Williams to Acquire 230 Miles of Gas Pipeline, 115 Bcf Storage for $1.95 Billion

(Reuters) — Pipeline operator Williams said on Wednesday it would buy a portfolio of natural gas storage assets from an affiliate of Hartree Partners LP for $1.95 billion to cater to rising demand from liquefied natural gas projects.

The deal, expected to close in January 2024, includes six underground natural gas storage facilities with total capacity of 115 billion cubic feet in the U.S. states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Williams would also get 230 miles of gas transmission pipeline and 30 pipeline interconnects to markets including liquefied natural gas, as well as connections to Williams' Transco pipeline.

"These assets better position Williams' natural gas storage operations to serve Gulf Coast LNG demand and growing electrification loads from data centers along the Transco corridor," said Williams CEO Alan Armstrong.

Williams had hired two veteran executives to set up an LNG marketing operation last year.

The United States was the top exporter of LNG in the first half of this year, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), ahead of Qatar and Australia. New export plants expected to begin production next year would cement its status as top exporter, analysts have said.

Consolidation in the oil and gas pipeline business has accelerated this year as problems with getting permits for new pipelines has made existing operators more valuable and U.S. production grows.

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