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 that give startups and growth projects liftoff.
With offices in N.J., N.Y., and Houston, Energy Capital Partners (ECP) puts its capital and intuition on North American energy infrastructure that relies on contracted or fee-based revenues. This 40-year-old private equity firm zeroes in on new and existing companies with growth projects in the power generation, renewables, midstream, and environmental sectors. ECP’s most recent acquisition occurred in February with the $400 million purchase of Texas-based Centerpoint Energy’s natural gas retail business.
With $19 billion in capital commitments, ECP spreads its midstream investments across terminaling and storage; on- and offshore natural gas production facilities; petrochemicals processing and storage; gathering, processing and fractionation; and crude oil, natural gas, and water pipelines.
Here’s a look at the firm’s current midstream superstars.
- With an initial “Let’s make some noise” of up to $500 million from ECP, Houston-based Next Wave Energy is moving forward with plans to construct its Project Traveler—a 28 MBPD, ethylene-to-alkylate plant near the Houston Ship Channel. The Traveler will convert NGL-based products like ethylene and isobutane into gasoline blend stock then pipe the produced alkylate to two gasoline-blending and marine terminal facilities in Pasadena. The plant is scheduled for production in mid-2022.
- From its headquarters in Eddy County, N.M., Sendero Midstream operates the Sendero Carlsbad Gathering and Processing system. Located in the heart of the Northern Delaware sub-basin, the Carlsbad system includes 100 miles of gas gathering pipelines and two gas processing facilities that, together, offer 350 MMCFD of capacity.
- Based in Houston, Summit Midstream operates natural gas, crude oil and produced water-gathering systems in the Appalachia, Williston, DJ, Fort Worth, and Permian basins. The company also holds legacy assets in the Piceance Basin, as well as the Barnett and Marcellus shale plays. Summit currently is developing the 135-mile Double E Pipeline, which will offer a capacity of 1.35 BCFD and provide natural gas transportation service from multiple receipt points in the Delaware Permian to delivery points in and around the Waha Hub. Commissioning is expected in 2021.
- Headquartered in Houston, Targa Resources is one of the nation’s largest independent midstream companies whose assets primarily lie in Okla., Texas, N.M., La., and Ala. The company’s operations include expansive gas gathering and processing systems in multiple basins, gas transportation pipelines, and crude oil transmission and storage.
- US Development Group brings something different to the midstream party through its design, development, and operation of large-scale crude oil terminals. A big distinction of this company is its focus on acquiring or building terminals that offer the full breadth of multi-modal options, especially by rail. USDG’s assets include crude oil logistics terminals in Alberta, Can., Casper, Wyo., and Stroud, Okla., near the Cushing Hub.
- A relative newcomer to ECP’s investment portfolio, Symmetry Energy Solutions in February purchased CenterPoint Energy Services, the Texas utility’s unregulated gas retail platform. Symmetry sells, stores, and supplies natural gas to approximately 30,000 commercial and industrial customers, utilities, and municipalities across 35 states.
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