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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Range Resources plans to add staff, build office complex in Pennsylvania

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Range Resources Corp. plans to more than double its regional headquarters staff in the Marcellus Shale natural gas field to about 500 employees "over the next several years" as it moves into a new $30 million office development in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Fort Worth-based company said Monday.

Range, a leading producer in the Marcellus, has 225 employees in its regional office in Canonsburg, Pa., said Ray Walker, senior vice president for Appalachia operations. The new facility will be a quarter-mile away in Canonsburg, 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Most of the new jobs "will go to local residents, demonstrating the positive impact that Range is having on the community," Walker said.

Range said it has contracted with Horizon Properties Group of Pennsylvania to develop and lease its new headquarters. Construction is to begin immediately in the Southpointe II development and is expected to be finished by November 2011.

Canonsburg has become a hotbed for dozens of energy companies operating in the Marcellus, a geological formation thousands of feet beneath large chunks of Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio.

The initial phase of Range's project calls for construction of a five-story, 180,000-square-foot Class A office building on 13 acres. The facility is to include a 225-seat auditorium, cafe and outdoor event plaza.

The second phase calls for a building expansion of up to 100,000 square feet.

Walker said Range has authorized Horizon to develop the project for designation under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program, certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

"Our plans call for a state-of-the-art 'green' facility, designed to accommodate what is anticipated to be dramatic growth in our office staff, while incorporating the latest in energy-efficient technologies to help us minimize our environmental impact," he said. The building will feature reflective roof material, energy-conserving glass, recycled waste material and advanced energy-management systems.

Kyle Poulson and Jack Huff of Huff Partners in Fort Worth represented Range in the selection of Horizon Properties for the project and in contract negotiations.

Range is producing the equivalent of about 160 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in the Marcellus, "which is ahead of its midyear target," company spokesman Matt Pitzarella said Monday.

Range said in late July that it plans an additional $210 million in capital expenditures in the Marcellus this year.

With the spending boost, the company said it expects to double its net production from the equivalent of 200 million to 210 million cubic feet of gas per day by year's end to 400 million to 420 million cubic feet by the end of 2011.

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