FERC approves Northwest Pipeline pre-filed rate settlement

Source: Williams Partners

Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) announced today that its Northwest Pipeline system received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on a pre-filed rate settlement.

Northwest filed a Stipulation and Settlement Agreement with the FERC on March 15, 2012.

The supporting or non-opposing customers named in the Settlement represent approximately 99.5 percent of Northwest’s long-term firm transportation and storage capacity.

Williams (NYSE: WMB) owns approximately 69 percent of Williams Partners, including the general-partner interest.

“We’re pleased to have reached a settlement with our customers. We appreciate the long-standing relationships with them that allowed us to work cooperatively and reach a timely quick settlement,” said Randy Barnard, senior vice president of the partnership’s interstate gas pipeline business.

The settlement is based on an annual cost of service of $466.5 million and established a new general system firm transportation rate of $0.44 per dekatherm, a 7.4 percent increase over the current rate. New rates will become effective Jan. 1, 2013. Northwest can file another rate case in three years and must file within five years. The settlement is in line with Williams Partners’ and Williams’ earnings and cash flow guidance for 2013 and 2014.

Northwest Pipeline is a primary artery for the transmission of natural gas to the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain Region. The 4,000-mile system crosses Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Peak capacity is 3.8 billion cubic feet per day. Northwest’s bi-directional system provides markets with access to British Columbia, Alberta, Rocky Mountain and San Juan Basin gas supplies.


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