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Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ)

  • Mon, Apr. 6, 8:25 AM
    • Williams Partners (WPZ, WMB) agrees to acquire additional interest in Utica East Ohio Midstream Partnership from a subsidiary of EV Energy Partners (NASDAQ:EVEP) for ~$575M.
    • WPZ says the acquisition will increase its stake in the natural gas midstream business in the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio to 70%.
    • EVEP says the deal marks the completion of its divestiture of midstream investments in the Utica Shale.
  • Thu, Mar. 19, 8:28 PM
    • A U.S. district judge clears the way for construction of the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline across several Pennsylvania properties whose owners had not agreed to it, ruling that the project has the necessary permits and serves the public interest.
    • The lead partners in the project designed to ferry cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas to New York and New England are Williams Partners (WPZ, WMB) and Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG).
    • The group hopes to begin construction June 1 but still needs permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Thu, Mar. 19, 4:43 PM
    • Williams Cos. (WMB, WPZ) says the FERC approved Transco’s application to expand its mainline pipeline system and construct an 11-mile pipeline lateral connecting Transco to an electric power generating facility in Maryland.
    • The Rock Springs expansion project is designed to transport 192K dkm/day of natural gas to the planned Wildcat Point Generation Facility, which is expected to generate ~1K mw, enough to power 390K homes in the region.
    • WMB also says Transco filed an application with the FERC for its Dalton expansion project, which would support providing Marcellus shale gas to the southeastern U.S. for electricity generation and local natural gas distribution.
  • Tue, Feb. 24, 3:43 PM
    • Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) infrastructure arm has begun seeking bids for natural gas pipeline operator Southern Star Central, Bloomberg reports.
    • MS reportedly has sent offering documents to potential bidders including Tallgrass Energy Partners (NYSE:TEP) and TransCanada (NYSE:TRP), and is said to be soliciting bids from operators of gas pipelines including Williams Cos. (WMB, WPZ), Spectra Energy (NYSE:SE) and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE:BWP), as well as other infrastructure investors such as Macquarie (NYSE:MIC).
    • Southern Star operates 6K miles of natural gas pipelines in the midwestern U.S., and is valued at as much as $1.5B.
  • Fri, Feb. 20, 3:43 PM
    • Credit Suisse reiterates a Buy rating on Williams Cos. (WMB -0.9%) and a Neutral rating and $61 target on Williams Partners (WPZ +2.1%), following Q4 earnings reports that “cleared the deck with their guidance” in terms of dealing with the new normal of low oil prices.
    • The firm believes WMB is up to the task of executing well in the current environment, and foresees "decent" distribution growth prospects at WPZ and improving coverage, as well as "comfortable double-digit" dividend growth at WMB.
    • For the stocks, Credit Suisse thinks execution should drive towards a $60 stock which would outperform the broader group, and is "warming up" on WPZ despite its Neutral rating.
  • Wed, Feb. 18, 7:22 PM
    • Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) +0.6% AH after swinging to a Q4 profit, enjoying a lift from its recently merged MLPs even as its pipeline business lowered its 2015 outlook.
    • The new Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ) - combined with Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP) - cut its guidance for 2015 EBITDA to $4.5B from its previous view of ~$5B, citing sharply lower assumptions for commodities prices.
    • WPZ says its fee-based revenues continued to grow and it began commissioning major new assets including Gulfstar One, Keathley Canyon Connector and its expanded Geismar plant, but the sharp decline in commodity prices, the delay in the startup of Geismar and higher costs associated with the commissioning of the assets reduced overall results.
    • Guidance for WMB's 2015 cash dividend is $2.38/share with an annual growth rate of 10%-15% through 2017; guidance for WPZ's 2015 common unit cash distributions is $3.40 with an annual growth rate of 7%-11% through 2017.
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  • Wed, Feb. 18, 5:54 PM
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  • Wed, Feb. 11, 7:06 PM
    • The decline in prices has not changed the need for pipelines, as the continued position of natural gas as a cheep feedstock for electricity generators and other producers has offset any slowdown in drilling, Williams Cos. (WMB, WPZ) CEO Alan Armstrong says; instead, it is political hassles and complex regulation that make moving gas to market more uncertain and expensive.
    • On the CEO's mind were recent expansions of the company's largest line, the 10,500-mile Transco system running from the Gulf coast to New England, which have run into delays and lengthy permitting applications, especially in the Northeast; building the 122-mile Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania to upstate New York cost $4.8M/mile vs. $1.7M/mile to lay a pipeline at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Echoing other natural gas producers and shippers, Armstrong says blanket opposition to pipelines is increasing the cost of fuel and forcing some sectors to rely on high-carbon alternatives such as coal.
  • Tue, Feb. 10, 12:39 PM
    • Williams Partners (WPZ, WMB) says it has restarted its Geismar, La., chemical plant which was nearly destroyed in a deadly 2013 explosion, and is now producing ethylene for sale.
    • The plant has been rebuilt and expanded, and Williams plans to ramp up production up to 1.95B lbs./year of ethylene.
    • Separately, Williams and DCP Midstream Partners (NYSE:DPM) say they have begun operations from their newly extended Discovery natural gas gathering pipeline system capable of gathering more than 400M cf/day of natural gas.
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  • Mon, Jan. 26, 7:15 PM
    • It was a great day for energy stocks in at least one group of high-yield dividend dogs, as the five energy names making up the top six stocks in David Fish's Dec. 31 composite list of Champions, Contenders and Challengers list all enjoyed substantial gains: EVEP +10.7%, BBEP +21.5%, VNR +12%, CLMT +6.1% and WPZ +0.4%.
    • So far in January, most results for the energy stocks in the group are still lower: EVEP -24%, BBEP -6.3%, VNR -0.7%, CLMT +16.2%, WPZ -2.5%.
  • Dec. 8, 2014, 10:55 AM
    • Williams Partners (WPZ, WMB), the developer of the $750M Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania into New York, reportedly has threatened to seize land from reluctant landowners through eminent domain.
    • A letter sent from a law firm tells landowners who have refused to sell rights of way for the 124-mile pipeline that they have until Wednesday to accept offered prices, then the developer will take them to court to force such sales for possibly less money.
    • Project opponents of the project have filed a complaint against the letters with the New York State AG.
    • The project was approved last week by federal regulators and could be operational by next winter if it obtains remaining regulatory approvals from various state and federal agencies in a timely fashion.
  • Dec. 3, 2014, 10:29 AM
    • The FERC grants conditional approval for construction of the planned 124-mile Constitution Pipeline that would link the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania to natural gas markets in the northeastern U.S.
    • The project is a venture between Williams Partners (WPZ, WMB), Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG), Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:PNY) and WGL Holdings (NYSE:WGL).
    • The partners say construction could begin in Q1 2015 to help meet demand in New York and New England by the winter of 2015-16, assuming the pipeline receives other needed approvals in a timely manner.
    • WPZ also has several other pipeline projects in the works that would expand and reroute gas shipments to increase its ability to move Pennsylvania gas on its Transco network, which runs from Texas to New York.
  • Dec. 2, 2014, 6:50 PM
    • Williams Partners (WPZ, WMB) says its rebuilt, expanded plant in Geismar, La., is in the final stages of commissioning and will begin ethylene production for sale this month.
    • The Geismar plant has upped its capacity to 1.95B lbs/year of ethylene, with WPZ's share at ~1.7B lbs. annually, and 114M lbs/year of propylene.
    • WPZ opted to expand the facility as well as rebuilt portions after a June 2013 explosion which killed two workers.
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  • Oct. 29, 2014, 6:49 PM
    • Williams Cos. (NYSE:WMB) reported soaring Q3 earnings, but the result was attributed mostly to a gain related to its interest in Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP), which recently agreed to merge with affiliate Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ); adjusted for the gain, EPS from continuing operations fell to $0.15 from $0.19.
    • In addition to its Q3 dividend increase, WMB also affirms dividend growth guidance of ~15% annually -- through 2017 with planned dividends of ~$1.96 in 2014, $2.46 in 2015, $2.82 in 2016, $3.25 in 2017.
    • WPZ says its Q3 earnings fell 24% amid weaker natural gas liquids margins and higher maintenance costs; CEO Alan Armstrong says the results were as expected and mostly the result of the outage at its Geismar olefins plant.
    • Earlier today, WPZ said it expects its expanded Geismar plant will begin manufacturing ethylene for sale next month.
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  • Oct. 29, 2014, 4:28 PM
    • Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ): Q3 EPS of $0.07 may not be comparable to consensus of $0.39.
    • Press Release
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  • Oct. 29, 2014, 3:57 PM
    • Williams Partners (WPZ +1.6%) says it plans to resume ethylene production as soon as next month at its rebuilt and expanded Geismar, La., olefins plant following a series of delays after a 2013 explosion at the site.
    • WPZ says all major construction related to Geismar’s rebuild, expansion and safety-related upgrades has been completed, and the plant is scheduled to begin manufacturing ethylene for sale in November.
    • The 600M lb./year expansion project will bring Geismar’s ethylene production capacity to 1.95B lbs./year from 1.35B lbs/year, with WPZ's share of the total capacity amounting to ~1.7B.
    • WMB +3.1%.
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Company Description
Williams Partners LP is an energy infrastructure company. Itowns and operates midstream gathering and processing assets, and interstate natural gas pipelines.