Blackstone Group LP agreed to acquire pipeline company EagleClaw Midstream Ventures LLC for about $2 billion in cash, the latest deal in the prolific Permian Basin of West Texas, reported Bloomberg.
The transaction, which includes more than 375 miles (603 kilometers) of natural gas pipes, is expected to close by the end of July. EagleClaw will retain its name and operate as a Blackstone portfolio company, with the leadership team remaining intact, according to a statement Monday. EagleClaw’s financial sponsor is a partnership between EnCap Investments LP and Flatrock Energy Advisors LLC, called Encap Flatrock Midstream.
Blackstone joins a parade of pipeline buyers in the Permian Basin amid a drilling rebound spurred by higher oil prices. While most producers are targeting oil, it often comes mixed with substantial natural gas. The total number of rigs drilling in the nation’s biggest crude field rose to 339 last week, the most in more than two years, according to Baker Hughes Inc.
“Blackstone has a deep understanding of the compelling fundamentals of the upstream and midstream economics in the Permian, an outstanding reputation as an investor in the energy sector and the scale to take EagleClaw to the next level,” Bob Milam, EagleClaw’s chief executive officer, said in Monday’s statement, Bloomberg reported.
EagleClaw had been exploring a sale for months, according to people familiar with the process. Monday’s deal follows the announced purchase earlier this month of 500 miles of Permian crude pipelines by NuStar Energy LP and Targa Resources Corp.’s acquisition of pipelines and processing systems in the Permian for as much as $1.5 billion, unveiled in January.
Jefferies LLC served as EagleClaw’s financial adviser.