BP Energy Partners selling midstream portfolio company, say sources: Reuters

BP Energy Partners, an energy investment company backed by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, is selling portfolio company Pinnacle Midstream, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

Houston-based Pinnacle, which operates natural gas and crude gathering, processing and transloading services, could sell for at least $300 million, one of the sources said.

The move comes as deal-making has heated up for companies that provide pipeline, processing and storage facilities in U.S. shale basins. In April, funds managed by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) agreed to acquire EagleClaw Midstream Ventures for about $2 billion. Earlier, Targa Resources Corp (TRGP.N) snapped up Outrigger Energy LLC’s Permian Basin gathering and processing assets for $1.5 billion.

Private equity investors have targeted midstream businesses, which are often viewed as less exposed to commodity price risk, because pipeline and storage assets tend to have recurring fee-for-service revenue streams.

Greg Sargent, chief executive of Pinnacle, declined to comment on the sale. A spokesman for BP Energy also declined to comment.

Pinnacle’s operations are focused in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

The company this week said it had started engineering and construction on a 60 million cubic foot per day cryogenic gas processing plant near Orla, Texas in the prolific Permian Basin, where lower production costs and amply oil reserves have companies aggressively drilling new wells.

In March, Pinnacle opened a truck transloading facility, also near Orla, Texas, and said it was flowing crude and gas through its gathering systems.

Sources interviewed by Reuters said potential buyers would likely see value in a deal with Pinnacle due to longer-term contracts underpinning its assets.

Pickens’ BP Energy Partners manages funds that focus on investing in companies involved in North American natural gas businesses.