Williams Partners Transco Extension Booked


A leading master limited partnership, Williams Partners L.P.’s (WPZ) share price surprised with a 0.4% drop on its announcement that 100% of 1.7 billion dekatherms of firm transportation capacity under its proposed Atlantic Sunrise expansion project has received binding commitments from nine shippers.

The project signifies crucial energy infrastructure that would link the rising, new supplies of natural gas in the Marcellus producing region in northeastern Pennsylvania with emerging demand centers along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Williams Partners expects net investment of about $2.1 billion in the project. The partnership anticipates the commissioning of the Atlantic Sunrise in the second half of 2017, subject to necessary regulatory approvals on time.

The initial schedule for project sanction activity begins with Transco's proposed submission of its request in March, to begin the pre-filing process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The project is subject to approval by Williams Partners' board of directors.

Transco, the nation’s largest-volume interstate natural gas pipeline system, has a 10,200 mile pipeline network that spans about 1,800 miles between South Texas and New York City.

The Atlantic Sunrise project is the latest addition to the list of important Transco mainline expansion that includes Leidy Southeast and Virginia Southside. The expansion carried out by Transco between 2013 and 2017 are expected to increase the system capacity by 50%.

The Atlantic Sunrise project will comprise compression and looping of the Transco Leidy line in Pennsylvania. It will also include a greenfield pipeline segment, known as the Central Penn Line, linking the northeastern Marcellus producing region to the Transco mainline near Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania. The greenfield segment will be jointly held by Transco and a third party.

Williams Partners carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas sector include Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP), Matrix Service Company (MTRX) and Matador Resources Company (MTDR). All these stocks hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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