Growing supply of natural gas liquids, or NGL, has resulted in the need for additional infrastructure to deliver product further downstream and help balance the market. The significant supply growth is expected to drive a multibillion dollar opportunity for NGL-levered stocks in the coming years. Some of the key infrastructure segments that would require billions of investment include gathering and processing, NGL pipelines, fractionation, and NGL exports. This increasing NGL production supply and lucrative market is expected to benefit a number of companies, particularly those with exposure to NGL pipelines, processing, storage, fractionation, terminalling and logistics businesses. Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD) and Targa Resources Corp (NYSE:TRGP) are particularly well positioned to benefit from this bullish outlook on NGL supply growth.
Enterprise Products Partners
Enterprise Products Partners, a midstream energy company, is a core MLP holding. It has an expansive geographic asset footprint which extends from the Marcellus down to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The company has multiple areas of opportunities tied to increasing volumes such as gathering, processing, storage, fractionation, pipelines, and export terminals. Enterprise Products Partners has over 110 million bbls of NGL storage; it has 670 mbpd fractionation capacity, and 250 mbpd LPG export capacity, which the company is expanding to about 500 mbpd by the end of 2015.
As mentioned earlier, the company has multiple areas of opportunities, and its leading position at Mt. Belvieu and the Gulf Coast serves as a major advantage in securing and executing future growth projects. The company has the ability to execute necessary projects through asset repurposing -- for example its ATEX ethane pipeline and the TE Products Pipeline diluent project. Given its strong asset base on the Gulf Coast, the company is also well positioned to benefit from an increase in ethane exports. While large-scale ethane exports are not expected, additional fractionation expansions are highly likely in the near term.
Targa Resources Corp
Targa offers investors levered dividend growth to its underlying MLP Targa Resources Partners (UNKNOWN:NGLS.DL). Similar to EPD, Targa also offers a diversified growth across the NGL value chain. The company has about 500 mbpd of net fractionation capacity and 117 mbpd LPG export capacity, which the company will expand to 183mbpd in 2014. TRGP is also a major NGL player on the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mt. Belvieu region. Targa Resources' business model not only provides investors with upside potential but also downside protection. Higher NGL prices, in particular propane and butane, provide upside to the company's un-hedged commodity margins while the ability to provide short-term spot propane exports acts as a natural hedge to lower prices. Moreover, the company's gathering and processing footprint should also continue to see expansion opportunities in the near term. The company is expected to bring online its 200 MMcf/d High Plains plant in 2014.
To deliver product further downstream and help balance the market, growing NGL supply has resulted in the need for additional infrastructure. Both Enterprise Products Partners and Targa Resources are levered to segments of the infrastructure value chain where material growth is expected. While many new NGL pipelines are built in the past few years delivering either individual purity products or mixed NGLs to demand centers or storage, most of these pipelines originated from oily or liquids-rich producing regions.
From a demand viewpoint Mt. Belvieu, due to its storage capabilities and access to Gulf Coast and export markets, is the most typical destination for NGL pipeline routes. Both Enterprise Products Partners and Targa Resources are major players in the Mt. Belvieu region. Both companies are likely to see incremental pipeline, fractionation, and export projects as their market share serves as a major advantage in securing future projects.