Chesapeake Energy to sell midstream assets to Access Midstream Partners for $2.16 bn

Chesapeake Energy yesterday said that it would sell most of its remaining natural gas processing and gathering assets to private equity backed Access Midstream Partners LP, for $2.16 billion, as the second-largest natural-gas producer in the US continues to sell assets to reduce its huge debt.

The natural gas processing and gathering assets being sold are located primarily in the company's Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara shale plays.

The transaction includes new market-based gathering and processing agreements covering various acreage dedication areas and is expected to close by the end of 2012.

Along with the sale, in a separate transaction, US pipeline and energy infrastructure company Williams Cos  will pay $2.4 billion to buy a big stake in Access from private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners.

Separately, Access and Chesapeake have agreed to extend Access' exclusivity period with respect to Chesapeake's remaining assets in the Mid-Continent region until 1 March 2013.

The Oklahoma-based company said that it has recently completed the sale of other midstream assets in Oklahoma and Texas during the 2012 fourth quarter for approximately $175 million.