Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE:WPZ) announced today that Marubeni Corporation has agreed to acquire a 49-percent interest in Williams Partners’ first Gulfstar FPS™ project.
The agreement is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013. Upon closing of the agreement, Marubeni will contribute approximately $225 million to fund capital expenditures, following with monthly capital contributions representing their 49-percent interest.
Gulfstar FPS is Williams Partners’ proprietary floating production system. The initial Gulfstar FPS, which has been under construction since late 2011, will support multiple agreements Williams Partners has signed with Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX), through which production handling, export pipeline, oil and gas gathering and gas processing services are provided for the Tubular Bells field development located in the eastern deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Gulfstar FPS will tie into Williams Partners’ wholly owned oil, gas gathering and processing systems in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Williams Partners also expects the initial Gulfstar FPS to be capable of serving as a central host facility for other deepwater prospects in the area.
The initial Gulfstar FPS is expected to be placed into service in mid-2014. Williams Partners expects to develop additional Gulfstar FPS projects in the future.“We’re very pleased to be following through on our goal of adding a partner to our first Gulfstar project,” said Alan Armstrong, chief executive officer of Williams Partners’ general partner. “Adding a partner like Marubeni will benefit us significantly, giving us more flexibility in capital spending as we continue to pursue attractive projects in all of our operating areas.” Williams Partners’ expected capital spending on Gulfstar of approximately $500 million was included in the partnership’s previously issued guidance and represents a 51-percent ownership interest. The partnership expects to use consolidated accounting for the Gulfstar projects.