1Q18 Midstream Potpourri: Williams, MarkWest, Summit, Tallgrass

Every three months publicly traded companies, including those with major operations in the Marcellus/Utica, issue a required quarterly update for stockholders. It’s often referred to as “earnings season.” We like to cull through the updates to share items of interest with MDN readers. For drilling companies we dedicate an entire post to each company. We typically don’t cover midstream (i.e. pipeline) companies as much. However, there are a number of important projects cooking with companies like Williams, MarkWest Energy (MPLX), Summit Midstream and Tallgrass (REX Pipeline). We culled through the press releases and analyst phone call transcripts to pick out comments and portions that we think are helpful in understanding where some of these important projects are, and how they impact the bottom line of said companies. Below is our 1Q18 midstream potpourri…
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Belmont OH Family Sues Summit Midstream for Mud Spill Near Home

Summit Midstream Partners was drilling underneath a road and a creek in Belmont County, OH on Oct. 19 to install a pipeline when they experienced an “inadvertent return” (i.e. leak) of drilling mud into the creek. If you’ve read MDN for any length of time, you will have read about other such instances by other companies. Because we constantly have new readers, we post the following explanation, which will sound like a broken record for long-time readers: Drilling mud is bentonite, a form of non-toxic clay also used to make kitty litter, cosmetics and toothpaste–among many, many other consumer products. The only threat posed by a spill of bentonite is that enough of it spills to clog the gills of fish or smother little critters like salamanders. That’s it. Think about taking half a dozen bags of kitty litter to a creek nearby and dumping them all in. It’s nothing. No pollution. We’d certainly rather not have any such accidents–but the reality is, they sometimes happen. That’s why non-toxic bentonite is used. The Ohio EPA stepped in and cited/fined Summit for the spill. Fair enough. But that’s not what this story is about. This story is about a family that lives near the spill. They hated Summit’s “loud” drilling before the spill, and now are using Summit’s spill and cleanup work (some of it happening in their front yard) as an excuse to sue Summit, hoping to score big bucks. Good luck with that…
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Summit Midstream 3Q16: Utica Volume Up, Marcellus Volume Down

Summit_Midstream_Logo[1Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region largely through purchasing pipeline systems from other companies, including Mountaineer Midstream, Summit’s Marcellus-area pipeline system in Doddridge County, WV, and an interest in Ohio Gathering, a natgas gathering system in service and under development spanning the condensate, liquids-rich and dry gas windows of the Utica Shale in Harrison, Guernsey, Noble, Belmont and Monroe counties in southeastern OH. In 3Q16 Summit lost $215,000 vs. making $21.2 million in the same period a year earlier. The volume of gas pumping through Summit’s pipelines went up in the Utica, a lot–from 42 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) in 3Q15 to 234 MMcf/d in 3Q16 (up 4.5x). However, Marcellus gas volumes decreased year over year from 457 in 3Q15 to 418 in 3Q16, no doubt due to less new drilling in the Marcellus. Here’s a portion of the Summit update…
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Summit Midstream Loses $50.6M in 2Q16, Utica Volume Jumps

Summit_Midstream_Logo[1Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region largely through purchasing pipeline systems from other companies, including Mountaineer Midstream, Summit’s Marcellus-area pipeline system in Doddridge County, WV. The company released its second quarter 2016 update yesterday, and unfortunately the numbers don’t look so hot. Whereas CONE Midstream, a much smaller, totally focused on the Marcellus/Utica pipeline company stayed about even with net income in 2Q16 (see Cone Midstream Continues to Impress – 2Q16 Update), Summit did not. In 2Q15 Summit lost $2.4 million. In 2Q16 they lost $50.6 million–or 21 times what they lost a year ago. However, $38 million of that loss was an impairment charge (meaning its a paper loss, not actual money out the door loss). Since Summit operates in a number of plays, including the Marcellus and Utica, we’ve selected out portions of the update below that mostly deal with the northeast…
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Instead of Selling, ECP Increases Ownership of Summit Midstream

In November MDN told you that the majority owner of Summit Midstream, private equity firm Energy Capital Partners (ECP) was looking to sell some or all of their units (i.e. shares) in the company (see Summit Midstream 3Q15: Current Owner ECP Looking to Sell). At the time ECP owned 43.8% of the company. Looks like that plan didn’t work out so well–at least so far. In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Summit reveals that ECP now owns 47.1% of the company…
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Big Stock Trades for Rice Energy, Summit Midstream

Periodically we catch you up on major cases of insider buying or selling–when upper management and/or board members either buy stock in the company they run, or sell it. We also periodically report on major shareholders either buying or selling. Earlier this week we told you that Eagle Asset Management had sold some of its Gulfport Energy stock and beefed up its Rice Energy portfolio (see Eagle Asset Mgmt Sells Gulfport Energy, Buys Rice Energy Stock). Today we report that Jennison Associates (investment firm) recently sold 369,662 shares of Rice Energy. After all, somebody like Jennison has to sell if companies like Eagle Asset buy, right? In addition, we’re reporting that a board member of Summit Midstream (company with sizable pipeline assets in the Marcellus/Utica) recently bought a whopping $5.6 million worth of company stock. Now there’s a vote a confidence!…
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Summit Midstream 3Q15: Current Owner ECP Looking to Sell

Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region largely through purchasing pipeline systems from other companies, including Mountaineer Midstream, Summit’s Marcellus-area pipeline system in Doddridge County, WV. Yesterday the company issued its third quarter 2015 financial results. Of particular note: Summit is majority owned by Energy Capital Partners (ECP), a private equity firm (investment company). ECP is talking about selling their interest. That is, it’s sounding like Summit may soon see a change in ownership. Below is the update on that possible change, along with an update on Summit’s Mountaineer Midstream gathering system…
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3 Potential Buyers Identified for Eureka Hunter Pipeline Deal

silhouette questionFinally we know. In June Magnum Hunter Resources (MHR), majority owner of subsidiary pipeline company Eureka Hunter, said it was negotiating to sell all of its ownership of Eureka Hunter to an unnamed buyer for $600-$700 million (see Magnum Hunter Cuts Deal to Sell Eureka Hunter & 2 New JVs). Two weeks ago Magnum Hunter CEO Gary Evans continued to tease that the sale is imminent and will bring in around $550 million (see Magnum Hunter About to Close 2 Deals Worth $1 Billion Cash). Cash amounts and deadline dates seem to be “fluid,” shall we say, when it comes to MHR statements. We still haven’t heard who the potential buyer is. That is, until now. Bloomberg is reporting the potential buyer is…
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Summit Midstream Loses Key Executive – COO Rene Casadaban

I QuitA piece of interesting news today about Summit Midstream. Compared to midstream giants like MarkWest Energy, Williams and Access Midstream (now part of Williams, formerly Chesapeake Midstream), Summit has a pretty modest presence in the northeast. Summit’s Mountaineer Midstream gathering system is 49 miles long, operating in Doddridge and Harrison counties in WV. Last December Summit announced they’ve been hired by XTO Energy to build a new 115-mile pipeline gathering system in the Utica Shale in Belmont and Monroe counties in OH (see XTO Gets Serious in OH Utica, Hires Summit for Gathering System). Last September Summit issued 4 million new units (equivalent of shares of stock). They issued another 6 million units in May (see Summit Midstream – Update on Mountaineer, Floats Another 6.5M Units). The news today? Summit’s Chief Operating Officer, Rene Casadaban, is leaving at the end of September to “pursue other interests.” That is, he quit…
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Volume Steady in Mountaineer Midstream’s WV Pipeline @ 547 MMcf/d

Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region largely through purchasing pipeline systems from other companies (see our list of Summit stories here). Yesterday the company issued its second quarter 2015 financial results. Below is a financial update for Mountaineer Midstream, Summit’s Marcellus-area pipeline system in Doddridge County, WV. Of note, volumes of gas flowing through Mountaineer were down 0.9% from 1Q15. In essence, volumes are steady through the pipeline at 547 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) on average…
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Summit Midstream Gets New Head of HSE, former TCEQ Commissioner

Summit Midstream has a small but growing presence in the Marcellus/Utica region. In 2013 Summit purchased a local pipeline gathering system in Doddridge County, WV from MarkWest Energy for $210 million (see MarkWest Sells Doddridge County, WV Pipeline System to Raise Cash). In June 2014, Summit bought 40% of Ohio Gathering for $377 million, a pipelines and processing plants operation in southeastern Ohio (see Summit Midstream Cuts $377M Check for 40% of Ohio Gathering). And in December 2014, XTO Energy inked a deal with Summit to build a local pipeline gathering network in southeastern Ohio–in Belmont and Monroe counties (see XTO Gets Serious in OH Utica, Hires Summit for Gathering System). Any major personnel changes that potentially affect the company are of interest here on MDN. Such a change has occurred. Summit announced yesterday that Zachary “Zak” Covar, former Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), has joined Summit Midstream as Vice President in charge of Summit’s Health, Safety, Environmental and Regulatory affairs…
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Summit Midstream – Update on Mountaineer, Floats Another 6.5M Units

A couple of pieces of news today about Summit Midstream. Compared to midstream giants like MarkWest Energy, Williams and Access Midstream (now part of Williams, formerly Chesapeake Midstream), Summit has a pretty modest presence in the northeast. Their Mountaineer Midstream gathering system is 49 miles long, operating in Doddridge and Harrison counties in WV (see the map below). Last December Summit announced they’ve been hired by XTO Energy to build a new 115-mile pipeline gathering system in the Utica Shale in Belmont and Monroe counties in OH (see XTO Gets Serious in OH Utica, Hires Summit for Gathering System). The news today? Summit issued their first quarter 2015 update which includes a brief update on the Mountaineer Midstream system. They’ve also just floated another 6.5 million “units” (think shares of stock) looking to raise more cash–perhaps to help build the XTO project?…
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XTO Gets Serious in OH Utica, Hires Summit for Gathering System

XTO Energy, wholly-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has an active drilling program in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. But when was the last time you heard anything about new wells or activity by XTO? The company largely stays off the radar. According to MDN’s Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook, the company gets somewhere between 20-25 new permits every four months to drill in the PA Marcellus. So far this year, XTO has received 11 and 17 permits (Jan-Apr and May-Aug respectively) for new wells in the Ohio Utica Shale, which is the first appreciable drilling done by the company in the Utica. With Utica drilling under way, it must be time to build pipelines to connect the wells–and right on cue, we have an announcement from Summit Midstream Partners that they’ve signed a contract with XTO to build a gathering pipeline network…
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MarkWest Signs Up McClendon’s New Company as Utica Customer

Yesterday MarkWest Energy and their partners The Energy & Minerals Group and Ohio Gathering Company announced they’ve signed up Aubrey McClendon’s new company American Energy Partners (AEP) as a major new customer in the Utica Shale. Ohio Gathering will hook up their pipelines to AEP’s drilled Utica wells and pump natural gas and liquids, and MarkWest will process it all. The natural gas part will be processed in MarkWest’s Cadiz complex in Harrison County, OH and its Seneca complex in Noble County, OH. AEP’s NGLs will be fractionated (separated) at MarkWest’s Hopedale complex…
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Summit Midstream Floats 4M Units, Hopes to Raise $224M+

Summit Midstream (pipeline company) is looking to raise another $224 million to use in their considerable midstream operation–including their increasing focus on the Marcellus/Utica. Yesterday the company issued a press release announcing they want to sell another 4 million “common units” (think shares of stock) in their master limited partnership (MLP) company. As of this morning, Summit unit shares were trading for $56.12 per share (or “unit”). At that price, if they sell all 4 million new shares, they’ll raise well over $200 million. As we’ve previously pointed out, Summit is making major moves in both the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions (see Summit Midstream 2Q14: Marcellus Rockets to #2 Operation). We expect some (much?) of the money they’ll raise in this newest offering will be used to either pay down previous deals, or perhaps be used for more expansion (acquisitions) in the northeast…
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Summit Midstream 2Q14: Marcellus Rockets to #2 Operation

Summit Midstream is a Dallas, TX-based company with growing operations in the heart of the Marcellus and Utica Shale. Summit’s first foray into the Marcellus was when they purchased Mountaineer Midstream–a pipeline gathering system in Doddridge County, WV–from MarkWest back in June 2013 (see MarkWest Sells Doddridge County, WV Pipeline System to Raise Cash). Summit’s second foray, this time in the Utica, was last December when the company bought out Gulfstream’s interest in Ohio Gathering (see Summit Midstream Buys Gulfport’s Interest in Ohio Gathering). The revenue they’re generating from those purchases has helped improve Summit’s bottom line: earnings increased 30.5% over the same period last year…
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