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ONEOK To Sell Assets To Duke Field Services

ONEOK To Sell Assets To Duke Field Services

Duke Energy Field Services has agreed to purchase percentage interests in several non-regulated natural gas gathering systems and processing plants from subsidiaries of ONEOK Inc., and has committed to build a natural gas processing plant with ONEOK in southern Oklahoma.

Duke has purchased half of ONEOK's interest in a partnership that owns and operates the Sycamore Gas Gathering system in Carter County, plus it has bought ONEOK's Aledo gas treating plant and gathering system in Dewey County; the Minneola gas gathering system and related facilities in Ford, Meade and Clark counties in Kansas; and about a 16% interest in the oil and gas reserves, gathering system and processing plant in the Black Lake Unit located in Nachitoches Parish, LA. The effective date for the transaction is Sept. 1. No financial details were disclosed.

Duke Energy and ONEOK Gas Processing also have formed a partnership to build a new natural gas processing plant and gathering system in Carter County to process approximately 25 MMcf/d of natural gas in an area that includes the Sycamore Field.

ONEOK spokesman Weldon Watson noted the "opportunities involved in having someone of Duke's size focusing on this area." Questioned, he said that despite Duke's announced sale of Panhandle Eastern and Trunkline, he had seen no indication Duke is getting out of the midstream business. He cited the deal with ONEOK and Duke's Field Services announcement Wednesday of the purchase of a gas processing plant in Texas.

"The purchase of these facilities and the construction of the processing plant will further our ability to meet our customers' needs by increasing capacity in strategic areas and enhancing operating efficiencies through consolidation," said Jim Mogg, president of Duke Energy Field Services.

"The Aledo plant, the Minneola plant, were plants that were picked up in other acquisitions," said ONEOK's Watson said. "The Black Lake reserves we purchased back in the early '90s. We've got more of an exploitation focus for reserves and owning reserves where we own other operations where we're very active, and that was not the case with the Black Lake area in Louisiana."

Joe Fisher, Houston

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