On Thursday, July 21st, TXOGA held its monthly Lunch and Learn, a series designed to bring in oil and natural gas industry professionals to educate capitol staff and TXOGA members on various industry topics. Jim Cisarik, vice president of governmental affairs at Enterprise Products Partners L.P., delivered a presentation over “Midstream 101: Moving Hydrocarbons from Producing Basins to Markets.” Speaking to a crowded room, he conveyed the necessity of midstream functions to oil and gas processes and smooth market flow.
There are three sectors in the oil and gas industry: upstream, midstream and downstream. Midstream refers to efforts involving the gathering, processing, pipeline transmission, storage, trucking, barging and terminals of oil and gas from its procurement to a given market or other destination. Without midstream operations, we would not have oil and gas products we use everyday, such as detergents, diapers, gas, toothpaste, shoes and more.
“We make sure all of these hydrocarbons get to the right markets,” said Cisarik. “When they get to the right markets it’s either generating electricity with hydrocarbons or manufacturing hydrocarbons to make products that are really important in our daily lives.”
The pipeline system in the United Sates is intricate and efficient. Natural gas pipelines in the U.S. collectively cover 1.58 million miles and liquid pipeline systems cover 190,000 miles. In Texas alone, 2.7 MM barrels/day of crude oil and 22.7 BcF/day of natural gas are produced. Pipelines that stretch across Texas serve as the safest mode of transportation for the high volume of oil and gas produced in our state.
Midstream companies implement safety measures to ensure security in transportations. Operations, safety and pressure are constantly monitored and pipelines are routinely evaluated to confirm integrity. Furthermore, a number of agencies provide regulatory oversight to businesses operating in all dimensions of the oil and natural gas industry to ensure safe and fair practices.
Upstream, midstream and downstream processes are all equally imperative to the oil and natural gas industry. Together they enable production and transportation of oil and natural gas, along with its conversion to products that enable our daily lives.