TULSA, Okla., Aug. 20, 2002 — Williams said Tuesday it is considering selling its ownership interest in an olefins production plant in Geismar, La., and an associated ethylene pipeline system in Louisiana.
Terms of a potential sale are not defined at this time, but Williams has received unsolicited expressions of interest. The decision to consider a sale of these assets is part of the company’s ongoing plan to strengthening its financial flexibility.
“Our petrochemical segment has been a positive contributor to Williams’ bottom line, even when other ethylene producers are struggling in current market conditions,” said Phil Wright, president and chief executive officer of Williams’ energy services unit.
“We prefer to retain our ethane pipeline and storage system in Louisiana because it supports our deepwater Gulf Coast strategy, but we are willing to gauge the market value of our other olefins interests to see if we have a genuine opportunity to enhance our cash position,” Wright added.
The plant has a production capacity of 1.35 billion pounds of ethylene per year and is the leading merchant marketer of ethylene in Louisiana. The plant is tied to most major natural gas liquids producers and olefin consumers in Louisiana by a 215-mile ethane transportation pipeline and an 85-mile ethylene pipeline.
Williams, which owns 41.67 percent of the facilities, is also the operator of the assets. Other joint owners are BASF Corporation and GE Petrochemicals.
Williams moves, manages and markets a variety of energy products, including natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons, petroleum and electricity. Based in Tulsa, Okla., Williams’ operations span the energy value chain from wellhead to burner tip. Company information is available at www.williams.com .