PA PUC Approves Aqua America Purchase of Peoples Gas for $4.3B

Aqua America, the nation’s second-largest water/wastewater utility company headquartered near Philadelphia, announced in October 2018 it would buy Peoples Gas, the nation’s fifth-largest natural gas utility company headquartered in Pittsburgh, for $4.275 billion (see Aqua America Buys Peoples Gas for $4.3B – Old Pipes, Similar Nature). It took a while, but the last hurdle was cleared yesterday when the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission gave its blessing on the deal.
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Aqua America Buys Peoples Gas for $4.3B – Old Pipes, Similar Nature

Aqua America, the nation’s second largest water/wastewater utility company headquartered near Philadelphia, announced it is buying Peoples Gas, the nation’s fifth largest natural gas utility company headquartered in Pittsburgh, for $4.275 billion. This story interests us because the buyer, Aqua America, provides services to Marcellus/Utica shale drillers, and because Peoples Gas is a buyer of Marcellus/Utica gas. The combined company will both serve the shale industry as part of the supply chain, and buy the output of the shale industry as a customer. How cool is that? What made Aqua interested in Peoples? It has to do with old pipes in the ground. And similar natures.
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Water Pipelines for Drillers Great Idea, But Few & Far Between

An excellent article appears in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, written by one of the few (perhaps only) reporters they have who is objective when it comes to writing about the natural gas industry: Anya Litvak. Anya used to write for the Pittsburgh Business Times before the Post-Gazette poached her. Anya’s article addresses the issue of using water pipelines to feed the growing demand for water used by shale drillers. It’s a win/win because it tends to be cheaper and it reduces truck traffic. However, the up-front cost to build a pipeline (on the part of a water company) is not cheap and many drillers aren’t willing to commit to the 3-15 year term that water utilities want to have before they are willing to build such a pipeline. As part of the article we get this interesting update on PA water company Aqua America…
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PVR Water Services – Now Pumping 3M Gal of Water/Day for Drilling

Aqua America is one of the largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water utilities with almost 3 million residents in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Florida and Georgia. They also have a joint venture with Penn Virginia Resource Partners called PVR Water Services which provides water to Marcellus drillers in Pennsylvania. So far business is good.

A short section of Aqua America’s annual financial and operations report updates us on PVR Water Services:

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Aqua America Says Shale Gas Will be Big as Coal/Steel for PA

Last week Aqua America CEO Nicholas DeBenedictis addressed Drexel University students at the 2012 Energy/Utility Forum held at Drexel and told them the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania will be the biggest thing to come along, economically, since the “heydays” of coal and steel in the state.

Here’s a summary of what he said to Drexel students:

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New Water Pipeline Reduces Water Truck Trips in PA

Aqua America and Penn Virginia Resource Partners (PVR) issued a press release yesterday to call attention to a recently completed private pipeline project in the Marcellus Shale in north-central PA. What’s new and different about this pipeline is what it carries: water. The newly completed pipeline supplies water to drilling sites without the need for water trucks—and that’s the “angle” Aqua America and PVR are pushing. They tout the fact that already, in less than a month of operation, the pipeline has eliminated more than 2,000 water truck trips.

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