Williams Partners to Expand Footprint in West Virginia

Midstream infrastructure provider Williams PartnersL.P.WPZ has entered into a deal with Southwestern Energy Company (SWN), primarily an upstream energy player.

Per the accord, the partnership will provide services related to processing and fractionation of natural gas produced by Southwestern Energy from the wet gas resources in the Upper Devonian Shale and Marcellus area, spreading over 135,000 acres. Every day, Williams Partners is expected to process 660 million cubic feet of gas in the two shale plays of West Virginia's Marshall and Wetzel counties. With this deal, the partnership will look to expand its Oak Grove processing unit to support Southwestern Energy's higher wet gas production.

Included in the deal, Williams Partners will gather natural gas from Southwestern Energy's dry gas region, covering 71,500 acres of area in South Utica. Notably, the South Utica acreage is also based in West Virginia's Marshall and Wetzel counties.

With this gathering and processing works, Williams Partners is anticipated to generate fee-based revenues for a considerable length of time. With the conclusion of the deal, Williams Partners will be able to expand its midstream service offerings to Southwestern Energy in West Virginia.

Tulsa, OK-based Williams Partners is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Nov 1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings stands at 40 cents.

Williams Partners' natural gas infrastructure assets comprise the fastest growing pipeline networks that carry the highest volumes of natural gas in the United States from the best supply basins of North America.

However, year to date, the partnership rallied 4.9%, underperforming the industry's 6.5% gain.

Presently, the partnership carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that the stock will perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

A few better-ranked players in the energy sector are Par Pacific Holdings Inc. PARR , Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. EEP and Jones Energy, Inc. JONE . All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Par Pacific managed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the last four quarters, at average earnings surprise of 195.26%.

Houston, TX-based Enbridge Energy, a master limited partnership (MLP), is a midstream energy player. The partnership recorded average positive earnings surprise of 22.83% over the last four quarters.

Based in Austin, TX, Jones Energy is an upstream energy player. The company's 2017 earnings are estimated to grow 31.6%.

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Williams Partners LP (WPZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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