Tulsa Leaders: Merger Of Williams And Energy Transfer Is Bad Deal

Thursday, March 24th 2016, 8:46 am
By: News On 6

City leaders say the merger of Tulsa's Williams Companies and Energy Transfer of Texas is a bad deal.

In documents filed with the government Wednesday, Energy Transfer said it would consolidate corporate offices in Dallas, with staff in Tulsa and Oklahoma City significantly reduced or even eliminated.

3/23/2016: Related Story: Merger Papers Reveal Company Buying Williams Moving HQ To Texas

Williams reaffirmed Wednesday the intention to go ahead with the merger, despite changing economics that some analysts believe could jeopardize the deal.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett told 6 In The Morning Thursday the city was blindsided by the filing. He also said he doesn't understand why Williams wants to go through with the deal because of the state of the oil and gas industry.

"This is what stuns me about this whole transaction. Everybody knows this is now a bad deal because of the terrible market conditions that the price of oil and natural gas and all the products are experiencing now. So why would they want to continue to make a bad deal? It boggles the mind. I don't understand it," he said.

Bartlett said while the city can't do anything to stop the merger,  he wants the community to speak out against it.

Tulsa Chamber President Mike Neal said he's obviously not happy with the latest proposal.

"The filing yesterday was obviously extremely disturbing," Neal said. "We've been hearing reports for about three weeks that it was potentially coming. Obviously it would appear to us to be tremendous variance from the original agreement."

Neal said his goal is to fight the proposal.

"We have been and we'll continue to reach out to the leadership of the Williams board, the leadership of ETE to further discuss this initiative and ask them to explain how this makes sense," Neal said.