Top Companies That Advanced U.S. Exports in 2018

In 2018 an even larger share of U.S. oil and gas production was sent abroad. The American Geosciences Institute reported petroleum exports to keep at 7.6 Mmbbl/d in the second-half of 2018. Mexico and Canada topped the impressive list of more than 180 countries-importers. Reliance on petroleum imports went down from 60% of the domestic consumption in 2005 to 25% in 2015, the Institute said.

It is a good opportunity to mention here the key U.S. and international players, traders and operators, involved in globe petroleum operation.

Trafigura. (Switzerland). The company trades petroleum products, metals and minerals. With $86.9 billion of revenue and $657.9 million in EBITDA, Trafigura acquires its oil from public E&Ps, supermajors and national oil companies; it has a blending hub in Louisiana and has continually expanding domestic lease activity in the Eagle Ford Shale. The company also grows its business in China and is focused to expand its European natural gas business.

Glencore plc (Switzerland). Operating in 50 countries, the company markets and produces commodities globally reaching $14.8 billion in adjusted EBITDA (2017), which also increased by 23% over 6 months of 2018 . Glencore moves 6 MMbbl/d to customers, and markets gas in Europe. The company recently acquired a 78% stake in ALE, Brazil’s one of the top fuel distributor, targeting downstream.

Vitol (Switzerland). With refining, terminaling and storage this yet another company based in Geneva ships 349 million tonnes of crude oil and products annually, trades more than 7 MMbbl/d of crude and petroleum products daily, and has 250 ships transporting its cargoes.

As of September, Vitol and Cheniere Energy Inc. signed a 15-year LNG purchase and sale agreement, under which Vitol would purchase 0.7 million tonnes per year from Cheniere Marketing on a free on board (FOB) basis, according to a press release.

Noble Group Ltd. (Hong Kong) The group markets, processes, financially backs and transports energy assets and other commodities. Its energy assets include oil liquids, coal and LNG.

Its LNG franchise is said to be built on the company’s existing relationships with Asian energy customers. In order to cover debts and reduce risks Noble Group in 2017 sought to sell its LNG units.  The company says it now only focuses on its “core Asian coal business” and [was] selling its North American gas and power business, leaving itself focused on hard commodities.”

Gunvor Group (Switzerland). The Swiss-based global player also has a major office in Nicosia, Cyprus. It sources crude and refined products from more than 100 countries. Revenue for 2017 was US$63 billion, up from US$47 billion in 2016, the website reported.

Gunvor opened a Houston trading office in 2017. The company’s terminals and refineries serve Europe, and its pipelines and storage mix is split between Germany (Transalpine Pipeline) and Panama. Gunvor has a minority stake in Petroterminal de Panama, with a primary asset of a pipeline with 600 Mbbl/d throughput capacity linking the Atlantic and Pacific. Storage locations at both ends of the pipeline have a total of around 9 MMbbl split approximately equally between the two coasts.



Buckeye Partners LP (Houston). Holds No. 13 on the Midstream 50. According to its company profile, it has more than 135 liquid petroleum products terminals with aggregate tank capacity of more than 176 MMbbl.

Second-quarter 2018 financial results reveal adjusted EBITDA of $254.9 million (lower than in the same period of 2017 ($269.2 million).

In late April, the company announced it would develop a new deepwater open-access marine terminal in Ingleside, Texas. Partners will be Phillips 66 Partners LP and Andeavor, now a part of Marathon Petroleum’s MLPX LP. The South Texas Gateway Terminal at the mouth of Corpus Christi Bay will serve as the primary outlet for crude oil and condensate volumes delivered off of the planned Gray Oak Pipeline from the Permian Basin. The terminal … will offer 3.4 MMbbl of crude oil storage capacity, and two deepwater vessel docks capable of berthing very large crude carrier petroleum tankers,” a company’s press release said.

Cheniere Energy Inc. (Houston). Found at no. 10 on the Midstream 50. Cheniere operates the first large-scale U.S. LNG liquefaction project, Sabine Pass, in Cameron Parish, LA., which loaded the first large-scale LNG shipment from the Lower 48 states in February 2016. Work continues on the plant, which eventually will have six liquefaction trains.

Corpus Christi Liquefaction project on Texas’ Corpus Christi Bay is the second one nearing completion to go on-stream in 2019.

Cheniere’s EBITDA jumped 1077% in 2017. Therefore it zoomed from No. 40 in 2017 to No. 10 this year in the Midstream Business Midstream 50 rankings—the biggest one-year climb ever by a firm.

As aforementioned, Cheniere contracted with Vitol to deliver it LNG to on an FOB board basis. The liquefaction project is being designed for five trains with expected aggregate nominal production capacity of up to 22.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG.

Enterprise Products Partners LP. (Houston). No. 5 on the Midstream 50. Enterprise provides natural gas treating, processing, transportation and storage for gas and NGL. It has 145.2 million barrels (MMbbl) of storage capacity in Texas storage facilities, while its next–largest capacity is 15.4 MMbbl in Louisiana; it has total capacity from facilities across the nation of 178.3 MMbbl.

The company has large ownership interests in several crude oil pipelines across the U.S.

Enterprise Products’ second-quarter 2018 results were reported with EBITDA of $1.77 billion, up from $1.37 billion in second-quarter 2017.

Targa Resources. (Houston). No. 12 on the Midstream 50. “One of the largest independent midstream energy companies in North America.”, as it defines itself. It gathers, treats and sells natural gas and provides a full range of services for NGL, crude oil and refined products across the Permian Basin, Barnett, Bakken and Eagle Ford shales, the Anadarko and Arkoma basins and onshore Louisiana and in the Gulf.

As it was already mentioned earlier this month, Targa joined NextEra Energy Resources, WhiteWater Midstream and Marathon Petroleum’s MPLX LP to develop the Whistler Pipeline project. The 450-mile-long pipeline will transport about 2 billion cubic feet per day of gas and could be operational in fourth-quarter 2020.

Energy Transfer LP. (Dallas). No. 2 on the Midstream 50.

In one of the latest roll-ups within the sector, Energy Transfer Equity and Energy Transfer Partners completed their merger in October. The simplified entity is now operating as a single partnership known as Energy Transfer LP.

In September, ET joined Magellan Midstream Partners LP, and Delek US Holdings Inc. to construct the Permian Gulf Coast Pipeline, which would take crude oil from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

“The 600-mile system is expected to be operational in mid-2020 with multiple Texas origins including Wink, Crane and Midland. The pipeline system will have the strategic capability to transport crude oil to both Energy Transfer’s Nederland, Texas, terminal and Magellan’s East Houston, Texas, terminal,” a press release added.


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