At the core of our natural gas processing business are 21 processing facilities located in Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.
Natural gas produced at the well-head (especially in association with crude oil) contains varying amounts of natural gas liquids ("NGLs"). This rich natural gas in its raw form is usually not acceptable for transportation in the nation's major natural gas pipeline systems or for commercial use as a fuel. Natural gas processing plants remove the NGLs from the natural gas stream, enabling the natural gas to meet transmission pipeline and commercial quality specifications. In addition, on an energy equivalent basis, NGLs generally have a greater economic value as a raw material for petrochemical and motor gasoline production than their value as components of the natural gas stream. After extraction by the processing plants, the mixed NGLs are typically transported to a centralized facility for fractionation into purity NGL products such as ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane and natural gasoline. The purity NGL products can then be used in our NGL marketing activities to meet contractual requirements or sold on spot and forward markets.
Natural gas processing utilizes service contracts that are either fee-based, commodity-based or a combination of the two. To the extent we retain all or a portion of the extracted NGLs as consideration for our processing services, we refer to such volumes as our “equity NGL production.”
Our NGL marketing activities entail spot and term sales of NGLs that we take title to through our natural gas processing activities (i.e., our equity NGL production) and open market and contract purchases. The results of operations for NGL marketing are primarily dependent on the difference between NGL sales prices and the associated purchase and other costs, including those costs attributable to the use of our other assets by the marketing group.
Our NGL marketing activities utilize a fleet of approximately 880 railcars, the majority of which are leased from third parties. These railcars are used to deliver feedstocks to our facilities and to distribute NGLs throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada. We have rail loading and unloading capabilities at certain of our terminal facilities in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Texas. These facilities service both our rail shipments and those of our customers. Our NGL marketing activities also utilize a fleet of approximately 135 tractor-trailer tank trucks that are used to transport LPG for us and on behalf of third parties. We own and operate the majority of these trucks and trailers.
|Gas Processing Facility||Location(s)||Company Ownership Interest in Facility||Net Gas Processing Capacity(Bcf/d(1))||Total Gas Processing Capacity (Bcf/d)|
|Sea Robin||Louisiana||54.1% (3)||0.35||0.65|
|South Eddy||New Mexico||100%||0.20||0.20|
|Indian Springs||Texas||75.0% (3)||0.09||0.12|
|Total Processing Capacities||9.62||11.07|
- The approximate net gas processing capacity does not necessarily correspond to our ownership interest in each facility. It is based on a variety of factors such as the level of volumes an owner processes at the facility and its ownership interest in the facility.
- We own a 75.0% consolidated interest in this facility through our majority owned subsidiary.
- We proportionately consolidate our undivided interest in these operating assets.
- The Carthage facility consists of two plants: our legacy Panola gas plant and our recently completed Bulldog gas plant.
- Our ownership in this facility is held indirectly through our equity method investment.