The Marcellus region, where Williams Partners (WPZ) has an active presence, continues to experience strong drilling activity. The impressive drilling activity and improved drilling efficiency in the region are expected to drive Williams Partners’ throughput volumes.
According to the recent rigs report published by Baker Hughes (BHI), the region’s rig count had risen to 41 as of March 10, 2017, compared to its all-time low of 21 in August 2016. Goldman Sachs expects natural gas production in the region to grow at an 11.0% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) until 2020.
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According to Alan Armstrong, Williams’s CEO, “The Marcellus and Utica areas really hold the key for America’s energy future, and we’re working very hard on increasing not only our gathering position there but also getting – making sure we’re connected to all takeaway capacities to unleash this tremendous resource that it will supply low cost, clean natural gas resource for decades to come.”
Williams Partners continues to explore opportunities to expand its Marcellus exposure. The partnership recently announced that it would be swapping assets with Western Gas Partners (WES) to increase its exposure in the region.
WPZ agreed to acquire 33.8% interest in two Marcellus Shale natural gas–gathering systems from WES in exchange for 50% interest in its Delaware Basin joint venture gathering.