HOUSTON, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Natural gas industry veteran Chip Berthelot announced the launch today of Azure Midstream Company, LLC - a natural gas gathering and processing company based in Houston. Azure Midstream will work with producers to gather and/or process natural gas for their customers throughout North America. "We are excited to work with our customers to provide consumers with one of the cleanest forms of energy," said Chip Berthelot, President of Azure Midstream Company. "Azure Midstream believes in working with clean, natural gas to produce efficient and environmentally-friendly energy for homes and businesses across the United States." Azure enjoys strong initial capitalization from investors who have seen significant success in previous Berthelot companies. Azure has an aggressive growth plan based on a combination of new development and acquisition of gathering pipeline projects. Berthelot successfully developed Laser Northeast, the first gathering system to traverse Pennsylvania and New York State in the Marcellus Shale region, as well as a number of other projects. Azure's core management team has over 110 years of natural gas experience coupled with a strong track record of successfully working together in challenging environments. Berthelot brings over 30 years of successfully developing and managing natural gas projects. He founded Laser in 2005 which was partially purchased by EROC in 2007 for $143 million and then subsequently formed Laser Northeast Gathering Company which was sold to Williams Partners, LP in 2012 for $750 million. While on his own, Berthelot has purchased or developed and expanded over 75 operating natural gas gathering and processing pipeline systems. Prior to that, he was at Midcoast Energy Resources as Chief Operating Officer, playing an instrumental role in expanding the company to over 300 employees through the successful completion and integration of the acquisition of over 100 natural gas gathering & processing systems, both onshore and offshore.