NorthWestern Energy, a utility that provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, has agreed to purchase operating and non-operating natural gas production interests in northern Montana's Bear Paw Basin from Devon Energy Production Company, L.P., according to NorthWestern Corp. This purchase also includes Devon's 82 percent interest in the Havre Pipeline Company, LLC. When In 2013, NorthWestern Energy obtains a regulatory waiver to acquire Devon's portion of Havre Pipeline Company, LLC, the transaction will be concluded.

NorthWestern Energy proposes to acquire an interest in approximately 916 producing wells and connected, gathering systems with over 82 miles of transmission line, 576 miles of gathering lines, and 21 compressors in Blaine, Choteau and Hill Counties, according to NorthWestern Corp.

The amount of net reserves purchased is estimated to be 64.6 billion cubic feet. The estimated natural gas production from this acquisition will be approximately 5.6 billion cubic feet in 2013, or about 28 percent of NorthWestern Energy's current annual natural gas load in Montana. Once the purchase is completed, NorthWestern Energy's annual natural gas supply load in Montana would be comprised of approximately 37 percent owned and regulated production.

The purchase is expected to result in a 20-year levelized price for customers of approximately $4.10 per dekatherm. NorthWestern Energy currently owns gas production interests in the Battle Creek Field and the Bear Paw Basin, which extends from the Missouri River North to the Canadian Border. Pipeline assets associated with the gas production include Havre Pipeline, Bear Paw, Willow Creek, Lodge Creek, and Battle Creek gathering systems, all located in north-central Montana.