Cone Midstream Partners LP said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire the remaining interest in more than 125 miles of pipelines and 650 MMcf/d of natural gas compression capacity from sponsors Consol Energy Inc. and Noble Energy Inc. in a deal valued at $248 million.
Cone was formed by Consol and Noble in 2014 to gather production from a Marcellus Shale joint venture in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The 50/50 JV was dissolved in October. The assets Cone is acquiring make up its anchor systems and the sponsors have agreed to drop down their remaining 25% interest following the JV split.
When the transaction closes, which is expected by the end of the year, Consol and Noble would each receive $70 million in cash and 2.6 million common units in Cone Midstream. Cone said in a regulatory filing that it plans to fund the cash portion of the transaction with debt.
Once completed, Noble and Consol would each hold 34.2% of Cone. Consol and Noble split the E&P JV to gain more control over the development pace of the assets. Consol took a 100% interest in 306,000 Marcellus acres mostly in Pennsylvania, while Noble took 363,000 Marcellus acres primarily in West Virginia.
Consol has been moving away from coal production in recent years to a pure-play exploration and production company focused on the Appalachian Basin, while Noble has been more focused on the Permian Basin's Delaware sub-basin, Colorado's Denver-Julesburg Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.
Financial analysts noted that the transaction helps in Consol's transition to a pure-play gas producer and further aids its efforts to delever the balance sheet.