Drilling Down

TransCanada Completes $13B Deal for Columbia Pipeline

CALGARY, Alberta – TransCanada Corp. announced Friday that it has completed its acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group Inc., whose assets include the Hickory Bend gathering and processing system in the Mahoning Valley.

“This acquisition is a tremendous opportunity to obtain a competitively positioned, growing network of regulated natural gas pipelines and storage assets in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica basins,” said Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada.

The agreement called for an acquisition price of $13 billion, along with the assumption of $2.8 billion in debt.

“With this transaction, we have further diversified our suite of premium assets, added to our near-term growth portfolio and created one of North America’s largest regulated gas transmission and storage businesses, linking the continent’s most prolific natural gas supply basin to its most attractive markets,” Girling added.

Columbia Pipeline was separated from its parent, NiSource, last year, and is a partner in the Hickory Bend system in the northern sector of the Utica shale, along with Hilcorp Energy Co. and Williams.

Hickory Bend is made up of about 50 miles of gathering pipelines from wells drilled in Mercer and Lawrence counties in western Pennsylvania and Mahoning and Columbiana counties in Ohio.

The system also includes a cryogenic processing plant near New Middletown in Mahoning County that separates dry methane gas from natural gas liquids, or NGLs. The NGLs are transported through a 13-mile pipeline to UEO Buckeye’s Kensington plant in Columbiana County, then to another processor in Harrison County, where the NGLs are separated into specific products such as ethane, butane and propane.

In an interview with The Business Journal June 22, Mike Huwar, vice president of Columbia Midstream, a subsidiary of Columbia Pipeline Group, called Hickory Bend “one of the crown jewels” of its midstream system. “We anticipate when price comes back, and that’s starting to creep up now, production will be back to where we’d like to see.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.