Northern Border Partners L.P. (NBP) entered an agreement topurchase Bear Paw Energy, LLC from a consortium of investors for$370 million in cash and stock. Bear Paw Energy has gathering andprocessing operations in the Powder River Basin (PRB) in Wyomingand the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan.The company has about 226,000 acres under dedication and 600 milesof gathering pipelines in the PRB. Bear Paw holds over 2,800 milesof gathering pipoelines and four processing plants with a capacityof 90 MMcf/d in the Williston Basin. “Once completed, we will haveadded over $625 million in non-regulated assets to the partnershipwith our third major acquisition in a little over one year. Ourtotal mix of non-regulated businesses will be slightly over 25%,”said Bill Cordes, CEO of NBP. “These strategically located assetswill fit, both commercially and operationally, with Crestone EnergyVentures and Northern Border Pipeline.” NBP said $185 million willbe paid in its own common stock, with the remainder paid in cashand assumption of liabilities. Pending shareholder and regulatoryapprovals, the acquisition is targeted for completion by the end ofthe first quarter.

Sempra Energy completed the sale of its stake in retail marketerEnergy America to Centrica plc, the British energy and homeservices company. The transaction was finalized following receiptof all required state and federal regulatory approvals. The $56million sale was announced on Dec. 12, 2000. Sempra held a 72.5%ownership in the company. Energy America sells gas and electricityto about 400,000 residential and small-business customersnationwide. In August 2000, Centrica purchased Direct EnergyMarketing, Canada’s largest independent gas marketing company. Thepurchase included Direct Energy Marketing’s 27.5% stake in EnergyAmerica.

Sempra Energy Solutions, meanwhile, announced it has signed athree-year agreement to provide energy services to members ofAmeriNet, Inc., the nation’s largest membership-based health caregroup purchasing organization. The contract, which became effectivelast June, is worth an estimated $85 million. Sempra will provide achoice of energy services for AmeriNet members to individuallytailor their own programs, including: commodity supply, energyefficiency auditing, infrastructure ownership and management, andoperations and maintenance. Sempra Energy Solutions’ offeringsinclude long-term gas or electricity commodity contracts.

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