Why Midstream Oil and Gas is Booming

Midstream Pig Launcher

The midstream oil and gas industry is experiencing a boom.

The rapid growth of production in the Permian Basin and the Bakken in particular have created a bottleneck for producers.

With the lack of enough pipelines to get production to export, processing, or storage, oil and gas producers are hungry for ways to get their product to market.

How Midstream Companies Help with Natural Gas

Midstream companies are responsible for four primary processes:

  • Gathering
  • Processing
  • Storing
  • Transporting

Midstream companies handle all three elements coming up from wells—water, oil, and natural gas.

However, the biggest area of midstream’s footprint is in natural gas.

The Lower 48 Shale plays are located in three primary areas of the country: Southwest, North Central, and Northeast America.

Lower 48 States Shale Plays

Meanwhile, the primary hubs for processing and fractionation of gas are in Conway, Kansas, Sarnia, Canada, and Mont Belvieu, Texas.

The infrastructure for getting the fluid from these shale plays (Upstream) to these processing hubs (Downstream) is a large part of what the Midstream oil and gas industry is responsible for.

Midstream companies must continually compress and transport the gas hundreds of miles in order to get it downstream.

Once downstream, petrochemical companies extract the contaminants and byproducts from it. Even further downstream, companies convert the NGLs in the gas into materials like plastic for use in products we use every day (like your desk, car, and computer).

Midstream companies are working fiercely in areas like eastern New Mexico and western North Dakota to lay pipeline and get infrastructure set to handle the new production requirements.

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