Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, said Jan. 3 that it will purchase Willmut Gas & Oil Co., a privately owned natural gas utility based in Hattiesburg, Miss., for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition of the utility, which provides service to about 20,000 customers in the region, expands Sempra’s footprint in the Southeast. Sempra already owns Mobile Gas, a natural gas distribution utility serving about 90,000 customers in Mobile, Ala., as well as several natural gas storage and pipeline assets in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

The transaction requires approval of the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power operates solar, wind and natural gas power plants that generate electricity for nearly 1 million homes, in addition to natural gas storage and pipelines, and distribution utilities, the company said.

— Mike Allen