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Westcoast Buys Unocal's 9% Stake in Alliance

Westcoast Buys Unocal's 9% Stake in Alliance

Westcoast Energy announced plans to buy an additional 9.1% share of the now-approved Alliance Pipeline Project from Unocal Corp., which indicated its interest in selling the share earlier this year as part of a corporate restructuring. The purchase will increase Westcoast's total interest in the project to 23.6% from 14.5%. Westcoast's total equity in the project is now about $500 million. The sale is scheduled to close by the end of December, subject to the completion of formal agreements.

"This is an excellent project. It has received all of the necessary Canadian and U.S. approvals to proceed with construction. It is ready to go," noted Michael Phelps, Westcoast's chairman. "As well, it is almost fully subscribed by shippers with 15 year term agreements."

He noted the pipeline is a significant link between Westcoast's large interests in British Columbia and its subsidiary Union Gas in Ontario. "It supports our plans to build the TriState and Millennium Pipeline extensions beyond Chicago through our Union Gas Hub at Dawn, Ontario," he said. "In addition to this, our participation in the Maritimes &amp Northeast Pipeline affirms our presence in all major Canadian natural gas developments. Funding these projects in 1999 forms the backbone of the largest capital expenditure budget Westcoast has ever planned."

Scheduled for service in the second half of 2000, Alliance is a 1,926-mile pipeline project that will move 1.325 Bcf/d of gas from northeastern B.C. and northern Alberta to the Chicago area market center for distribution throughout North America.

Rocco Canonica

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