Midstream Monitor

The environmental movement has been more effective than the oil and gas industry in conveying its message to the general public. A NAPE panel explored the issue and discussed what the industry needs to do. Also, an S&P Global Platts analysts warned against adopting an overly optimistic outlook for 2017; the Midstream Connect video touches on ethane demand doubling and midstream companies ponder capex strategies for the year.
As many as six new ethane crackers could find a home in the Marcellus-Utica region, speculated panelists at Hart Energy's recent conference. Also, North America is enjoying a petrochemical manufacturing boom; transactions surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline are now being completed; and KPMG's Regina Mayor comments on opportunities for the midstream in Mexico on the latest installment of the Political Sidetrack podcast.
East Daley's new "Dirty Little Secrets" report takes a granular approach to investing in the midstream sector. Also, the Dakota Access Pipeline gets the final go-ahead from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; new markets have emerged for Marcellus-Utica natural gas; and NGL prices are up but don't expect them to stay that way in the short term.
The funding is available for Marcellus and Utica pipeline projects, but will the public support these needed natural gas conduits? Also, the second installment of the Political Sidetrack podcast features an interview with Keith Coyle, Washington-based attorney and shareholder with Babst Calland; Spectra has big plans in the Northeast and the president's choice for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court has shown a leaning toward deregulation. 
The Marcellus-Utica region is rich with natural gas, but will the infrastructure be ready to take it to market? Alan Armstrong, president and CEO of The Williams Cos., expressed both doubt and optimism at the recent Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference & Exhibition in Pittsburgh. Also, President Trump issued executive orders to revive two major pipeline projects; and the EIA expects natural gas prices to strengthen this year and next.
Are you smack dab in the middle of the intersection between energy and politics, not sure which direction either is going, or supposed to go? We hear you. Now hear this: a new podcast, Political Sidetrack, that will provide insight on where the industry stands in the corridors of power and what to expect. Also, Tillerson's hearing; "Pipeline Purgatory"; and can President Trump make NGL prices great again? 
Natural gas prices are primed for recovery, thanks to LNG plants coming online and the prospects for piping gas into Mexico, partners at Sidley Austin LLP said. Also, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he was happy that the state would no longer have "an enemy in the White House;" a study contends that renewables are adding to the value of gas storage; and the industry can expect a 32% hike in NGL prices this year.
There were struggles and disappointments, but from a stock price point of view, midstream companies rebounded nicely in 2016. Also, there could be complications if the next president ends up supporting a border-adjustment tax; an activist investor is encouraging a merger of EQT and Range Resources or Antero Resources; and NGL prices ended the year on a 25-month high.
This issue oversees the destination of much of the U.S. energy output, that is, overseas. Our cover piece explores opportunities opened up by expanded lanes in the Panama Canal, while an inside story examines the burgeoning business of building pipelines to move U.S. natural gas to Mexico. In an accompanying Midstream Audio report, two attorneys discuss how to navigate the complex legal terrain of Mexico's energy reform. Also, NGL may have started the year off slowly, but they sprinted to the finish in 2016.
The list of nominees to key positions in the Trump administration cabinet points to a growing hydrocarbon influence. ExxonMobil's Rex Tillerson (State) is joined by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (Energy) and Oklahoma Atty. Gen. E. Scott Pruitt (EPA). Also, the trend to repurpose assets gains traction; Raven's new refinery has exports to Mexico in mind; and ethane prices hit a 29-month high.