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.

www.crestwoodlp.com

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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Berkshire Hathaway Makes a New Deal-and It’s a Big One

Berkshire Hathaway Makes a New Deal-and It’s a Big One

In its largest deal in four years, conglomerate giant Berkshire Hathaway has scooped up the natural gas pipeline and storage assets from Dominion Energy in an all-cash deal valued at $10 billion. The announcement came concurrently with news that the utility giant would scrap its plans to build the 600-mile Atlantic Coast pipeline after years of costly regulatory and environmentalist battles. Two other proposed pipelines have been shelved this year in the eastern region.

Bershire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States.

www.berkshirehathaway.com

Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy, Inc. is an American power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia that supplies electricity in parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and supplies natural gas to parts of Utah, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Dominion also has generation facilities in Indiana, Illinois, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

www.dominionenergy.com

Dominion, the nation’s second-largest utility, serves 7 million natural gas and electrical power customers in 20 states from its headquarters in Richmond, Va. The company has set a net-zero emissions target by 2050, along with a five-year, $26 billion growth capital plan through ongoing investments in new technology, solar, wind, and renewable natural gas.

The sale to Berkshire Hathaway includes more than 7,700 miles of gas pipelines, 900 BCF of gas storage, a 25% interest in the bi-directional Cove Point LNG export terminal, and $5.7 billion in assumed debt. The conglomerate owns 10 other energy and energy-related companies as part of its Berkshire Hathaway Energy segment. Close of the Dominion deal is expected in 4Q this year.

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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.

www.nfrinc.com

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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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Clears a Supreme Hurdle

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Clears a Supreme Hurdle

With all the news of stalled pipeline projects from the Keystone XL to the Dakota Access, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) now has been gifted a major victory from the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 ruling, the highest court in the land on June 15 overturned a lower court’s decision to halt construction on the mid-Atlantic, 600-mile natural gas pipeline because it would cross the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail stretches from Ga., to Maine, although the ACP would only extend from W.V., into Va., and N.C.  More than 50 other pipelines have been installed hundreds of feet below the surface of the trail without disturbing public use, but the ACP will not be constructed on or near the trail itself and no interruptions to public hiking will occur. Nevertheless, the project has met with Herculean challenges since 2017 to flow supplies from the gas-rich Marcellus and Utica basins to East Coast markets. Numerous stops and starts have inflated the cost from an initial $5.1 billion to $8 billion and more permitting will be required to complete the pipeline, which is expected in early 2020.

The Trump Administration has deemed the ACP “emergency infrastructure” as the only interstate pipeline currently serving the region is woefully congested amid a growing population. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a joint venture by partner companies Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and Southern Company Gas.

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The Money Backers:  Warburg Pincus

The Money Backers: Warburg Pincus

In RMR’s continuing series The Money Backers, we give readers a glimpse of who’s who and who owns what in energy’s private equity world.  From the largest to the smallest to the newest, we look especially at those firms making hay in the midstream industry to provide the capital infusion required to give growth projects liftoff.

Warburg Pincus

Warburg Pincus LLC is a New York-based private equity firm focused on growth investing with offices in the United States, Europe, Brazil, China, Southeast Asia and India. It has been a private equity investor since 1966.

www.warburgpincus.com

With more than $54 billion in managed assets, global powerhouse Warburg Pincus spreads its investment wealth across seven industries that range from retail diamonds in India to real estate across Asia. This private equity firm also counts energy as a primary focal point with 31 portfolio companies in the upstream, midstream, downstream, electrical power and renewables sectors. Since the late 80s, Warburg Pincus has invested or committed $10+ billion in energy-related companies and infrastructure projects around the world.

In the U.S. midstream space, WP banks on natural gas and Navitas Midstream. Based in The Woodlands, Texas, Navitas operates more than 1,800 miles of gas gathering pipelines and five cryogenic gas processing trains in the Permian Basin. Through newbuilds and acquisitions, Navitas in less than six years has created one of the Permian’s busiest midstream complexes serving the Midland. The company in 2019 completed its latest gathering project in southern Glasscock and northern Reagan counties that includes 34 miles of pipe with 200+ MMCFD of capacity and 25,000+ hp of three-stage field compression.

Warburg Pincus’ upstream investments in the U.S. include Antero Resources (Marcellus and Utica), Chisholm Energy (Permian, northern Delaware),  Ensign Natural Resources (Permian, South Texas), Hawkwood Energy (Rockies and Mid-Continent), Independence Resources Management (Permian, Anadarko), and Laredo Petroleum (Permian, Mid-Continent).

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