its 30-inch pipeline. We expect this additional capacity to be substantially contracted for by early 2011,⿝ said Bruce Northcutt, Copano Energy⿿s president and CEO, in a statement.

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