EQT closes gas utility sale to Peoples Natural Gas - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

EQT closes gas utility sale to Peoples Natural Gas

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EQT Corporation announced Dec. 17 it had completed the transfer of its natural gas distribution business, Equitable Gas Company LLC, to Peoples Natural Gas.

The transaction included a cash payment of about $740 million to EQT, which includes a $720 million base price and $20 million of initial purchase price adjustments as well as select midstream assets and commercial arrangements.

"During the last five years, our business strategy has focused on Marcellus Shale development as we intensified efforts to grow our natural gas exploration and production program and expand our midstream operations," said David Porges, chief executive officer of EQT Corporation. "This transaction provides capital to continue investing in EQT's core businesses — delivering shareholder value and providing sustained economic growth in our operating regions.

"With a modest amount of capital, the acquired midstream assets will become a valuable addition to our strategically located pipeline network — serving EQT Production and other Marcellus natural gas producers."

The newly acquired Marcellus midstream assets include about 200 miles of transmission pipelines and four storage pools. The long-term commercial contracts for EQT to provide gas transmission and storage to Peoples will facilitate the local use of the region's low-cost Marcellus gas and reduce the region's reliance on gas from the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to a news release from EQT.