Williams (NYSE: WMB) today announced that Robert Purgason and Walter Bennett each will assume a role as senior vice president of one of the company's operating areas, effective Jan. 1. Williams' board of directors confirmed both Purgason's and Bennett's roles, which will report directly to Williams President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Armstrong. The operating area Purgason will lead encompasses the assets and operations of Access Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ACMP), which includes natural gas gathering and processing in the Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Mid-continent and Niobrara producing areas. Bennett will lead Williams' West Operating Area, succeeding Allison Bridges, who has chosen to retire at the end of this year. The West Operating Area includes natural gas gathering and processing operations in Colorado, Wyoming and the Four Corners area, as well as the Northwest Pipeline interstate natural gas transmission system. "We look forward to adding Bob Purgason and Walt Bennett to our executive officer team to lead our Access and West operating areas. They are proven leaders who bring valuable experience to these areas that contribute greatly to our cash flows and our continuing growth," said Alan Armstrong, Williams' president and chief executive officer. "We appreciate Allison Bridges' service and the accomplishments she has achieved for Williams' customers, investors and shareholders during her 33 years of service. We wish her the best in her retirement," Armstrong said. Purgason Purgason currently serves as chief operating officer of the general partner of ACMP, a position he assumed in January 2010. His prior experience includes service at Crosstex Energy Services, L.P., where he was executive vice president and chief operating officer during most of his five-year tenure there. Previously, Purgason served 19 years at Williams in various senior business-development and operational roles. He began his career at Perry Gas Companies in Odessa, Texas. He earned a bachelor of chemical engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma.
BennettBennett currently serves as senior vice president - Western Operations for ACMP. His area of responsibility in that role includes ACMP's Anadarko, Midcontinent, Niobrara, Barnett, Permian, Eagle Ford and Haynesville operations. Bennett's prior experience includes serving as chief operating officer for Chesapeake Midstream Development; senior vice president of operations for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners; and a variety of senior positions at Gulf South Pipeline Company. He began his career at a subsidiary of Koch Industries in Gary, Indiana. Bennett earned his bachelors of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and his master of business administration from Louisiana State University. About Williams Williams, headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America. It owns controlling interests in both Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) and Access Midstream Partners, L.P. through its ownership of 100 percent of the general partner of each partnership. Additionally, Williams owns approximately 66 percent and 50 percent of the limited partner units of Williams Partners L.P. and Access Midstream Partners, L.P., respectively. Williams Partners L.P. owns and operates both on-shore and off-shore assets of approximately 15,000 miles of natural gas gathering and transmission pipelines, 1,800 miles of NGL transportation pipelines, an additional 11,000 miles of oil and gas gathering pipelines and numerous other energy infrastructure assets. The partnership's operated facilities have daily gas gathering capacity of approximately 11 billion cubic feet, processing capacity of approximately 7 billion cubic feet, NGL production of more than 400,000 barrels per day and domestic olefins production capacity of 1.95 billion pounds of ethylene and 114 million pounds of propylene per year. Access Midstream Partners, L.P. owns and operates natural gas midstream assets across nine states, with an average net throughput of approximately 4.13 billion cubic feet per day and more than 6,773 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the partnership's operations are focused on the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara and Utica Shales and the Mid-Continent region of the U.S.