The Midstream Range Rover

The Midstream Range Rover

You could say Sugar Land, Texas-based Rangeland Energy is somewhat of a train buff when it comes to building refined products hubs. Through its various iterations as a portfolio company of private equity firm EnCap Flatrock, this midstreamer has developed crude oil distribution systems that offer access to multi-modal transportation options to deliver crude oil, natural gas, NGLs, and other petroleum products to North American markets. And rail cars play a big part in this company’s business strategy.

Rangeland Energy

Rangeland Energy is a midstream company that meets the infrastructure requirements of refiners, commodities marketers, producers and retail distributors in resource plays and growing markets.

Rangeland first developed the Bakken’s N.D., COLT Hub in 2012, which offers connections to outbound pipeline systems and crude-by-rail service. That company sold months later to what is now known as Crestwood Energy Partners.

Develop, learn, operate, exit.

And Rangeland did.

Applying its newfound knowledge of rail service and listening to market demand, Rangeland in 2013 started up its RIO Hub in the Texas Delaware sub-basin, solidifying its midstream niche to provide pipeline connections and rail services at its terminals. But this time, Rangeland also expanded its capabilities to include inbound frack sand storage and loading outbound truck services.

Two years later, Rangeland Energy with the support of its financial backer, fired up a second, simultaneous venture to develop the South Texas Energy Products System (STEPS), which began operations in 2018. The system receives and stores refined products, LPG, and other hydrocarbons at a Corpus Christi terminal and transports supplies to terminals in Mexico. The Corpus Christi terminal is strategically located along the Kansas City Southern Railroad mainline.

At the same time, Rangeland took a hard look at western Canada, where E&Ps operating in the huge Montney shale play of Alberta have battled a dearth of natural gas midstream assets to transport supplies to markets. The company created subsidiary Rangeland Canada to introduce its commercial model to an underserved area and has now announced service on its new 52-mile Marten Hills Pipeline System. The crude oil and condensate pipelines originate near Slave Lake, Alberta, and terminate at the Edmonton Hub and refining market, a major crude oil rail loading terminal.

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Precarious Times in the Midstream Bakken

Precarious Times in the Midstream Bakken

A recent one-two punch in the Rockies has left oil and gas producers and midstreamers reeling to predict an uncertain fallout from two back-to-back events in an already head-shaking year.

When Okla. City-based Chesapeake Energy officially filed for bankruptcy June 28th, a tsunami of Plan Bs—many already in place—flooded midstream operators that held contracts with producers to gather, process and flow crude oil, natural gas and NGLs from the Bakken, Powder River Basin, South Texas, and Appalachia.

Crestwood Energy

Crestwood Equity Partners LP (NYSE: CEQP) is a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns and operates midstream assets located primarily in the Bakken Shale, Delaware Basin, Powder River Basin, Marcellus Shale, Barnett Shale and Fayetteville Shale.

Now, one week later, the U.S. District Court in Wash., D.C. has handed down a decision to shut down and completely drain the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL is a major pipeline artery out of the Bakken, transporting 570,000 BPD of crude oil from N.D., to Ill., where it connects with Energy Transfer’s crude oil pipeline that extends to South Texas markets. Energy Transfer and its DAPL partners have 30 days from July 6 to comply with the ruling. Energy Transfer plans to appeal.

For at least one midstream operator, the untimely crush of events between Chesapeake’s bankruptcy and DAPL has resulted in a go-forward plan to assure its Bakken producer customers in these precarious times.

Houston-based Crestwood Equity Partners’ operations gobble up a chunk of the nation’s midstream map with crude oil, natural gas, and NGLs assets that include gathering and processing, storage, and transportation predominantly in the Bakken, Powder River and Marcellus. Chesapeake just happens to be a longtime Crestwood customer in the Bakken. And Crestwood’s Arrow gathering system there connects to the DAPL.

So, how does a midstream operator get ahead of two hard punches in a week?

You get in front of it. Exactly as Crestwood has. The company immediately issued an update to its shareholders ensuring it had prepared for the Chesapeake bankruptcy and remains well-positioned to maintain full operations throughout the bankruptcy proceedings to include gathering and processing natural gas with more than 320 Chesapeake wells connected to Crestwood’s Jackalope system.

In response to the DAPL situation, Crestwood has assured its customers that, no matter how the ball swings following court appeals, the company can ensure downstream market access via its Arrow system for 100% of its producer customers’ crude. The Arrow system connects to DAPL, Hiland and Tesoro pipelines. In addition, Crestwood can transport crude volumes to its COLT Hub Facility in N.D., by pipeline or truck. COLT is the leading crude oil terminal in the Bakken with multiple pipeline connections, storage capacity of 1.2 MMBbls, and rail loading capacity of 160 MBPD.

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National Fuel Grows Its Energy Empire

National Fuel Grows Its Energy Empire

N.Y.-based National Fuel Resources has once again diversified its midstream capabilities with the acquisition of a crude oil terminal in Gibson, La., by the company’s Empire Pipeline subsidiary. Previously owned and operated by Equilon (Shell Oil Products and Shell Oil Co.), the new assets mark Empire’s first entry into crude oil terminalling—an area it plans to grow through future acquisitions.

National Fuel Reources

National Fuel Resources, Inc. (NFR) is among the largest non-utility suppliers of natural gas in this region. For more than 25 years, NFR has been helping businesses in New York and Pennsylvania with their natural gas costs.

Located in Terrebonne Parish near the Intracoastal Waterway, the Gibson Terminal offers 300,000 barrels of tank storage along with barge loading and unloading and a truck receiving station. The facility handles sweet and sour crude from the Eagle Ford, Permian, and Bakken via the Ship Shoal Pipeline System, the Atchafalaya Pipeline, and the Magellan Pipeline. Empire says it also plans to build a bi-directional pipeline connection to Shell’s 350-mile Zydeco pipeline.

National Fuel in May acquired Shell’s upstream and midstream gathering assets in Pa., for $541 million. The transaction included 200,000 acres in Tioga County, with net proved developed gas reserves of approximately 710 BCF, 142 miles of gathering pipe, and more than 100 miles of water pipelines—all of which support the production operations.

National Fuel’s business segments include a natural gas utility, exploration and production, natural gas transportation pipelines and storage, and natural gas gathering.

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A New Dawn of Carbon Capture

A New Dawn of Carbon Capture

The BLM has recently announced its support to build 2,000 miles of carbon dioxide pipelines across Wyo., which would connect existing coal-fired power plants that emit CO2 with oil field operators that use CO2 to produce more oil from their fields. Read, a network of sorts that will essentially connect emitters with energy producers and serve both.

Occidental Petroleum

Denbury Resources

The State of Wyo., has initiated a plan just for this reason, but is concerned it will get little if any offers with coffers in the current oil and gas environment to construct CO2 pipeline projects that also could offer storage for producers to stimulate their wells. See

So, let’s take a step back and see what’s going on with the new carbon capture sector.

Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, one of the largest operators in the West Texas Permian, inked its name more than 40 years ago on Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) techniques to recover 10-25%–and as much as 50%–more crude oil. The company has since become the largest E&P using EOR processes that capture and reuse CO2 instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

Then there’s Denbury Resources, an E&P and midstream operator headquartered in Plano, Texas, which exclusively uses EOR at its reserves in Miss., Texas, La., Mont., N.D., and Wyo. The company injects more than 3 million tons a year of industrial CO2 and sources the Gulf Coast region’s largest, naturally occurring source of carbon dioxide—the Jackson Dome.

With more than 750 miles of CO2 pipelines, Denbury owns and operates:

Gulf Coast

  • The 183-mile DEJD pipeline that runs from the Gulf Coast’s Jackson Dome to Donaldsonville, La.;
  • The 320-mile Green Pipeline that extends from southeast Baton Rouge to south of Houston;
  • The NEJD CO2 Pipeline from Jackson Dome to Donaldsville, La.;
  • Free State Pipeline that transports CO2 from Denbury’s tertiary fields in east Miss.,
  • Delta Pipeline between Jackson Dome from the Tinsley Field to Dehli Field;
  • The 50-mile West Gwinfield Pipeline, which Denbury converted from natural gas to CO2 to service the Cranfield Field.

Rocky Mountains

  • The 232-mile Greencore Pipeline that originates at ConocoPhillips-operated Lost Cabin gas plant in Wyo., to Bell Creek Field, Mont.

In the interim, energy heavyweights like ExxonMobil hold working interests in approximately one-fifth of the world’s total carbon capture capacity, claiming 7 million TPY of CO2 capture.


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The Operators:  Outrigger Energy

The Operators: Outrigger Energy

Outrigger Energy knows when and where to pounce when it comes to greenfield midstream infrastructure in basins that sorely need it. Six years ago, this Denver-based operator swooped into the Permian where it constructed gathering pipe and gas plants in two of the basin’s richest growth areas. The company’s Delaware system included more than 140 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline, a processing facility with 70 MMCFD of capacity, and a crude gathering system with 40,000 BPD of capacity. The Outrigger Midland consisted of 100 miles of gas gathering pipeline, 10 MMCFD of processing capacity, and a crude gathering system with 40,000 BPD of capacity. Both were sold in 2017 to Houston-based Targa Resources for a dandy $1.5 billion.

Outrigger Energy

Outrigger Energy II LLC is a private, full service midstream energy company specializing in greenfield project development with current systems operating and under construction in the DJ and Williston Basins.  The company was formed in 2017 after Outrigger Energy LLC sold its assets to Targa Resources and Tallgrass Energy Partners.

Within a year of initial construction of Outrigger’s Permian assets, the company leaped on a new opportunity in the Powder River Basin where it built a complete wellhead-to-market crude oil gathering system that included pipelines, pumps, measurements and other facilities for a capacity of up to 60,000 BPD. That system also was sold in 2017 to Kansas-based Tallgrass Energy.

Then in 2018, Outrigger began development of a tri-stream midstream system in the DJ Basin to handle natural gas, crude oil, and produced water. The 60 MMCFD cryogenic processing plant, gas gathering pipe, and crude oil and produced water gathering system began service after only eight months from the start of construction. The DJ project, certainly closer to Outrigger’s Colo., home, became the company’s first telltale that it planned to narrow its geographic focus to the Rocky Mountain region.

Now, after inking a long-term gas gathering and processing agreement with Exxon Mobil’s XTO, Outrigger is headed to the Bakken where it’s building a 70-mile natural gas pipeline and initial 250 MMCFD cryogenic plant. The processing facility will offer ethane recovery and rejection capabilities with direct access to the Northern Border Pipeline for residue gas and ONEOK’s NGL pipeline.

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