In Part 2 of a leave-it-to-the-midstream transaction series, Western Canadian operator Wolf Midstream Inc. purchased the 50% of the Access Pipeline that it didn’t own from MEG Energy Corp. for about US$1.3 billion.
A deal with Devon Energy Corp. in July 2016 landed Wolf the other half of the pipeline, which is the first asset of the company founded in 2015 by a group of industry veterans. The recent deal with MEG also garnered the company a 100% ownership in the Stonefell Terminal, a 900,000 barrel storage facility connected to the pipeline.
Stonefell connects via the Access system to production facilities owned by MEG, and to additional distribution connections, which constitute a launch point for volumes of blended products to reach multiple markets.
MEG’s destination of choice is the U.S. Gulf Coast. The spike it enjoyed in higher volumes sold there fueled a 48% jump in its fourth-quarter revenue.
MEG is not out of the picture. It made a 30-year transport commitment for the pipeline and terminal but the transaction allows it to concentrate on expansion of its Christina Lake project in Canada’s Athabasca region. It will also enable the company to repay about US$1 billion in senior-secured term loans.
The transaction was financed with $703 million from Wolf’s partner, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, third-party debt financing and cash on hand.
Separately, oil and gas producer EQT Corp. said it would spin off its midstream assets to create a standalone publicly traded company, yielding to months of shareholder pressure.
Hedge funds D.E. Shaw & Co. and Jana Partners had pushed for a breakup of the company ever since it bought Rice Energy for $6.7 billion last year, saying a separation of its production and pipeline assets would ensure better shareholder returns. Under the deal, designed to be tax-free for EQT’s shareholders, the company will merge its midstream assets with those of Rice Energy and then spin off the entity.
The company had hinted at the breakup last year following the deal, when it said it would address the “sum-of-the-parts discount” in its share price following the Rice deal.
Following the spinoff, expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter, the new midstream company will become the third-largest gas gathering system in the U.S., the company said. The separation will also help narrow EQT’s focus to its E&P business as oil prices rise and shale production surges.
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