Sunday, April 19, 2009

Natural Gas Pipeline Status Quo in Indiana

By James P. Miller | Tribune reporter
3:20 PM CDT, April 17, 2009

NiSource Inc. disclosed Friday in a regulatory filing that the Indiana energy holding company has thrown in the towel on a plan to monetize its big Columbia Gulf natural gas pipeline by establishing a master limited partnership.

In a terse one-page document, NiSource Energy Partners LP – citing "current public market conditions" – asked to withdraw the registration statement filed in December 2007, covering plans for an initial public offering.

NiSource Inc. created the limited partnership that year to own and operate the holding company's 3,400-mile Columbia Gulf gas line. The IPO documents indicated that NiSource would indirectly serve as general partner of Energy Partners and hold a 59 percent limited partnership stake in the entity.

The IPO envisioned sale to the public of 12.5 million common units of NiSource Energy Partners, with proceeds estimated at about $235 million.
The offering plan hit a hitch early on and later seemed to go to the back burner at the Merrillville, Ind.-based energy concern.

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