Pipeline Companies May Lose Big-Time if Chessy “Restructures”

Yesterday’s free fall of Chesapeake Energy’s stock based on rumors that the company may be considering bankruptcy (see today’s lead story) is not only affecting Chesapeake’s stock price. It’s also affecting the stock price of Energy Transfer Equity and Williams, two huge midstream companies. Why? ETE, you may recall, is in the process of buying Williams for $37.7 billion (see Looks Like a March 2016 Wedding for ETE & Williams). The main reason ETE is buying Williams, with its major presence in the Marcellus/Utica, is because of long-term contracts to use its pipelines in the northeast. One of Williams’ main customers with those long-term contracts is (yes) Chesapeake Energy. What if Chessy is forced to renegotiate or cancel or otherwise can’t honor those contracts? Whoops. There goes one of the big reasons for the deal in the first place. Which may explain why ETE’s stock went from $7.01 on Friday to closing at $4.09 yesterday (down 42%), and why Williams’ stock went from $17.11 on Friday to closing at $11.16 yesterday (down 35%). Here’s how/why Chesapeake’s troubles will not only affect ETE and Williams, but other midstream companies like Spectra Energy, Columbia Pipeline Partners and Marathon Petroleum as well…

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