Crude oil gathering systems in the Permian and elsewhere are, by their very nature, evolving things. They increase in mileage and crude-carrying capacity as new wells are drilled and completed, and it’s not uncommon for smaller systems to be consolidated into larger ones. It’s also become typical for the ownership of these systems to change — sometimes year to year — as early investors cash in on what they’ve developed, and buyers see opportunities to rake in increasing revenue and take their newly acquired systems to the next level. Also, owners of neighboring systems sometimes form joint ventures that combine their assets, all to make their operations work better for their producer customers. Today, we continue our series on Permian gathering with a look at Brazos Midstream’s crude gathering system in the Delaware Basin, which has experienced considerable evolution.
Already, we’re arrived at a baker’s dozen blogs in this series on Permian crude gathering systems. Before we get to Brazos Midstream’s system, we’ll provide a quick recap of what we discussed in the first 12 blogs. Part 1 looked at the Beta Crude Connector, a 100-mile-plus, 150-Mb/d system that a joint venture of Concho Resources and Frontier Energy Services is developing in the Midland Basin to serve Concho and other producers. Part 2 reviewed Reliance Gathering’s 185-Mb/d pipeline network — also in the Midland — which was originally developed to serve the affiliated producer Reliance Energy, but has since undergone a number of expansions to serve other producers too. In Part 3, we considered San Mateo Midstream’s crude gathering systems in the Delaware Basin — one in Eddy County, NM, and the other in Loving County, TX — and the company’s plans for two new systems on the New Mexico side of the state line. Part 4 turned to Medallion Midstream’s fast-growing, 1,000-mile crude oil gathering/header system in the Midland (which provides access to firm shippers serving 20 producers) and its 116-mile Delaware Express gathering/shuttle system in the southern Delaware.
In Part 5, we discussed the 200-mile gathering system that refiner Delek US has been developing in the Midland to deliver locally produced crude to Delek’s Big Spring, TX, refinery and others. Part 6 examined the crude gathering system that a joint venture of WPX Energy and Howard Energy Partners (HEP) has been developing in the Delaware Basin’s Stateline area, while Part 7 reviewed Oryx Midstream Services’ 860-mile Oryx Trans-Permian gathering and regional transport system. In Part 8, we discussed 3 Bear Energy’s Hat Mesa Oil Gathering System, which over the past couple of years has grown to become a network of 200 miles of gathering lines and small trunk lines in the northern Delaware Basin. Part 9 focused on the Permian gathering system now owned by MPLX, and Part 10 reviewed EnLink Midstream’s Greater Chickadee gathering system in the Midland and its Avenger system in the Delaware. In Part 11, we turned to NuStar Energy, which entered the Permian two-plus years ago with its acquisition of Navigator Energy Services’ 520-mile crude gathering system in the Midland, and has since added some 350 miles of new pipe and tripled the volume of crude flowing through the system. And last time, in Part 12, we looked at EagleClaw Midstream, which — through a combo of acquisitions and expansions — has assembled a big gas gathering and processing network in the Delaware Basin, as well as 150 miles of crude gathering pipelines, 90 Mbbl of crude storage capacity, and connections to key pipelines out of the play. [One more thing: in our Happy Together blog last month, we looked at Salt Creek Midstream’s ongoing buildout of extensive gathering assets in the Permian — not just for crude, but for natural gas, NGLs and produced water.]