Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015

In the U.S., when the topic of clean energy comes up, we like to debate concepts like climate change or global warming, turning it into a political debate more than a strategic one. Subsidies to industries such as wind or solar, no matter how small, take criticism from politicians and the media while the government continues to subsidizes oil, gas, coal, and nuclear production to the tune of billions of dollars each year. We neglect to account for externalities such as the cost of war ships keeping the Suez Canal open when Iran threatens to close it, oil spills inland and offshore, the wars in Iraq, and the limited liability given to the operators' nuclear plants. If Fukishima happened here, it would be no problem for U.S. companies -- Uncle Sam would pick up the tab.

In China, the energy debate is very different. When China sees its imports of coal rising and dependence on foreign oil growing, it springs into action. Not by screaming, "Drill, baby, drill," but by investing billions of dollars in home-grown energy sources. Yes, I'm talking about clean, renewable energy, and China's investment in these energy sources make U.S. subsidies look like the half-hearted effort they are.

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: MPLX LP (MPLX)

MPLX LP, incorporated on March 27, 2012, is a fee-based limited partnership formed by Marathon Petroleum Corporation to own, operate, develop and acquire crude oil, refined product and other hydrocarbon-based product pipelines and other midstream assets. The Company�� assets consist of a 51% indirect interest in a network of common carrier crude oil and product pipeline systems and associated storage assets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions of the United States.

The Company generates revenue by charging tariffs for transporting crude oil, refined products and other hydrocarbon-based products through its pipelines and at its barge dock and fees for storing crude oil and products at its storage facilities. The Company is also the operator of additional crude oil and product pipelines owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries (MPC) and third parties, for which it is paid operating fees.

The Company�� assets consist of a 51% partner interest in Pipe Line Holdings, an entity which owns a 100.0% interest in Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) and Ohio River Pipe Line LLC (ORPL), which in turn own: a network of pipeline systems, which includes approximately 962 miles of common carrier crude oil pipelines and approximately 1,819 miles of common carrier product pipelines extending across nine states. This network includes approximately 153 miles of common carrier crude oil and product pipelines, which it operates under long-term leases with third parties; a barge dock located on the Mississippi River near Wood River, Illinois, and crude oil and product tank farms located in Patoka, Wood River and Martinsville, Illinois and Lebanon, Indiana; and a 100.0% interest in a butane cavern located in Neal, West Virginia, which serves MPC�� Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery.

Crude Oil Pipeline Systems

The Company�� crude oil pipeline systems and related assets are positioned to support crude oil supply options for MPC�� Midwest refineries, whic! h receive imported and domestic crude oil through a range of sources. Imported and domestic crude oil is transported to supply hubs in Wood River and Patoka, Illinois from a range of regions, including Cushing, Oklahoma on the Ozark pipeline system; Western Canada, Wyoming and North Dakota on the Keystone, Platte, Mustang and Enbridge pipeline systems, and the Gulf Coast on the Capline crude oil pipeline system.

The Company�� Patoka to Lima crude system is comprised of approximately 76 miles of 20-inch pipeline extending from Patoka, Illinois to Martinsville, Illinois, and approximately 226 miles of 22-inch pipeline extending from Martinsville to Lima, Ohio. This system also includes associated breakout tankage. Crude oil delivered on this system to MPC�� tank farm in Lima can then be shipped to MPC�� Canton, Ohio refinery through MPC�� Lima to Canton pipeline, to MPC�� Detroit refinery through MPC�� undivided joint interest portion of the Maumee pipeline, and its Samaria to Detroit pipeline, or to other third-party refineries owned by BP, Husky Energy, and PBF Energy in Lima and Toledo, Ohio.

The Company�� Catlettsburg and Robinson crude system is consisted of the pipelines: Patoka to Robinson and Patoka to Catlettsburg. Its Patoka to Robinson pipeline consists of approximately 78 miles of 20-inch pipeline, which delivers crude oil from Patoka, Illinois to MPC�� Robinson, Illinois refinery. Its Patoka to Catlettsburg pipeline consists of approximately 140 miles of 20-inch pipeline extending from Patoka, Illinois to Owensboro, Kentucky, and approximately 266 miles of 24-inch pipeline extending from Owensboro to MPC�� Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery. Crude oil can enter this pipeline at Patoka, and into the Owensboro to Catlettsburg portion of the pipelines at Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, from the third-party Mid-Valley system.

The Company�� Detroit crude system is consisted of Samaria to Detroit and Romulus to Detroit. Its Samaria to Detroit pi! peline co! nsists of approximately 44 miles of 16-inch pipeline that delivers crude oil from Samaria, Michigan to MPC�� Detroit, Michigan refinery. This pipeline includes a tank farm and crude oil truck offloading facility located at Samaria.

The Company�� Romulus to Detroit pipeline consists of approximately 17 miles of 16-inch pipeline extending from Romulus, Michigan to MPC�� Detroit, Michigan refinery. Its Wood River to Patoka crude system is consisted of two pipelines: Wood River to Patoka and Roxanna to Patoka. Its Wood River to Patoka pipeline consists of approximately 57 miles of 22-inch pipeline, which delivers crude oil received in Wood River, Illinois from the third-party Platte and Ozark pipeline systems to Patoka, Illinois.

The Company�� Roxanna to Patoka pipeline consists of approximately 58 miles of 12-inch pipeline, which transports crude oil received in Roxanna, Illinois from the Ozark pipeline system to its tank farm in Patoka, Illinois.

Product Pipeline Systems

The Company�� product pipeline systems are positioned to transport products from five of MPC�� refineries to MPC�� marketing operations, as well as those of third parties. These pipeline systems also supply feedstocks to MPC�� Midwest refineries. These product pipeline systems are integrated with MPC�� expansive network of refined product marketing terminals, which support MPC�� integrated midstream business.

The Company�� Gulf Coast product pipeline systems include Garyville products system and Texas City products system. The Company�� Garyville products system is consisted of approximately 70 miles of 20-inch pipeline, which delivers refined products from MPC�� Garyville, Louisiana refinery to either the Plantation Pipeline in Baton Rouge, Louisiana or the MPC Zachary breakout tank farm in Zachary, Louisiana, and approximately two miles of 36-inch pipeline that delivers refined products from the MPC tank farm to Colonial Pipeline in Zachary.

The Company�� Texas City products system is comprised of approximately 39 miles of 16-inch pipeline that delivers refined products from refineries owned by MPC, BP and Valero in Texas City, Texas to MPC�� Pasadena breakout tank farm and third-party terminals in Pasadena, Texas. The system also includes approximately three miles of 30- and 36-inch pipeline that delivers refined products from MPC�� Pasadena breakout tank farm to the third-party TEPPCO and Centennial pipeline systems.

The Company�� Midwest product pipeline systems include Ohio River Pipe Line (ORPL) products system, Robinson products system and Louisville Airport products system. The Company�� ORPL products system is consisted of Kenova to Columbus, Canton to East Sparta, East Sparta to Heath, East Sparta to Midland, Heath to Dayton, and Heath to Findlay.

The Company�� Kenova to Columbus pipeline consists of approximately 150 miles of 14-inch pipeline that delivers refined products from MPC�� Catlettsburg refinery to MPC�� Columbus, Ohio area terminals. Its Canton to East Sparta pipeline consists of two parallel pipelines, which connect MPC�� Canton, Ohio refinery with its East Sparta, Ohio breakout tankage and station. The first pipeline consists of approximately 8.5 miles of six-inch pipeline that delivers products (distillates) from Canton to East Sparta. The second pipeline consists of approximately 8.5 miles of six-inch bi-directional pipeline, which can deliver products (gasoline) from Canton to East Sparta or light petroleum-based feedstocks from East Sparta to Canton.

The Company�� East Sparta to Heath pipeline consists of approximately 81 miles of eight-inch pipeline that delivers products from its East Sparta, Ohio breakout tankage and station to MPC�� terminal in Heath, Ohio. The Company�� East Sparta to Midland pipeline consists of approximately 62 miles of eight-inch bi-directional pipeline, which can deliver products and light petroleum-based feedstocks betwe! en its br! eak-out tankage and station in East Sparta, Ohio and MPC�� terminal in Midland, Pennsylvania. MPC�� Midland terminal has a marketing load rack and is able to connect to other Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area terminals through a pipeline owned by Buckeye Pipe Line Company, L.P. and a river loading/unloading dock for products and petroleum feedstocks. This pipeline can also transport products to MPC�� terminals in Steubenville and Youngstown, Ohio through a connection at West Point, Ohio with a pipeline owned by MPC.

The Company�� Heath to Dayton pipeline consists of approximately 108 miles of six-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC�� terminals in Heath, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio to terminals owned by CITGO and Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P. in Dayton, Ohio. This pipeline is bi-directional between Heath and Columbus for product deliveries. Its Heath to Findlay consists of approximately 100 miles of eight- and 10-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC�� terminal in Heath, Ohio to MPC�� pipeline break-out tankage and terminal in Findlay, Ohio. Robinson products system is consisted of Robinson to Lima, Robinson to Louisville, Robinson to Mt. Vernon, Wood River to Clermont, Dieterich to Martinsville and Wabash Pipeline System.

The Company�� Robinson to Lima pipeline consists of approximately 250 miles of 10-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC�� Robinson, Illinois refinery to MPC terminals in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as to MPC terminals in Muncie, Indiana and Lima, Ohio. Its Robinson to Louisville pipeline consists of approximately 129 miles of 16-inch pipeline, which delivers products from MPC�� Robinson, Illinois refinery to two MPC and multiple third-party terminals in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, these products can supply MPC and Valero terminals in Lexington, Kentucky through the Louisville to Lexington pipeline system owned by MPC and Valero.

The Company�� Robinson to Mt. Vernon pipeline consists of ap! proximate! ly 79 miles of 10-inch pipeline that delivers products from MPC�� Robinson, Illinois refinery to a MPC terminal located on the Ohio River in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. It leases this pipeline from a third party under a long-term lease. The Company�� Wood River to Clermont pipeline consists of approximately 153 miles of 10-inch pipeline extending from MPC�� terminal in Wood River, Illinois to Martinsville, Illinois, and approximately 156 miles of 10-inch pipeline extending from Martinsville, Illinois to Clermont, Indiana. This pipeline also includes approximately 9.5 miles of pipelines utilized for the local movement of products in and around Wood River, Illinois, and Clermont, Indiana.

The Company�� Dieterich to Martinsville pipeline consists of approximately 40 miles of 10-inch pipeline, which delivers products from the termination point of Centennial Pipeline to Martinsville, Illinois. From Martinsville, these products (including refinery feedstocks) can be distributed to MPC�� Robinson, Illinois refinery or to other destinations through our other pipeline systems. Its Wabash Pipeline System consists of three interconnected pipeline pipelines: approximately 130 miles of 12-inch pipeline extending from MPC�� terminal in Wood River, Illinois to Champaign, Illinois (the West leg); approximately 86 miles of 12-inch pipeline extending from MPC�� Robinson, Illinois refinery to Champaign (the East leg), and approximately 140 miles of 12- and 16-inch pipeline extending from the junction with the East and West legs in Champaign to MPC�� terminals in Griffith, Indiana and Hammond, Indiana. This pipeline system delivers products to MPC�� tanks at Martinsville, Champaign, Griffith and Hammond. This pipeline system also delivers products to tanks owned by Meier Oil Company at Ashkum, Illinois. The Wabash Pipeline System connects to other pipeline systems in the Chicago area through a portion of the system located beyond MPC�� Griffith terminal. The Company�� Louisville airport product! s system ! consists of approximately 14 miles of eight- and six-inch pipeline, which delivers jet fuel from MPC�� Louisville, Kentucky refined product terminals to customers at the Louisville International Airport.

Other Major Midstream Assets

The Company�� butane cavern is located in Neal, West Virginia, across the Big Sandy River from MPC�� Catlettsburg, Kentucky refinery. This storage cavern has approximately 1.0 million barrels of storage capacity and is connected to MPC�� Catlettsburg refinery. Rail access to the storage cavern is also available through connections with the refinery.

The Company�� barge dock is located on the Mississippi River in Wood River, Illinois and is used both for crude oil barge loading and products barge unloading. The barge dock is connected to its Wood River tank farm by approximately two miles of 14-inch pipeline, which transfers crude oil from the tank farm to the dock, and two 10-inch pipelines, which are each approximately two miles long and transfer products and feedstocks from the dock to the tank farm. This dock generates revenue through a FERC tariff, which is collected for the transfer and loading/unloading of crude oil and products. It also owns tank farms located in Patoka, Martinsville and Wood River, Illinois and Lebanon, Indiana, which it uses for storing both crude oil and products. These storage assets are integral to the operation of its pipeline systems in those areas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX  ) and its master limited partnership Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP  ) have made the headlines recently, because of how high PSXP climbed during its first day of trading. It isn't the first refiner to find success with an MLP spinoff -- Marathon Petroleum's (NYSE: MPC  ) spinoff�MPLX (NYSE: MPLX  ) is up more than 16% year to date -- and it doesn't look as if it will be the last. In this video, Fool.com contributor Aimee Duffy looks at Valero's (NYSE: VLO  ) recent affirmation of its plan to convert its logistics assets into an MLP.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Two things PSXP has going for it are that it has no debt, and is likely to be able to grow future distributions. But there are other midstream MLPs that have little or no debt and are also in position to grow distributions, but with a higher yield than PSXP. Marathon Petroleum’s (NYSE: MPC) midstream affiliate MPLX (NYSE: MPLX) also has essentially no debt, but a slightly higher yield of 2.9 percent.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    In Marathon's quarterly report, watch for how the refiner's relationship with spun-off midstream pipeline operator MPLX (NYSE: MPLX  ) is faring. With Marathon holding a majority stake in MPLX, its pipeline assets will play an increasingly important role in bringing midcontinent energy products to its refineries.

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: Alston Energy Inc (ALO)

Alston Energy Inc. (Alston) is a Canada-based petroleum and natural gas company. The Company is engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas reserves in Western Canada�� sedimentary basins. The Company�� projects include Alexander, Pembina and Chauvin. Alexander assets include a 14.0% average working interest in 10 proved producing gas/oil wells, three proved development locations, related production facilities and pipelines and 6,560 gross acres of mineral leases. Pembina assets include a 3.5% interest in 19 producing oil wells, one coal bed methane gas well, four standing or suspended wells, two oil batteries, related production facilities and pipelines and 5,690 gross acres of land in the Pembina/Cardium Pool. Alston has oil assets in the emerging Chauvin area resource play. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Sarah Jones]

    HSBC, Europe�� biggest bank, Societe Generale SA (GLE), France�� second-largest lender, and Germany�� Commerzbank AG each climbed at least 2.6 percent after posting results. Allianz gained 3.6 percent after Europe�� largest insurer reported a jump in profit. Alstom SA (ALO) sank 12 percent after the power-equipment maker cut its profit forecast.

5 Best Japanese Stocks To Watch Right Now: LinnCo LLC (LNCO)

Linn Co, LLC (Linn Co) sole purpose is to own LINN Energy, LLC (LINN) units. LINN is independent oil and natural gas company. LINN is focused on the development and acquisition of oil and natural gas properties, which include various producing basins within the United States. LINN�� properties are located in eight operating regions, which include Mid-Continent, which includes properties in Oklahoma, Louisiana and the eastern portion of the Texas Panhandle; Hugoton Basin, which includes properties located primarily in Kansas and the Shallow Texas Panhandle; Green River Basin, which includes properties located in southwest Wyoming; Permian Basin, which includes areas in west Texas and southeast New Mexico; Michigan/Illinois, which includes the Antrim Shale formation in the northern part of Michigan and oil properties in southern Illinois; California, which includes the Brea Olinda Field of the Los Angeles Basin; Williston/Powder River Basin, which includes the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, and East Texas, which includes properties located in east Texas. On March 30, 2012, the Company acquired certain oil and natural gas properties (Properties) located primarily in the Hugoton Basin of Southwestern Kansas from BP America Production Company (BP). On May 1, 2012, LINN completed the acquisition of certain oil and natural gas properties located in east Texas. In December 2013, Linn Energy LLC and Linn Co, LLC (Linn Co) announced the completion of the merger between LinnCo and Berry Petroleum Company (Berry), where LinnCo had acquired all of Berry's interest.

During the year ended December 31, 2011, LINN drilled a total of 294 gross wells. As of June 1, 2012, LINN had interests in approximately 15,000 gross productive wells (approximately 71% operated) and approximately 1.8 million net acres across seven regions in the United States.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    I'm convinced that he's right to be bullish on LINN. I've been an investor in the company practically since it went public in 2006. The recent negativity on the company will eventually blow over, as it always does after these "bear raids" end. The biggest form of uncertainty is that these negative attacks have pulled in the SEC to investigate. That's putting the complex merger involving LINN, its affiliate LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO  ) and Berry Petroleum (NYSE: BRY  ) on shaky ground.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    In LINN's case, a decent portion of the capital is flowing back to investors. In order to keep that cash both flowing and growing, LINN and its peers need to tap the capital markets to invest in new wells or acquire producing assets. LINN, together with its affiliate�LinnCo� (NASDAQ: LNCO  ) ,�is known to be a serial acquirer, as evidenced by their recent deal to acquire Berry Petroleum (NYSE: BRY  )

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    The board of directors also announced that LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO  ) declared a monthly dividend of�$0.2416 per share payable on Sept. 16 to holders of record on Sept. 10. LinnCo has no operations or assets and was created for the sole purpose of owning shares of LINN Energy�so that it can receive distributions from the MLP and convert them into regular dividends.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Before we get to that, a little background is in order. This attack is really just a continuation by the same short-sale firm that's been trying to take down LINN Energy (NASDAQ: LINE  ) and LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO  ) . This company has gone on to say that BreitBurn is really just LINN Energy junior and that its distribution is "largely a mirage." The problem is that, other than the fact that it's just plain false, it's not giving BreitBurn much of any credit for the oil and gas it has in the ground. Those reserves are�what matters most if you were to value the firm. That's why for base value the company's third-party-verified reserves are used, which total an estimated 149.4 million barrels of oil equivalent and are spread around the nation, as shown in the following map:

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: Pembina Pipeline Corp (PBA)

Pembina Pipeline Corporation (Pembina) is a Calgary-based company, engaged in providing transportation and midstream services. It owns and operates: pipelines that transport conventional and synthetic crude oil and natural gas liquids produced in western Canada; oil sands, heavy oil and diluent pipelines; gas gathering and processing facilities; and, an oil and natural gas liquids infrastructure and logistics business. It has facilities located in western Canada and in natural gas liquids markets in eastern Canada and the United States. Pembina also offers a spectrum of midstream and marketing services. Pembina�� Midstream business is organized into two segments: crude oil and NGL. The crude oil segment represents the Company�� midstream operations. The NGL segment includes two operating systems: Redwater West and Empress East. Pembina's Conventional Pipelines business consists of a pipeline network, located 7,850 kilometers, that extends across much of Alberta and British Columbia. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Vanin Aegea]

    Two companies that have been around for some time now are Imperial Oil (IMO) and Pembina Pipeline (PBA). Political instability in the Middle East has also given an extra relevance to the reserves found at this region, so let us see what the future holds and what gurus think of them.

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: MEG Energy Corp (MEGEF.PK)

MEG Energy Corp. is a Canada-based oil sands company focused on in situ development and production in the southern Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta. The Company has identified two steam assisted gravity drainage projects, the Christina Lake project and the Surmont project. The Company owns a 100% interest in over 900 sections of oil sands leases in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta and is primarily engaged in a steam assisted gravity drainage oil sands development at its 80 section Christina Lake Regional Project (Christina Lake Project). The development includes co-ownership of Access Pipeline, a dual pipeline to transport diluent north from the Edmonton area to the Athabasca oil sands area and a blend of bitumen and diluent south from the Christina Lake Project into the Edmonton area. Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Stephan Dube]

    Athabasca's most notable producers:

    Suncor Energy (SU) (Part 1), see article here.Suncor Energy (Part 2), see article here.Athabasca Oil (ATHOF.PK), see article here.Canadian Natural Resources, see article here.Imperial Oil, see article here.Cenovus Energy (CVE), see article here.MEG Energy (MEGEF.PK), see article here.Devon Energy, see article here.Royal Dutch Shell, see article here.Ivanhoe Energy (IVAN), see article here.Nexen (CNOOC) (CEO), see article here.

    An analysis of the current operations of the company will be examined with the objective to provide the most complete information available to potential investors before deciding to seize the opportunity that the 54,132 square miles of the Carbonate Triangle has to offer. Let's start by introducing Athabasca, a famous and most prolific region in the Canadian oil sands as well as one of the largest reserve in the world.

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: Marathon Oil Corporation(MRO)

Marathon Oil Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as an international energy company with operations in the United States, Canada, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. It operates through three segments: Exploration and Production, Oil Sands Mining, and Integrated Gas. The Exploration and Production segment explores for, produces, and markets liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas. The Oil Sands Mining segment mines, extracts, and transports bitumen from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada; and upgrades the bitumen to produce and market synthetic crude oil and vacuum gas oil. The Integrated Gas segment markets and transports products manufactured from natural gas, such as liquified natural gas and methanol. The company was formerly known as USX Corporation and changed its name to Marathon Oil Corporation in July 2001. Marathon Oil Corporation was founded in 1887 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Arjun Sreekumar]

    For instance, Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO  ) , which reported sizable improvements in both well costs and drilling days in the Eagle Ford, said it may reduce its rig count in the region by two this year, even though it plans to add 290 wells and boost production to 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill Lynch.

    Zillow Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.

  • [By Tyler Crowe]

    For many companies, the combination of booming oil opportunities in the Lower 48 and these prohibitively high taxes made oil drilling in Alaska simply not worth it, and several companies decided to pull the plug on further investments. Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO  ) decided to get out fully and sold a large portion of its North Slope assets for $1.1 billion back in January. The company plans to divest the rest of these assets in 2013 to focus on Lower 48 operations.�

  • [By John Kell]

    Marathon Oil Corp.(MRO) reported lower fourth-quarter sales volume, though the crude oil and natural gas producer’s bottom line grew 16% due to fewer income tax provisions.

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: Markwest Energy Partners LP (MWE)

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MarkWest Energy) is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. It provides services in the midstream sector of the natural gas industry. The Company also provides processing and fractionation services to crude oil refineries in the Corpus Christi, Texas area through its Javelina gas processing and fractionation facility. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated in four segments: Southwest, Northeast, Liberty and Gulf Coast. Effective December 31, 2011, the Company acquired the remaining 49% interest in MarkWest Liberty Midstream. On February 1, 2011, the Company acquired Langley processing plant.

Southwest Segment

The Company owns a system in East Texas that consists of natural gas gathering pipelines, centralized compressor stations, a natural gas processing facility and an NGL pipeline. The East Texas system is located in Panola, Harrison and Rusk Counties and services the Carthage Field. Producing formations in Panola County consist of the Cotton Valley, Pettit, Travis Peak and Haynesville formations. During the year ended December 31, 2011, approximately 77% of its natural gas volumes in the East Texas System result from contracts with six producers. The Company sells substantially all of the purchased and retained NGLs produced at its East Texas processing facility to Targa Resources Partners, L.P. (Targa) under a long-term contract. Such sales represent approximately 19.4% of its consolidated revenue in 2011.

The Company owns a natural gas gathering system in the Woodford Shale play in the Arkoma Basin of southeast Oklahoma. The liquids-rich natural gas gathered in the Woodford system is processed through Centrahoma Processing LLC (Centrahoma), its equity investment, or other third-party processors. In addition, it owns the Foss Lake! natural gas gathering system and the Western Oklahoma natural gas processing complex, all located in Roger Mills, Beckham, Custer and Ellis Counties of western Oklahoma. The gathering portion consists of a pipeline system that is connected to natural gas wells and associated compression facilities. The Company also owns a gathering system in the Granite Wash formation in Wheeler County in the Texas panhandle that is connected to its Western Oklahoma processing complex. The Company completed the expansion of the Western Oklahoma natural gas processing plant in October 2011.

Approximately 70% of its Oklahoma volumes result from contracts with three producers in 2011. The Company sells substantially all of the NGLs produced in the Western Oklahoma processing complex to ONEOK Hydrocarbon L.P. (ONEOK) under a long-term contract. Such sales represent approximately 13.2% of its consolidated revenue in 2011. The Company owns a number of natural gas gathering systems located in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico, including the Appleby gathering system in Nacogdoches County, Texas. It gathers a portion of the gas produced from fields adjacent to its gathering systems, including from wells targeting the Haynesville Shale. In addition, it owns four lateral pipelines in Texas and New Mexico.

Northeast Segment

The Company�� Northeast segment assets include the Kenova, Boldman, Cobb, Kermit and Langley natural gas processing plants, an NGL pipeline and the Siloam NGL fractionation plant. In addition, it has two caverns for storing propane at its Siloam facility and additional propane storage capacity under a long-term firm-capacity agreement with a third party. The Northeast segment operations include fractionation and marketing services on behalf of the Liberty segment. The Company owns and operates a crude oil pipeline in Michigan (Michigan Crude Pipeline) providing transportation service for three shippers.

Liberty Segment

The Company pr! ovides na! tural gas midstream services in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia through MarkWest Liberty Midstream. It is a processor of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, with gathering, processing, fractionation, storage and marketing operations.

Utica Segment

Effective January 1, 2012, the Company and The Energy and Minerals Group (EMG) formed MarkWest Utica EMG, a joint venture focused on the development of natural gas processing and NGL fractionation, transportation and marketing infrastructure to serve producers' drilling programs in the Utica shale in eastern Ohio. During 2011, the Utica Segment did not have any operations.

Gulf Coast Segment

The Company owns and operates the Javelina processing facility, a natural gas processing facility in Corpus Christi, Texas that treats and processes off-gas from six local refineries operated by three different refinery customers. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned a 40% interest in Centrahoma Processing LLC (Centrahoma), a joint venture with Cardinal Midstream, LLC (Cardinal). Centrahoma owns certain processing plants in the Arkoma Basin and Cardinal operates an additional processing plant that is not owned by Centrahoma but is located adjacent to and operates in conjunction with the Centrahoma plants.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Moving Marcellus gas
    In Summit's second deal it is purchasing the Mountaineer Midstream gas-gathering system in the Marcellus from MarkWest (NYSE: MWE  ) �for�$210 million.�The newly constructed 40-mile system leads into MarkWest's Sherwood Processing Complex which is currently being expanded from 400 million cubic feet per day to 800 million cubic feet per day of processing capacity. The system Summit is acquiring is secured by a long-term, fee-based contract with Antero Resources. Again, the company is picking up an asset that has secured revenue while providing MarkWest with capital so it can grow its processing capacity.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    In Magnum Hunter's two core operating areas, the Williston Basin and the Appalachian Basin, it has felt this impact directly. The company has been forced to endure production shut-ins because critical midstream assets, like those now in service by MarkWest (NYSE: MWE  ) , weren't yet available. Further, in order to access MarkWest's plants, Magnum Hunter has been building the pipeline infrastructure critical to connect its gas to these plants. As seen in the map below, Magnum Hunter's Eureka Hunter Pipeline is providing it with critical access to MarkWest's new Mobley plant:

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    MarkWest Energy� (NYSE: MWE  ) �has taken this as a challenge and will soon be the top infrastructure provider in the region. During the year it plans on bringing a 100,000 barrel per day fractionation facility on line with truck, rail, and pipeline access. This facility will also have access to fractionation facilities in the Marcellus Shale. This addition broadens a portfolio that already houses multiple facilities capable of refrigeration, cryogenic processing, and fractionation. As you can see from the following slide, the company has a number of projects under construction to meet the growing needs of producers in the region. �

  • [By Mike Deane]

    After the bell on Tuesday, Markwest Energy Partners LP (MWE) announced its third quarter earnings, with revenue rising substantially from last year’s third quarter.

    MWE Earnings in Brief

    -Markwest’s revenue for the quarter came in at $420.5 million, a huge gain from last year’s same quarter revenue of $280.6 million. This was still not enough to top analysts’ revenue estimates of $458.22 million
    -Even with much higher revenue, MWE still posted a loss for the quarter of $20.03 million, which was more than last year’s loss of $15.27 million.
    -The company posted an EPS loss of 17 cents, which was larger than last year’s Q3 loss of 13 cents, and far below the analysts’ estimate of 24 cents EPS profit.

    CEO Commentary

    Frank Semple, Markwest’s chairman, president and CEO, had the following comments about the quarterly results: ��ur results reflect the continued success of our producers��as they rapidly develop their acreage positions in high-quality unconventional resource plays, as well as several short-term operational constraints that we have recently experienced in the Northeast. Development of the Marcellus and Utica Shales continues to provide us with significant future growth opportunities for the expansion of critical midstream infrastructure. We are committed to providing our producers with exceptional customer service and unique solutions that will support their ongoing success.��/p>

    Dividend

    Markwest made no mention of a dividend change in its earnings report, which was not a surprise, as the company just raised its quarterly dividend by 1 cent at the end of October. The quarterly dividend of 85 cents went ex-dividend on November 5 and will be paid this Thursday. Markwest has raised its dividend every quarter for the past three years.

    Stock Performance

    MWE stock was up 39 cents, or 0.52%, at Tuesday’s market close. YTD, the company’s s

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: Vanguard Natural Resources LLC(VNR)

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC, through its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its properties are located in the southern portion of the Appalachian Basin, primarily in southeast Kentucky and northeast Tennessee; the Permian Basin, primarily in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico; and south Texas. As of December 31, 2010, the company had estimated proved reserves of 69.3 million barrels of oil equivalent, as well as working interests in 2,270 net productive wells. Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC was founded in 2006 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Among its peers in the MLP and LLC space, LINN by far hedges the most production. BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP  ) , for example, has hedged roughly 75% of its production through 2015, whereas LINN is 100% hedged through 2016. BreitBurn almost exclusively uses swaps as its hedge of choice. It's a similar story at Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR  ) , which also uses swaps to almost exclusively hedge natural gas while using three-way collars to hedge about a third of its oil production. While LINN could get more creative, one thing I'd be surprised to hear is that it's going to join these two peers and leave some of its production unhedged.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    The problem, though, is finding that right deal at the right price. Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR  ) for example reviews about 150 acquisition candidates each year and whittles that down to about 50 that are evaluated more deeply. Since its IPO, the company has only closed 18 transaction as few meet the stringent requirements needed to move the needle. It's a similar story at BreitBurn which screened 500 opportunities last year but just closed seven deals for about $600 million.�

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    During this past week�� joint monthly web chat for subscribers of The Energy Strategist�and MLP Profits, we received several questions about Vanguard Natural Resources (Nasdaq: VNR). So let�� get to know this energy income play a little better.

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    Oil and gas producer, Vanguard Natural Resources (NASDAQ: VNR  ) is out with its first-quarter earnings. The company, known for its monthly distribution to investors, is one of a growing number of oil and gas production companies structured as an MLP/LLC. This makes the high yielder a favorite of income-starved investors. Let's take a quick look to ensure that income won't be drying up anytime soon.

Hot Gas Companies To Own For 2015: Alon USA Energy Inc. (ALJ)

Alon USA Energy, Inc. engages in refining and marketing petroleum products primarily in the South Central, Southwestern, and Western regions of the United States. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing, Asphalt, and Retail. The Refining and Marketing segment refines crude oil into petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, feed stocks, asphalts, and other petroleum products. It markets finished products and blend stocks through sales and exchanges with other oil companies, state and federal governmental entities, unbranded wholesale distributors, and various other third parties. This segment also markets motor fuels to distributors under the Alon brand; and licenses Alon brand name and provides payment card processing services, advertising programs, and loyalty and other marketing programs to licensed locations. The Asphalt segment is involved in the marketing of patented tire rubber modified asphalt products; and production of paving and roofing grades of asphalt comprising performance-graded asphalts, emulsions, and cutbacks. This segment sells paving asphalt to road and materials manufacturers and highway construction/maintenance contractors; polymer modified or emulsion asphalt to highway maintenance contractors; and roofing asphalt to roofing shingle manufacturers or other industrial users. The Retail segment operates retail convenience stores that offer various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, food products, tobacco products, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and general merchandise primarily under the 7-Eleven and Alon brands. As of December 31, 2012, it had 298 retail convenience stores located in Central and West Texas, and New Mexico. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Alon USA Energy, Inc. is a subsidiary of Alon Israel Oil Company, Ltd.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Smith]

    The Department of Defense issued $1.3 billion worth of new contract awards Friday. However, a single, $950 million award for engineering services accounted for the bulk of the spending -- and that one went to a series of privately held companies. Publicly traded names fared less well. Among the few winners:

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