Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) announced today that its Northwest Pipeline system received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a pre-filed rate settlement.
Northwest filed a Stipulation and Settlement Agreement with the FERC on March 15, 2012.
The supporting or non-opposing customers named in the Settlement represent approximately 99.5 percent of Northwest’s long-term firm transportation and storage capacity.
Williams (NYSE: WMB) owns approximately 69 percent of Williams Partners, including the general-partner interest.“We’re pleased to have reached a settlement with our customers. We appreciate the long-standing relationships with them that allowed us to work cooperatively and reach a timely quick settlement,” said Randy Barnard, senior vice president of the partnership’s interstate gas pipeline business. The settlement is based on an annual cost of service of $466.5 million and established a new general system firm transportation rate of $0.44 per dekatherm, a 7.4 percent increase over the current rate. New rates will become effective Jan. 1, 2013. Northwest can file another rate case in three years and must file within five years. The settlement is in line with Williams Partners’ and Williams’ earnings and cash flow guidance for 2013 and 2014. Northwest Pipeline is a primary artery for the transmission of natural gas to the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain Region. The 4,000-mile system crosses Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Peak capacity is 3.8 billion cubic feet per day. Northwest’s bi-directional system provides markets with access to British Columbia, Alberta, Rocky Mountain and San Juan Basin gas supplies. About Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) Williams Partners L.P. is a leading diversified master limited partnership focused on natural gas transportation; gathering, treating, and processing; storage; natural gas liquid (NGL) fractionation; and oil transportation. The partnership owns interests in three major interstate natural gas pipelines that, combined, deliver 14 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States. The partnership’s gathering and processing assets include large-scale operations in the U.S. Rocky Mountains and both onshore and offshore along the Gulf of Mexico. Williams (NYSE: WMB) owns approximately 69 percent of Williams Partners, including the general-partner interest. More information is available at www.williamslp.com. Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the partnership believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the “safe harbor” protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the partnership’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.