El Paso, PG&E, Newfield Exploration Obtain $7.5 Billion in Credit Lines

El Paso Corp. (EP) and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. are among energy companies today that announced about $7.5 billion of new credit facilities.

El Paso, owner of the largest U.S. network of interstate natural-gas pipelines, amended a revolving credit facility and renewed its El Paso Exploration & Production unit’s $1 billion line of credit, both of which were set to mature in 2012, according to a statement today distributed by Marketwire.

The company has extended the maturity on about $2.25 billion of loans to 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Houston-based El Paso also reduced available commitments to $1.25 billion from $1.5 billion and amended credit terms to allow more flexibility, the company said. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. led 23 banks that arranged the transaction.

El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (EPB) got a $1 billion line of credit due 2016, according to another statement distributed by Marketwire. Covenants on the new facility for the Delaware limited partnership formed by El Paso Corp. will become less restrictive if the company receives investment-grade ratings on its senior unsecured debt. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc led the 24-bank syndication of the deal, the company said.

Investment-grade loans are those rated BBB- or above by Standard & Poor’s and Baa3 or higher at Moody’s Investors Service.

“The extension of the revolver and the increased flexibility of terms are indicative of the enhanced credit profile of the corporation,” Scott Langston in the media relations department at El Paso Corp. said in a telephone interview.

Pacific Gas & Electric

Pacific Gas & Electric, a unit of PG&E Corp. (PCG), entered into a five-year, $3 billion revolving line of credit.

The loan for the San Francisco-based utility will be used for working capital and other corporate purposes, including backstopping commercial paper, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agreement also includes a $1 billion sublimit for the issuance of standby and commercial letters of credit, according to the filing.

Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Wells Fargo & Co. were the lead arrangers on the debt, according to the filing.

Denny Boyle, a PG&E spokesman, said the new revolver replaces an existing line of credit that was set to expire in February 2012.

Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX), the mid-sized oil and gas exploration and production company based in Houston, received a $1.25 billion unsecured facility that comes due in June 2016, the company said today in a regulatory filing. The debt replaces a loan of the same size that would have matured in 2012. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo were co-lead arrangers on the financing, Newfield said.

Keith Schmidt, a spokesman for Newfield, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking a comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Krista Giovacco in New York at kgiovacco1@bloomberg.net; Kristen Haunss in New York at khaunss@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net.

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