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December 2, 2011 5:08 PM

Two Canadian Firms Advise as BP Unloads Natural Gas Liquids Unit

Posted by Claire Zillman

BP plc has agreed to sell its Canadian natural gas liquids business to Plains Midstream Canada, a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, for $1.67 billion. 

The sale, which was announced Thursday, is the latest in a series of transactions that are part of BP's plan to sell $30 billion worth of assets to cover costs stemming from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, according to a company press release.

The unit being sold includes natural gas liquid extraction and fractionation plants and storage and specification product distribution facilities; 2,600 miles of pipeline; and approximately 20 million barrels of liquified petroleum gas storage capacity. In making the acquisition, Plains Midstream Canada gains access to some 140,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquid that are transported to fractionation facilities and markets in western and eastern Canada and the Great Lakes region, the company's statement says.

Plains Midstream Canada tapped Calgary-based Bennett Jones for legal advice on the deal, with partners Don Greenfield, Vivek Warrier, Beth Riley, Michael Whitt, and Marie Buchinski leading the firm's team on the matter. Bennett Jones has done worked for Plains Midstream Canada since the company's Houston-based parent moved into Canada about ten years ago, Greenfield says. The firm represented Plains Midstream Canada in its $683 million purchase of the 480-mile Rainbow pipeline in 2008, which, at the time, was the parent company's second largest acquisition in its history. 

Greenfield says the deal gives Plains Midstream Canada a foothold in Canada's natural gas liquids extraction business for the first time. 

Toronto-based Fraser Milner Casgrain, is representing BP on the sale, with partners Dale Skinner, Michael Hurst, Barry Zalmanowitz, Sandy Walker, Trevor Morawski, Joseph Palin, and John Goetz leading the firm's efforts. Fraser Milner has represented BP in past transactions, including the $3.25 billion sale of its upstream natural gas assets to Apache Canada in July 2010.

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