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Boardwalk Pipeline Partners buys joint venture

HOUSTON (AP) -- Boardwalk Pipeline Partners has spent $285 million for the remaining 80 percent stake it does not possess in a joint venture it operates with the natural gas distributor's parent company, giving it full control.

Boardwalk in October said it woul create the Boardwalk HP Storage Company LLC with its parent company Loews Corp. Boardwalk CEO Stan Horton said Monday that gaining total ownership of the storage company was key goal for 2012.

The company operates seven, salt-dome natural gas storage caverns in Forrest County, Miss. The storage units have about 29 billion cubic feet of total storage capacity. It also owns undeveloped land that is suitable for up to six additional storage caverns, according to Boardwalk.

The company said it expects to have one new one storage facility in service in 2013, at an incremental cost of about $35 million.

Shares of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP fell 6 cents to $27.23 in midday trading.