While the world would appear to be at a standstill to wait out the Coronavirus and its yet-to-be determined aftermath, companies across every industry are communicating their COVID-19 plans to safeguard employees, reassure customers, and support the communities where they operate. Not surprisingly, many of these companies now are being graded by their responses to a crisis never before witnessed—and those grades are factoring into stock prices. Such is the case with Tulsa-based Williams, one of the largest natural gas pipeline operators in the U.S., which received an A grade.
The Williams Companies, Inc., is an American energy company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Its core business is natural gas processing and transportation, with additional petroleum and electricity generation assets. A Fortune 500 company, its common stock is a component of the S&P 500.
Williams recently announced its foundation will pledge $1 million for Coranovirus response and community recovery in the areas the company operates. This, along with employee telecommuting, tightened access controls to pipeline control centers, increased sanitation of pipeline control areas, offices and facilities, self-distancing, and paid leave for any employee who has a critical need related to COVID-19. But there’s more to this that earned Williams its A grade.
While President Trump meets on Friday with E&P CEOs to hammer out go-forward plans for our oil and gas economy, midstream operators like Williams don’t need to reshuffle their decks to adapt and mutate to the current environment. Williams is sitting pretty with its pipeline assets at full capacity via long-term, firm contracts while delivering 30% of the nation’s natural gas.
Williams’ 10,000-mile Transco Pipeline ranks only second to Kinder Morgan as the largest natural gas pipeline n the U.S. Transco extends from South Texas to New York City and has been deemed an “irreplaceable infrastructure asset.” In addition to its widespread natural gas infrastructure, Williams operates four deepwater crude oil pipelines and production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. With a market capitalization of more than $15 billion and a double-digit dividend yield, Williams now has been named one of the safest investments in the midstream industry.
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