Dominion Energy finally sells Questar pipeline division
Southwest Gas Holdings said October 5 that it entered in a definitive agreement to buy natural gas networks in the western US from Dominion Energy, a sale previously abandoned because of anti-trust issues.
Southwest acquired Dominion’s Quester pipelines, with closing expected during the fourth quarter. The company said the Questar network is an “essential Rocky Mountain energy hub” with more than 4,000 km of interstate natural gas pipelines in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
“This acquisition accelerates our energy transition strategy by strengthening our ability to provide affordable, low carbon energy to customers while positioning us to transport renewable natural gas, responsibly sourced gas, and eventually, hydrogen and CO2," said John P. Hester, the president of Southwest.
Dominion was forced to abandon the sale of Questar to Berkshire Hathaway Energy earlier this year because of anti-trust issues. The US Federal Trade Commission said in July that sale effort should have never made it out of the boardroom.
In a statement, the FTC said the decision to abandon the sale keeps competition thriving, but it expressed frustration for having to expend considerable resources on the proposed transaction even after it filed a suit in 1995 to block the same arrangement.
The FTC said that only two pipelines deliver gas to the region and each is controlled by either Berkshire or Questar. Through the sale, it would have eliminated any market competition.
Southwest Gas Holdings delivers natural gas to more than 2mn customers in Arizona, California and Nevada. Provided the acquisition goes through, Questar will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary of Southwest.