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RPT-UPDATE 1-Noble Midstream Partners prices IPO at $22.50/shr, above indicated range

(Repeats Sept. 14 story to remove extraneous word.)

By Lauren Hirsch

Sept 14 Noble Midstream Partners LP, a wholly owned unit of Noble Energy Inc, priced its initial public offering (IPO) above earlier expectations, the company said on Wednesday, raising $281 million and breaking a year-long drought for IPOs in the oil and gas sector.

Noble priced 12.5 million shares at $22.50, above its previously indicated range of $19 and $21, the company said in a statement.

The IPO of Houston, Texas-based Noble came after it shelved its plans to go public in November 2015 due to a slump in oil prices. It gives hope to the growing backlog of oil and gas companies aspiring to go public, following a modest rise in the price of oil.

A slow IPO market, in conjunction with an oil rout, had made it nearly impossible for oil and gas companies to break through to the public market. By this time last year, on the other hand, there were 59 IPOs in the energy and power sector, raising a total of $10 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Data.

After reaching 12-year lows hit early this year, oil prices have begun to bounce back. The industry's slow return, which has coincided with a stronger IPO market, has jarred open the IPO window for the many oil and gas drilling and pipeline companies looking for liquidity.

Roughly a dozen natural resource drillers and producers are considering an IPO, Reuters has previously reported. Yesterday, Vantage Energy Inc filed publicly for an IPO after having confidentially filed, as first reported by Reuters.

Still, industry insiders expect that a handful of these firms will be bought by larger energy companies, who have collectively fortified themselves with $30 billion through secondary stock offerings since early 2015.

Noble Midstream Partners LP will own and operate pipelines and processing assets largely in Colarado's Weld County. Noble will use the proceeds from the IPO to put cash back into its parent company.

Noble's shares are scheduled to start trading on NYSE on Thursday under the symbol "NBLX."

Barclays, Baird, J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank Securities are among underwriters to the Noble Midstream offering. (Reporting by Lauren Hirsch, editing by G Crosse and Bernard Orr)

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