Gas Company Split

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas regulators have approved a settlement that allows Oklahoma natural gas company Oneok Inc. to spin off its utility operations but imposes a freeze on its rates through 2016.

The settlement approved Thursday by the Kansas Corporation Commission also will provide rebates totaling $3.4 million each of the next three years to 630,000 customers of Oneok subsidiary Kansas Gas Service. Customers will receive a $5.34 credit on their bills in April 2014, 2015 and 2016.

With the settlement, there was no opposition to the company’s plan.

A new company, One Gas, would take over Oneok’s gas distribution systems in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, with 2 million customers. The remainder of Oneok would keep the company name and operate its other energy businesses.

Oneok’s board still must approve the plan.