Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and affiliate Regency Energy Partners LP on Monday agreed to merge in a transaction estimated to be worth $18 billion, creating one of the largest master limited partnerships (MLP) with operations in nearly all major producing areas of the United States.
Set to close by the end of June, the transaction includes a one-time cash payment to Regency unitholders and $6.8 billion in debt and liabilities. The combination would create the second-largest MLP in the United States after Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP.
“ETP and Regency expect to capitalize on the full breadth of the combined gathering and processing platforms in several prolific producing regions, including the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale,” management said. ETP altogether controls about 35,000 miles of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines.
Among the benefits of the Regency merger “is the likelihood” of further NGL volume growth in Texas for their joint venture, Lone Star NGL LLC, which is expanding volumes into ETP’s intrastate pipeline system (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2014).
Appalachia business also is seen benefiting with the merger, where Regency’s growing operations are seen as a complement to ETP’s 3.25 Bcf/d Rover pipeline now under construction (see Shale Daily, Oct. 31, 2014; Oct. 11, 2013).
“The presence of ETP and Regency in these shales will also be complemented by the significant activity of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, another member of the Energy Transfer family, as it builds on its asset base in that area,” ETP management noted. ETP purchased Sunoco in 2012 (see Shale Daily, May 1, 2012). “Overall, ETP intends to become a major player in the Marcellus and Utica shales,” and said the Regency merger positions it to achieve that goal in the near term.
For Regency, the deal provides more financial assurance in uncertain times.