Williams and Boardwalk Formalize Key Joint Venture Agreements Related to Proposed Bluegrass Pipeline
Williams and Boardwalk Formalize Key Joint Venture Agreements Related to Proposed Bluegrass Pipeline and Related Fractionation, Storage and Export Projects
- Proposed Bluegrass System to Transport Marcellus, Utica Mixed NGLs to Growing Petchem and Export Markets
- Open Season for Shippers Expected to Commence Soon; In-Service Date of Late 2015 Targeted
- Combining New Pipeline With a Portion of Boardwalk's Existing Texas Gas Pipeline Would Speed Up In-Service Date and Significantly Reduce the Construction Footprint
- Planning Connectivity to Storage, Fractionation, Petchem and Export Facilities in the Gulf Coast as well as Support of Petchem Facilities in the Northeast U.S.
- Expecting Expanded Markets for Marcellus, Utica NGLs to Improve Producers' Economics and Encourage Increased Drilling and Production
TULSA, Okla. & HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Williams (NYS: WMB) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYS: BWP) today announced that they have executed a joint venture agreement to continue the development process for Bluegrass Pipeline, a project that would transport natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to the rapidly expanding petrochemical and export complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast, as well as the developing petrochemical market in the Northeast U.S.
Phase one of the proposed pipeline would provide producers with 200,000 barrels per day of mixed NGLs take-away capacity in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Phase two would increase capacity to 400,000 barrels per day to meet market demand, primarily by adding additional liquids pumping capacity. The pipeline would deliver mixed NGLs from these producing areas to proposed new fractionation and storage facilities, which would have connectivity to petrochemical facilities and product pipelines along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline would include constructing a new NGL pipeline from producing areas in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to an interconnect with Boardwalk's Texas Gas Transmission, LLC system (Texas Gas) in Hardinsburg, Ky. From that point to Eunice, La., a portion of Texas Gas would be converted from natural gas service to NGL service.
The joint venture would also include constructing a new large-scale fractionation plant and expanding natural gas liquids storage facilities in Louisiana and constructing a new pipeline connecting these facilities to the converted Texas Gas line in the Eunice, La. area. Williams and Boardwalk are also exploring development of a new export liquefied petroleum gas terminal and related facilities on the Gulf Coast to provide customers access to international markets.
By combining new construction with an existing pipeline, Williams and Boardwalk believe that the Bluegrass Pipeline could be placed into service and begin serving customers sooner than other options. Williams and Boardwalk are engaged in comprehensive project development planning including project design, cost estimating, economic and risk analysis, customer contracting, permitting and other legal and regulatory approvals and right-of-way acquisition. Williams and Boardwalk expect that the planned project could be placed into service in late 2015 assuming all necessary conditions are met.
"This timely joint venture with Boardwalk would link two liquids-rich resource plays in the Northeast U.S. with the expanding petrochemical industry on the Gulf Coast, providing producers in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania with the ability to access large and growing markets," said Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Williams. "The large scale solution has many advantages including an early in service date, lower environmental impact, lower cost and lower permitting risk."
"We are pleased to have formalized this joint venture with Williams to develop an industry solution of connecting prolific Marcellus and Utica liquids production to the markets where these products are in high demand," said Stan Horton, president and chief executive officer of Boardwalk. "The Bluegrass Pipeline project provides an opportunity to leverage our liquids assets in the Lake Charles, La. area and repurpose a portion of Texas Gas without impacting our firm service to existing natural gas customers."
Sanctioning and completion of this project is subject to, among other conditions, execution of customer contracts sufficient to support the project and the parties' receipt of all necessary approvals, including Williams and Boardwalk board approvals and regulatory approvals, such as antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and approvals by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), among others. Before the joint venture may begin converting the portion of Texas Gas to be converted, Texas Gas must receive abandonment authority from FERC. Boardwalk plans to file the abandonment application with FERC by May 31, 2013, and the abandonment process is estimated to take between nine and twelve months.
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (NYS: BWP) is a midstream master limited partnership that provides transportation, storage, gathering and processing of natural gas and liquids for its customers. Boardwalk and its subsidiaries own and operate approximately 14,410 miles of natural gas and liquids pipelines and underground storage caverns with an aggregate working gas capacity of approximately 201 billion cubic feet and liquids capacity of approximately 18 million barrels. Boardwalk is a subsidiary of Loews Corporation (NYS: L) , which holds 55% of Boardwalk's equity, excluding incentive distribution rights. Additional information about the Partnership can be found on its website at www.bwpmlp.com.
Williams is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America. It owns interests in or operates 15,000 miles of interstate gas pipelines, 1,000 miles of NGL transportation pipelines, and more than 10,000 miles of oil and gas gathering pipelines. The company's facilities have daily gas processing capacity of 6.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas, NGL production of more than 200,000 barrels per day and domestic olefins production capacity of 1.35 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of propylene per year. Williams owns approximately 68 percent of Williams Partners L.P. (NYS: WPZ) , one of the largest diversified energy master limited partnerships. Williams Partners owns most of Williams' interstate gas pipeline and domestic midstream assets. Williams also owns Canadian operations and certain domestic olefins pipelines assets, as well as a significant investment in Access Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYS: ACMP) , a midstream natural gas services provider. The company's headquarters is in Tulsa, Okla. For more information, visit www.williams.com, where the company routinely posts important information.
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to expectations, plans or prospects for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP, The Williams Companies, Inc. and their subsidiaries, in relation to the potential for successful development of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline and related facilities comprising the planned project discussed in this press release.These statements are based upon the current expectations and beliefs of management of Williams and Boardwalk and are subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the current plans or expectations described in the forward-looking statements, including the risk and uncertainties related to the negotiation and execution of commercial agreements necessary to implement the project, the cost and timing of the planned project, the receipt of necessary legal and regulatory approvals, assumptions regarding natural gas and natural gas liquids supplies, prices and demand, and the risk that the size and scope of any project that may be completed may be different than that described above and the financial performance of any completed project. Many of these risks and uncertainties are beyond the control of Boardwalk and Williams.
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners
Investor Relations & Media Contact:
Molly Ladd Whitaker, (866) 913-2122
Tom Droege, (918) 573-4034
John Porter, (918) 573-0797
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KEYWORDS: United States North America Oklahoma Texas
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