Williams Partners LP (WPZ:US) is joining with Caiman Energy II LLC and private-equity firms EnCap Flatrock Midstream and Highstar Capital to invest $800 million in pipelines and processing facilities for oil and natural-gas production in the Utica Shale.
Williams will contribute about $380 million in the next several years to the venture, according to a statement from the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company today. The funds will be used to build pipelines to gather and process oil, gas and petroleum liquids in Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania.
“Our producer customers will benefit from introducing the kind of comprehensive large-scale midstream solutions to the area that will make their positions in the liquids- and oil-rich Utica Shale even more valuable,” Alan Armstrong, chief executive officer of Williams Cos., said in the statement.
The Utica shale formation in Ohio may hold as much 5.5 billion barrels of oil and 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Shale is a dense rock into which drillers shoot water, chemicals and sand to release oil or gas.
Williams Cos. owns the general partner of Williams Partners.
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