Upstream Master Limited Partnership, BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP ) , has big plans for future production growth. It's investing very aggressively in properties across the United States to fully take advantage of the modern-day oil boom here. As oil and gas production soars, BreitBurn is committed to get its share of the action.
BreitBurn's wise asset acquisitions in the Permian Basin, one of the highest-producing areas of the country, put the company in a great strategic position. Furthermore, since BreitBurn is required to distribute a huge majority of its cash flows, investors have the opportunity to receive a hefty income. If growth and a sizable yield are what you're after, look no further than BreitBurn Energy.
BreitBurn's land grab
The Permian Basin, located in Texas and New Mexico, represents one of the biggest sources of oil and gas production in the United States. Production there has exploded in recent years. The region reached 1 million barrels in average daily oil production in 2011, and the active rig count has grown from 100 in mid-2009 to more than 500 rigs today.
Since then, the trend has only continued, and will remain so for some time. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports average daily oil production hit 1.32 million barrels per day at the Permian Basin last year. And, through 2015, the EIA expects the Permian Basin to grow production faster than any other region in the United States.
This is why BreitBurn and other exploration and production MLPs have plowed money into the Permian Basin. BreitBurn recently closed $300 million worth of acquisitions in the region. This was a very similar transaction as LINN Energy's (NASDAQ: LINE ) $525 million acquisition in the Permian Basin last year. This deal was in addition to approximately $834 million in acquisitions last year located across Oklahoma and New Mexico.
It's clear why LINN and BreitBurn are focused so intently on the Permian Basin. The region's oil and gas reserves are not only abundant, they're high-quality as well. LINN's acquired assets there hold more than 300 proved low-risk drilling opportunities that are expected to last 17 years.
BreitBurn's Permian acquisition strongly complements its existing operations, which are spread across the United States. In addition to Texas and New Mexico, BreitBurn holds sizable assets in California, Wyoming, and Michigan. In all, the company's U.S. assets contain 190 million barrels of oil equivalents in proved reserves, which hold a reserve-to-production ratio of approximately 15 years.
Committed to distribution growth
Of BreitBurn Energy's many stated goals, providing a large and growing distribution is one of the most important. BreitBurn's distribution has increased for 14 consecutive quarters. Since the first quarter of 2010, its payout has grown by 30%.
This consistent growth has led to a massive yield. The company's currently payout approaches 10% annualized. Plus, investors have the opportunity to compound their wealth even faster, since BreitBurn recently announced it would move toward a monthly payout. This is right on par with LINN Energy and LINN's financial holding entity LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO ) . Both LINN and LinnCo pay a monthly distribution with yields near 10%.
Fortunately, BreitBurn is growing quickly enough to support its massive distribution. Between its 2006 initial public offering and 2012, BreitBurn's production grew at a 31% rate compounded annually. Moreover, its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization increased by 29% compounded annually over the same period.
Disciplined strategy is key for future returns
Future growth is extremely likely, thanks to BreitBurn's strategic acquisitions. Going forward, BreitBurn fully intends to pursue any and all opportunities that have the potential to provide proven, low-risk oil and gas reserves. Pursuing both organic growth and growth through acquisitions is key to BreitBurn energy supporting its huge yield. As long as its management team keeps pursuing regions with large amounts of proven reserves, BreitBurn's growth should remain on track.
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