EnergyPoint Research Announces 2009 Natural Gas Midstream Customer Satisfaction Results

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EnergyPoint Research, a Houston-based independent market research company specializing in the oil and gas industry, recently announced results from its 2009 Natural Gas Midstream Services Survey. The survey, a successor to a similar study conducted by EnergyPoint in 2006, focuses on customers’ satisfaction with midstream providers across a range of categories, including gas gathering, processing and treating, transportation, storage and natural gas liquids services.

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Although it’s easy to focus on the size and scope of some of the larger players in this space, many survey respondents found the service and execution offered by Copano Energy, as well as runner-up MarkWest Energy, to be quite appealing.

EnergyPoint Research, a Houston-based independent market research company specializing in the oil and gas industry, recently announced results from its 2009 Natural Gas Midstream Services Survey. The survey, a successor to a similar study conducted by EnergyPoint in 2006, focuses on customers’ satisfaction with midstream providers across a range of categories, including gas gathering, processing and treating, transportation, storage and natural gas liquids services.

Rating first overall in this year’s survey is Copano Energy, which owns and operates assets in Texas, Oklahoma and the Rocky Mountains. In addition to its overall first-place ranking, the Houston-based company rated first in the categories of gathering and processing/treating. The company also captured top regional rankings in the Onshore Gulf Coast, Texas Intrastate and Mid-continent markets.

“Copano rated well with respondents across a range of attributes, categories and regions. The company showed particular strength in the all-important areas of operations and personnel, and enjoyed standout ratings in service and professionalism,” said Doug Sheridan, managing director of EnergyPoint Research. “Although it’s easy to focus on the size and scope of some of the larger players in this space, many survey respondents found the service and execution offered by Copano, as well as runner-up MarkWest Energy, to be quite appealing.”

Other category winners from this year’s survey include Williams in the U.S. Rockies and San Juan Basin, and in the category of intrastate gas transportation; MarkWest Energy in the categories of gas purchasing and NGL related services; Enterprise Products Partners in the area of offshore gathering and infrastructure; Targa Resources in the Permian Basin, and; DCP Midstream in the ArkLaTex region. Enogex recorded the largest overall ratings improvement since 2006.

A total of 16 companies received the minimum number of evaluations required to be included in this year’s results. Those rating in the top half, listed by descending rank, are Copano Energy, MarkWest Energy, Williams, Kinder Morgan, CenterPoint Energy Field Services, Regency Energy, Enterprise Products Partners and Targa Resources. Companies ranking in the bottom half of the survey, listed alphabetically, include Crosstex, DCP Midstream, Eagle Rock Energy Partners, Enbridge, Energy Transfer, Enogex and ONEOK Field Services and Southern Union.

Overall, satisfaction in the midstream sector in 2009 generally held steady with the low levels previously recorded in EnergyPoint’s 2006 survey. Survey respondents rated providers particularly low when it comes to the prices paid for the quality of services received and the ability of providers to develop projects and technologies in value-adding manners. Offshore gathering and NGL-related services also received lower ratings.

“Of the various oilfield segments EnergyPoint covers, natural gas midstream services continues to record the lowest overall ratings,” noted Sheridan. “While multiple factors likely explain this, we suspect the preponderance of master-limited partnerships (MLPs) operating in the segment contributes to some extent. MLPs have tended to believe the best way to grow distributions to unit holders is to acquire assets or competitors. Unfortunately, when management’s focus is on mergers and acquisitions, customers and customer care have a tendency to get lost in the shuffle.”

The survey reflects more than 750 evaluations collected from May 2009 through October 2009 from more than 190 customers of domestic midstream natural gas service providers. Gas producers, marketing companies and industrial customers were all represented in the survey. Providers were evaluated in the areas of total satisfaction, pricing and contact terms, operations, project development, service and professionalism, quality of personnel, systems and administration and corporate capabilities, as well as across a range of services and geographic regions.

About EnergyPoint Research, Inc.:
EnergyPoint Research provides independent research regarding the oil and gas industry’s satisfaction with the products and services it purchases and utilizes. Founded in 2003, the firm offers oil and gas industry professionals and their employers opportunities to provide confidential ratings and feedback in important areas to oilfield product and service suppliers through objective and independent evaluation processes. For more information regarding EnergyPoint Research and its surveys and data, visit the company’s website at http://www.energypointresearch.com or contact the company at info (at) epresearch.com.

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