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Williams Cos. puts Canadian operations on the block for $1 billion

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(Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images) CANADA - 2003/01/01: Canada, Alberta, Near Drumheller, Oil Well. Canada, Alberta, Near Drumheller, Oil Well...
February 24
7:30 AM 2016

Williams Cos. is planning to sell its Canadian operations for $1 billion as early as next week. The company has already hired two investment banks to oversee the sale process. 

The New York Stock Exchange-listed William Cos. processes off-gas produced by oil sands up graders into natural gas liquids and olefins. It also operates associated pipeline facilities.The off-gas processing will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Canada's oil fields. It was noted that Williams Cos' Canadian unit has over 100 people in Alberta. The Canadian unit produces 25,000 barrrels of natural gas liquids and olefins per day.

Market Watch reports that William Cos is planning to slash costs. The latest sale proposal is a part of reducing capital costs, while raising more funds to strengthen balance sheets. Williams Cos. and other companies in the energy sector are suffering from lower oil prices. Its affiliates Williams Partners LP and its peers are also facing turbulent conditions.

The prolonged slump in global commodities market and weaker market values are effecting operating margins. Williams lost $701 million during fourth quarter of 2015 owing to a major writing down pertaining to lower commodity prices. 

Recent news further reveal that Williams is merging with Energy Transfer Equity LP in a $32.6 billion deal. Williams is planning to mobiles $1 billion funds from asset sales during the first half of 2016. However, Williams Cos denied to provide more details about the target sale, according to Nasdaq.

Williams Cos' sale proposal for Canadian operations is raising many questions over building a propane dehydrogenation facility proposed near Alberta's capital of Edmonton. Oil revenues-dependent Alberta is suffering from lower oil prices. The provincial government is offering royalty credits to attract new investments in petrochemical sector. It's encouraging companies to use methane or propane to produce plastics, detergents and textiles. 

Williams Cos' stock eased 3.41 percent on Tuesday to close at $15.60 on NYSE. The 52-week high is $61.30 and low is $10.23, according to Reuters. Pipeline operator Williams Partners LP is aiming to reduce its capital budget by $1 billion to $2 billion by 2016. Delays in projects implementation and cancellation of some projects owing to weaker commodity prices are hitting hard the company. Oil prices are hovering at 12-year low in the wake of oversupply and sluggish demand. Williams Partners LP is planning to continue demand-driven infrastructure projects.

Williams Cos is planning to produce propylene at its proposed plant in Alberta. Propylene is used in recyclable plastic also known as homopolymer polypropylene. This is widely used in several consumer and industrial products. The company will make a final investment decision by second half of 2016. 

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