In an announcement on June 15th, Williams Companies Inc. announced that it is acquiring Access Midstream Partners L.P. for an estimated $6 billion in cash. Already an industry leader in pipeline and processing – owning 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 acquisition of Access will allow Williams to expand its operation even further, increase its expected shareholder dividend and position the company strategically to continue growing across the major shale and unconventional producing areas: Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Mid-continent and Niobrara.
Breakdown of Williams Large-Scale Positions
Gathering and Processing – Large-scale positions in growing natural-gas supply areas in major shale and unconventional producing areas, including the Marcellus, Utica, Piceance, Four Corners, Wyoming, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Mid-continent and Niobrara. Additionally, the business would include oil and natural gas gathering services in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
Natural Gas Liquids and Petrochemical Services – Unique downstream presence on the Gulf Coast and in western Canada provides differentiated long-term growth.
Williams President and Chief Executive Officer, Alan Armstrong, spoke on the decision: Our acquisition of the additional GP and LP interests in Access Midstream Partners represents a unique, strategic opportunity for investors, customers and the employees of both Access Midstream Partners and Williams. We expect the acquisition to deliver immediate and future dividend growth for Williams’ shareholders and to further enhance our presence in attractive growth basins. In addition, we expect the acquisition of Access Midstream Partners will fortify Williams’ stable, fee-based business model and support our industry-leading dividend growth strategy.
Armstrong is also excited about the value Access’ employees will bring to Williams: One of the truly compelling benefits of the proposed merger is the ability to incorporate the experience and expertise of Access Midstream Partners’ talented employees with our own. We have had unique visibility with respect to Access Midstream Partners’ talented employees since we made our initial Investment. The combination of our teams will enable us to better align resources and seize the opportunities of the more than $25 billion in potential growth investments in our business. We look forward to building on the talents and capabilities across both organizations and maintaining a sizeable presence in Oklahoma City following the merger.
Why this matters to Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation
Williams is Cabot’s dominate mid-stream gathering and transmission provider here in Northeast Pennsylvania. The majority of Cabot’s 1.5 Bcf of production runs through Williams pipeline network, which serves as the gateway for Marcellus Shale gas production to move to markets in Northern New Jersey and New York State. In addition, Cabot is also heavily invested in two major proposed transmission projects owned by Williams as both a customer and an equity partner: the Constitution Pipeline, which will run north, and the Atlantic Sunrise Project, which will run south.
The continued growth of Williams midstream assets will not only benefit Cabot’s operations, it will help user the United States towards energy security.