Williams announced on March 14 that it has reached an agreement to acquire the Haynesville gathering and processing assets of Trace Midstream (Trace), a portfolio company of Quantum Energy Partners, in a transaction valued at $950 million.
The combination of the Trace system with Williams’ existing footprint provides expanded scale in one of the largest growth basins in the country, increasing the company’s gathering capacity in the Haynesville basin from 1.8 Bcf/d to over 4 Bcf/d. The acquisition is expected to result in an investment at approximately 6 times 2023 EBITDA, with strong growth anticipated and minimal expansion capital required, thereby supporting Williams’ strong credit metrics.
As part of the transaction, Trace customer and Quantum affiliate Rockcliff Energy has agreed to a long-term capacity commitment in support of Williams’ Louisiana Energy Gateway (LEG) project. The LEG project is designed to gather responsibly sourced natural gas produced in the Haynesville and connect it to premium Transco markets, as well as growing industrial and LNG export demand along the Gulf Coast.
In further support of the LEG project, Williams signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Quantum to form a joint venture that will enable Quantum to become an equity investor and partner in the project. The partnership brings together Williams’ expertise as a leading developer and operator of clean energy infrastructure with Quantum’s abilities as a leading global provider of private capital to the responsibly sourced energy and energy transition & decarbonization sectors.
“Williams continues to increase scale and connectivity in the best and most efficient natural gas basins, and these transactions with Trace, Rockcliff and Quantum represent an important extension of our natural gas-focused strategy,” Alan Armstrong, Williams president and CEO, said in a statement.
“We are excited for the opportunity to help Rockcliff continue their success and connect them to growing markets with Quantum as our new partner in LEG. Importantly, this is going to be the flagship of our low carbon wellhead to water venture, proving up what an important role natural gas can play in reducing emissions, lowering costs and providing secure reliable energy here and around the world.”
“We have been rapidly expanding our Haynesville system to support growth from existing and new customers,” added Chad Zamarin, Williams senior vice president of Corporate Strategic Development. “By leveraging our scale, value chain integration and unique capabilities, including our Sequent Energy platform and New Energy Ventures clean energy solutions, we are facilitating the delivery of responsibly sourced gas to meet the climate goals and the energy needs of our customers and our country.”
“We are grateful for our partnership with the Trace management team who developed a strategic infrastructure platform with high ESG standards,” said Blake Webster, managing director with Quantum. “Partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs like the Trace and Rockcliff teams and building businesses of scale have been hallmarks of Quantum’s success over the years. We are also excited to establish a partnership with Williams on the LEG project, which we view as a critical bridge to connect responsibly sourced Haynesville natural gas with Gulf Coast LNG markets.”
“We are proud of the team and the business we’ve built at Trace, and we are grateful to see its success continue with Williams,” said Trace CEO Josh Weber. “Over the past four years, we have positioned ourselves in one of the most prolific resource plays in the country to transport responsibly sourced natural gas to premium markets along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast."
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter subject to regulatory approvals.
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