US Williams bullish on NGLs from Canadian oil sands projects

31 October 2013 16:52 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Williams’s Canadian business will continue to prosper as Canada is expanding its oil sands sector, the CEO of the US-based energy and petrochemicals firm said on Thursday.

The company's Canadian midstream business extracts natural gas liquids (NGLs) from olefins-rich off-gases generated in the upgrading of oil sands in Canada’s Alberta province.

“We have great competitive advantage in this business because we really are the only party that are taking the off-gas and are extracting these highly valuable products,” Alan Armstrong told analysts during William’s third-quarter earnings call.

“We got the right assets, the right experience and the right operating team,” Armstrong said.

“We are excited about that continued competitive advantage, leading to further growth opportunities [in Canada],” he added.

Armstrong also said that William’s operating “in-service” Canadian assets will be acquired by Williams Partners, which is  tax-advantaged master limited partnership.

The transaction, which Armstrong described as a "drop-down", is to be completed in January, he said. However, the acquisition price has yet to be determined in negotiations between Williams and Williams Partners, he added.

In related news, French energy major Total said on Thursday that it will proceed to invest in an oil sands mining project in Alberta.

By Stefan Baumgarten