HOUSTON, June 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Century Midstream LLC (Century) was formally launched today, a new energy company recently created in partnership between a veteran management team and First Reserve, the largest global private equity firm exclusively focused on energy. Century will primarily focus on the development, acquisition and expansion of midstream assets across North America, with an emphasis on emerging liquids and liquids-rich shale plays. First Reserve will support Century with up to US$500 million of equity capital to co-found the company. Led by Joseph A. Blount, Jr. as Chief Executive Officer with John Howard serving as President and COO, the four principal members of Century's management team have over a century of collective midstream experience across the entire value chain, a comprehensive understanding of midstream operations in multiple hydrocarbon commodities, and a proven record of value creation as well as safety. Blount and Howard are joined by Jim Avioli, Jr. as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Brian Raber as Senior Vice President of Engineering. Most recently, this team designed and implemented a comprehensive strategy and business plan for the development of unregulated midstream assets within NiSource (NYSE: NI) providing comprehensive services to producers and others in underserved portions of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, including the Pennant Midstream LLC partnership which provides gas gathering and gas processing services for producers in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Prior to his role as President & COO of NiSource Midstream & Minerals Group, Blount was the President and COO of Genesis Energy LP where he oversaw the diversification of the master limited partnership's asset portfolio and operations resulting in substantial unit holder return. Prior to Genesis, Blount was the President and COO of Unocal Midstream & Trade and oversaw the worldwide marketing of Unocal's natural gas, crude oil and condensate resources, the development and management of its pipeline, terminal and storage assets, and its commodity risk management activities.