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Pittsburgh, PA, February 10, 2010 — A team of attorneys from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC's Energy and Natural Resources Industry Group assisted firm client Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., form a 50/50 joint venture with Rice Energy LP to develop their valuable Marcellus Shale gas resources in southwestern Pennsylvania, where they control nearly 20,000 acres in one of the Marcellus' most productive regions.

Attorneys Amelia Konesni, Sean Moran, Robert Burns, Jason Wrona and Bruce Booken completed the transaction, which was announced in Alpha's  earnings release that was issued yesterday. Alpha's release indicated that the initial phase of development is underway, and that they are currently drilling the first of four wells planned for 2010.

Each party contributed cash and certain mineral and property interests to a newly formed partnership that will own and develop the assets. A limited liability company was also formed to be the managing general partner of the partnership. Alpha and Rice affiliates will provide various administrative services to the joint venture entities.

About Alpha Natural Resources

Alpha Natural Resources is one of America's premier coal suppliers with coal production capacity of greater than 90 million tons a year. Alpha is the nation's leading supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal used in the steel-making process and is a major supplier of thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries across the country. The Company, through its affiliates, employs approximately 6,400 people and operates more than 60 mines and 14 coal preparation facilities in the regions of Northern and Central Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. More information about Alpha can be found on the Company's Web site at

About Rice Energy

Rice Energy is a private Exploration and Production (E&P) company focused on acquiring and developing unconventional oil and natural gas resources in the United States. 

About Buchanan

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC has more than 450 attorneys and government relations professionals practicing throughout the United States, with multiple offices in California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as offices in Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Buchanan has a long history of representing clients in the minerals, natural resources and energy industry sector. Attorneys from the diverse range of Buchanan's legal practices and specialists within its government relations team have represented leading energy-related companies based in Pennsylvania and around the world.