Q&A: Shawn Patterson - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Q&A: Shawn Patterson

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  • Deadly shooting at a large party in Beckley

    Man dies after a Shooting during a Party outside of Beckley, Now the Search is On for the Suspect

    Man dies after a Shooting during a Party outside of Beckley, Now the Search is On for the Suspect

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:10:52 GMT
    The Raleigh County Sheriff's office responded to a shooting at a party just outside of Beckley early Sunday morning. As a result of these gunshots, Roland Howard Frazier, 23, was hit and later died.
    The Raleigh County Sheriff's office responded to a shooting at a party just outside of Beckley early Sunday morning. As a result of these gunshots, Roland Howard Frazier, 23, was hit and later died.
  • UPDATE: Beckley Police catch suspects involved in shooting on Summers Street

    UPDATE: Beckley Police catch suspects involved in shooting on Summers Street

    Sunday, September 14 2014 2:48 PM EDT2014-09-14 18:48:51 GMT
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    After 19 year-old Tyrell Smith was shot twice on his hip and wrist, the suspects have been found. Detective Bragg with the Beckley Police Department said they quickly got tips as to where the suspects were. Once they found the vehicle near Antonio street, there was a short pursuit, then police caught the suspects.
  • A Tazewell County Mother Says Eric Smith Will Not Be Forgotten 10 Months After His Disappearance

    A Tazewell County Mother Says Eric Smith Will Not Be Forgotten 10 Months After His Disappearance

    Saturday, September 13 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-09-14 00:51:17 GMT
    It's been ten months since a man was reported missing in TazewellCounty.Police said Eric Smith, a General Mine Foreman at Buchanan Mine No. 1 in Buchanan County,Virginia,was reported missing onNovember 8, 2013after he failed to return home from a hunting trip.Eric Smith's mother, Dreama Smith, said she will never let Eric be forgotten.Dreama said, "We pray everyday that something will open."Cedar Bluff Police Chief, David Mills, said they are constantly checking leads.Mills said, "Everyday so...
    It's been ten months since a man was reported missing in TazewellCounty.Police said Eric Smith, a General Mine Foreman at Buchanan Mine No. 1 in Buchanan County,Virginia,was reported missing onNovember 8, 2013after he failed to return home from a hunting trip.Eric Smith's mother, Dreama Smith, said she will never let Eric be forgotten.Dreama said, "We pray everyday that something will open."Cedar Bluff Police Chief, David Mills, said they are constantly checking leads.Mills said, "Everyday so...

As the popularity of natural gas continues to gain momentum throughout the country, Shawn Patterson, president of operations and project delivery for Columbia Pipeline Group, sees big things to come for the industry in West Virginia.

Columbia Pipeline Group, owned by NiSource, operates more than 15,700 miles of natural gas pipelines, serving customers in more than 16 states. As of February 2013, CPG employed more than 450 Mountain State residents.

Patterson is responsible for operations, engineering and project management across the business unit, with a particular focus on execution of the company’s new modernization project. Patterson joined the company in 1995 as a project engineer, and has since held various positions within NiSource.

Patterson discussed the role, potential and importance of the natural gas sector in West Virginia with The State Journal. That interview is included below in its entirety.

The State Journal: What role does natural gas play in West Virginia?

Shawn Patterson: West Virginia is truly a worldwide player in the natural gas market. From the well to the consumer, West Virginians have a hand in every step. At Columbia Pipeline Group, we focus our efforts on the interstate transmission of natural gas and rely heavily on the state’s natural and human resources to make our company a success. We operate over 2,400 miles of pipeline, 35 compressor stations and 16 storage fields in West Virginia. This network helps us serve customers in the Mountain State and major domestic metropolitan markets across the country.

TSJ: What potential does West Virginia have for expansion in the natural gas industry?

Patterson: There is no doubt the growth of natural gas domestically and internationally has, and will continue to, help fuel economic growth in the state of West Virginia. To make sure we are ready for the current and future demands of this growth, Columbia Pipeline Group is partnering with several customers to modernize our natural gas pipeline infrastructure under a comprehensive infrastructure investment plan that will initially span the next five years.

The Columbia Modernization Program will consist of pipeline and facility upgrades, improved public safety and finally, increased customer reliability and service. We will invest $300 million per year on improvements across our system, in addition to a $100 million investment in ongoing maintenance over the 2013 through 2017 period. The West Virginia portions of this modernization plan will certainly impact many local communities and provide substantial economic benefits.

TSJ: What setbacks does West Virginia face that could stand in the way of the industry’s expansion?

Patterson: West Virginia and its leadership must continue to realize the opportunities natural gas offers to our residents as the industry expands infrastructure and human resources. At Columbia Pipeline Group, we are currently experiencing unprecedented expansion of our workforce due to the industry’s surge. This is in addition to our current West Virginia workforce, which currently stands at more than 450 employees and $35 million in annual salaries.

We are actively recruiting to fill many positions based in Charleston such as engineers and project managers. Some of these positions will be filled by the state’s talented workforce, while some will be introduced to our beautiful state for the first time. Both are wins for West Virginia as we do our part to invest in the state’s future.

TSJ: What are the benefits and drawbacks of natural gas?

Patterson: There is an abundance of natural gas in our region right now, and Columbia is fortunate that our infrastructure is well-defined and entrenched within our area. The Marcellus and Utica shale plays offer decades of clean, reliable energy for us and our future generations. The industry is only scratching the surface of the possibilities in front of us and I am excited to see what the future holds.

During our industry’s growth period we must be constantly mindful of safety and the Columbia Modernization Program is one of our major initiatives in doing just that. Upgrading our system will help us to accommodate today’s latest safety technology, including inline inspection tools. Using advanced safety methods allow for enhanced integrity assessment, which will help to greatly improve the efficiency and reliability of our pipeline system.

TSJ: What would you say the importance of natural gas, and its expansion, is in West Virginia?

Patterson: The natural gas industry is vital to the state of West Virginia and will continue to be for many generations to come. Companies, communities and state officials must continue to work together to ensure we make the most of the opportunity in front of us, while doing so in an thoughtful, safe and environmentally sound manner.