GE Energy Financial
Services has invested in Howard Energy
Partners, owner and operator of 280 miles of natural
gas pipelines in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.
Howard Energy will double its size by using the investment to
partially fund the acquisition of Meritage Midstream Services'
gas-gathering assets in South Texas.
GE acquired a 30.6%
stake in Howard Energy for an undisclosed amount. Other
investors were Crosstex Energy LP, Quanta Services Inc. and
Clear Springs Energy Company LLC.
The transaction is expected to close in April, subject to
regulatory approvals and customary closing
The 185 miles of
Meritage pipelines include the Eagle Ford Escondido Gathering
System, which gathers gas, and the Cuervo Creek Gathering
System, a wet gas stream with significant gas liquids
Howard Energy, based in San Antonio, plans to expand these
systems to meet increased demand for natural
gas and gas liquids gathering from multiple geologic
formations, including the Escondido, Olmos, San Miguel, Austin
Chalk and Eagle Ford shales.
"The shale boom has
created the need for a dramatic build out of oil and gas
infrastructure in North America, requiring significant
capital," said John
Shepherd, a managing director at GE Energy Financial
"This fits perfectly with our strategy of working with expert
management teams to meet rapidly growing producer demand for
infrastructure. It plays to our strengths of flexibility in
transaction structuring to meet our partners' needs, our access
to large amounts of capital and GE's broad and deep shale
GE Energy Financial
Services currently has nearly $3 billion of investments in
midstream assets, including approximately 43,500 miles of gas
pipelines in North America, gas distribution, gathering and
processing, storage, terminals, refining, master limited
partnerships and LNG.
recently expanded its focus beyond gas infrastructure to
petroleum logistics terminals, refined products and oil and gas
"Adding GE Energy
Financial Services to our partnership accelerates our growth
strategy and solidifies our position as a total-solutions
provider for the Eagle Ford shale," said Mike Howard, Chairman
and CEO of Howard Energy Partners.
"Adding the Eagle Ford Escondido and Cuervo Creek assets to
our portfolio enhances our position in the prolific South Texas