Williams To Sell 6,000 mile Central US Pipeline

Williams, the number two US pipeline owner, may sell its 6,000-mile natural-gas line in the central US, the company's smallest interstate network, to raise cash and trim debt.

“Parties have expressed strong interest” in the Central line that transports gas to eastern Kansas and western Missouri from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and Colorado, the company said in a statement. The company did not provide specifics on bids for the line.

Williams, one of the biggest energy traders, plans to sell a $3 billion in assets to bolster its finances and maintain an investment grade credit following the collapse of rival Enron Corp. Williams sold its Kern River pipeline, which runs to California from Wyoming, for $960 million to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in March.

“They need the cash, they can't sell equity and nobody wants their bonds,” said Richard Lazarchic, who has units of Williams affiliate Williams Energy Partners LP among $100 million he manages in the Federated Utility Fund. “If you're going to sell a line, it may as well be the one to Kansas City.”


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