Negotiated resolution reaffirms the value of Williams’ midstream infrastructure and incentivizes future development of critical acreage
Williams (NYSE: WMB) today announced that it has reached a global resolution with Chesapeake as part of Chesapeake’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring process.
“Williams has strategically invested in large-scale and essential infrastructure necessary to gather and treat the natural gas that Chesapeake and its joint interest owners produce in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville, and Marcellus,” said Alan Armstrong, Williams president and CEO. “Our gathering systems are necessary to realize the full potential of these high value reserves, and we are pleased to have been able to work with Chesapeake toward a mutually beneficial outcome that will put Chesapeake on a clear path to a bright future. Chesapeake is a valuable customer, and this transaction will both strengthen Chesapeake and allow Williams to enhance the value of our significant midstream infrastructure by bringing adequate capitalization to these low-cost gas reserves.”
Key highlights of the global resolution, currently pending bankruptcy court approval, include the following:
- Chesapeake will pay all pre-petition and past due receivables related to midstream expenses, per the existing contracts.
- Chesapeake will not attempt to reject Williams’ gathering agreements in the Eagle Ford, Marcellus, or Mid-Con.
- In the Haynesville, Williams has agreed to reduce its gathering fees in exchange for gaining ownership of a portion of Chesapeake’s South Mansfield producing assets, which consist of approximately 50,000 net mineral acres. In addition, Chesapeake will enter into a long-term gas supply commitment of a minimum 100 Mdth/d and up to 150 Mdth/d for the Transco Regional Energy Access (REA) pipeline currently under development.
- The reduced gathering fees are consistent with incentive rates that Williams has offered in the past to attract drilling capital and are therefore expected to promote additional drilling across Chesapeake’s prolific Haynesville footprint.
- The South Mansfield assets provide an opportunity for Williams to transition the acreage to a strong and well-capitalized operator that will grow production volumes, and drive growth in fee based cash flows on Williams’ existing spare midstream capacity, while also enabling Williams to market significant gas volumes for future downstream opportunities.
- The commitment to REA provides valuable incremental takeaway capacity for Chesapeake’s Marcellus production and the associated Williams gathering systems, while adding a valuable capacity commitment to the Transco project.
Source: Company Press Release