Midstream Monitor

Vandalism and celebrity arrests have shoved protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) into the national spotlight, but a slew of projects face environmental resistance and the potential for significant delays. Also, Thirty Under 40 honoree Ash Shepherd of Talos Energy LLC talks with Hart Energy's Heather Huften; Sidley Austin partner Glenn Pinkerton discusses LPG sales to Mexico on Midstream Connect; and NGL prices keep rising.
Barry Davis, chairman and CEO of EnLink Midstream, explains why he chose the midstream path early in his career and the challenges in melding operations from Crosstex and Devon. Also, troubles continue for the protest-plagued Dakota Access Pipeline; Thirty Under 40 honoree Howard Barnwell of BMO Capital speaks with Hart Energy's Heather Huften; and the price of the NGL "barrel" climbs to a 22-month high.
U.S. exports of propane soared by 41% in the first half of 2016, though canceled shipments to Asia have resulted in a slump since the middle of the year. Also, Enable Midstream's Jeff Brinlee, a Thirty Under 40 honoree, speaks to Hart Energy's Heather Huften in a video interview; Paul Hart muses about a possible natural gas shortage in California this winter; and NGL prices hit a 17-month high at Mont Belvieu.
Project delays will exacerbate a bottleneck in the Northeast as natural gas production as pipeline capacity is unable to keep up, analysts from S&P forecast during a recent conference. Also, industry experts plot a course for the sector to follow during tough times; Vitol Group sells its Permian crude oil system; and GPA Midstream explains how it represents operators in the regulatory process. NGL prices, near a high for the year, may not stay that way through an expected tough winter.
Shell Oil's president takes on the "keep it in the ground" movement, explaining that no fossil fuels means no energy. Also, a Deloitte survey shows a midstream tendency toward consolidation; Centurion CEO Tom Ramsey compares the Eagle Ford Shale to the Delaware Basin in the latest Midstream Connect video; and the damage wrought by the shale boom on the NGL-to-crude ratio is examined.
Midstream Business named Jim Teague, CEO of Enterprise Products Partners LP, its executive of the year. Teague received the award at the Midstream Texas conference in San Antonio, where he urged oil and gas executives to better educate the public on the industry's contributions. Other winners included MPLX for deal of the year for its purchase of MarkWest, and Frontier Energy Services and Concho resources for project of the year, the Alpha Crude Connector.
Calgary-based Enbridge has agreed to buy Houston-based Spectra Energy in a $28 billion all-stock deal that will combine the Canadian company's largely crude-based pipeline system with Spectra's extensive natural gas system. Also, protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline turned violent; Excelerate Energy celebrated an LNG milestone as Australian producer Santos cut output at its new Gladstone LNG facility; and the numbers confirm that NGL prices struggled through the summer.
The legal fight to prevent construction of the federally approved Constitution PIpeline could be costly for New Yorkers if their state government prevails. Also, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce expressed concern over a moratorium of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands that is backed by Hillary Clinton; Wärtsilä Corp. is moving to expand its footprint in the LNG sector; and Eagle LNG is moving forward on its Jacksonville, Fla., project. In the Frac Spread feature, NGL prices rise during the week, but market fundamentals for oil and gas have shifted.
Boosted by a global recovery in oil prices, the Bakken Shale will surpass the Eagle Ford Shale as the leading U.S. tight oil formation by 2040, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects. Also, Mexico's energy reforms offer opportunities to U.S. firms and investors; the world's leading LNG importers have cut back on their demand; and a former member of The Williams Cos. Inc. seeks to take over the company's board of directors.
Analysts tell Hart Energy, however, that the worst is past, at least for the bulk of upstream companies. For those in the oilfield services realm, on the other hand, the next several months could be rough. Also, Elizabeth Ames Coleman, former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, said she believes three “missing pieces will bring equilibrium to the market going forward”; Debbie Conway discusses regulatory challenges in a Midstream Connect video; and NGL prices are slogging through the summer.