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The Keystone Oil Pipeline is pictured under construction in North Dakota in this undated photograph released on January 18, 2012.HANDOUT/Reuters

Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. is paying $180-million in cash and stock for a majority stake in a gas plant and related pipelines in central Alberta.

Calgary-based Tidewater, a small outfit that trades on the TSX Venture Exchange, is picking up a 63-per-cent stake in a gas-processing facility in Alberta's West Pembina oil field, the company said in a release on Tuesday.

The purchase price includes $170-million in cash and $10-million in Tidewater shares valued at $1.35 per unit. The seller was not named. However, closely-held Blaze Energy Ltd. owns 63 per cent of a gas plant in the same region, according to its website. The plant has an operating capacity of 185 million cubic feet a day.

The deal is the latest featuring a sale of so-called midstream infrastructure, industry parlance for equipment that transports oil and gas from production sites to end users. That type of transaction has emerged as a lucrative and timely source of funding for drillers against the backdrop of skidding oil prices.

In a similar move, Calgary-based Encana Corp. last year sold a package of gas pipeline and processing assets in Western Canada's Montney region to Veresen Inc. and U.S. private equity giant KKR & Co. LP. Encana said it would use the $412-million in proceeds to develop its Montney lands.

Tidewater, led by chief executive officer Joel MacLeod, was formed in February to capitalize on a surge in North American production of natural gas liquids such as propane, butane and ethane.

The company said it would finance the purchase, which is expected to close by June 30, with a $160-million share issue. The bought deal is led by CIBC World Markets Inc. and Macquarie Group Ltd., and includes a $50-million overallotment option.

Calls to Tidewater and Blaze Energy were not immediately returned.

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