Boardwalk Pipeline Parent Taking Co. Private, Dissolving MLP

We write about Boardwalk Pipeline Partners every now and again. They don’t have a lot of pipelines in the Marcellus/Utica region–but what they do have is important. One of the pipelines operated by Boardwalk is the huge Texas Gas Transmission (TGT)–originally built from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the upper Midwest to supply Illinois, Indiana and Ohio with natural gas. But then the Marcellus/Utica Shale happened and TGT needed to change strategies. Through a series of projects, TGT made the pipeline system bidirectional, so it could flow gas from the Marcellus/Utica to points south, going as far as the Gulf Coast. In May 2016 TGT began to flow up to 626 million cubic feet per day of Marcellus/Utica gas as far away as the Gulf Coast (see 626 Mmcf/d of Northeast Shale Gas Begins Flowing to Gulf Today). Little known fact: About half of that gas, some 300 Mmcf/d, goes to Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export plant, where it’s super-cooled into LNG and shipped to other countries. Boardwalk is in a multi-year process of expanding TGT by another 384 MMcf/d of capacity. In April 2017, the company asked FERC for an extension to complete the project, until 2020 (see Texas Gas Asks FERC for Extra 2 Yrs on Northern Supply Access Proj). We bring you all of that information to point out Boardwalk’s importance to our region, and to introduce the news that the parent company that owns most of Boardwalk, Loews Corp., is in the process of “buying out” the MLP (master limited partnership) units it doesn’t already own, and then removing all MLP units (i.e. shares) from public trading. In other words, it’s going private. Why? Due to the Trump tax cut and subsequent FERC ruling that makes MLPs much less attractive as a form of organization than they once were…

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