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Williams Cos. to create huge pipeline operator

NEW YORK — Williams Cos. is moving ahead with a previously announced plan to combine two master limited partnerships it controls to create one of the largest natural gas pipeline operators in the industry.

The company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said late Sunday that the deal is expected to close early next year.

Williams Cos. had previously announced plans to merge Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners after it bought some assets of natural gas processor Access Midstream Partners in a $6 billion deal. It said the combination has now been approved by the board of each partnership.

The combined master limited partnership will keep the name Williams Partners L.P., and will be based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Shares of Williams Cos. rose 24 cents to $53.47 in afternoon trading Monday.

In related news, Pipeline project clears environmental hurdle.


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