USAC Sees More Compression Demand Growth

By Patrick Crow16 January 2019

USA Compression Partners (USAC) sees strong demand for field compression over the next four years as gas production surges 70% in West Texas-New Mexico and 55% in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.

Growth in the Permian and Appalachian basins is expected to total 20 Bcfd (566 x 106 m3/d) over four years. USAC gave the projections in a presentation Jan. 14 at the UBS Midstream, MLP and Utilities Conference in Park City, Utah.

The partnership continues to integrate the assets of CDM Resource Management, which it acquired for US$1.7 billion from Energy Transfer last year. CDM’s lower fleet utilization initially reduced USAC’s rate, which since has rebounded to 93%.

The acquisition bumped the USAC fleet 1.6 to 3.4 million hp (1.2 to 2.5 million kW). More than 70% of its 4500 units are 1000 hp (746 kW) or greater. It has 120,000 hp (89,484 kW) of large units on order for 2019 delivery but said lead times remain elevated.

The partnership said the price for its units on the stock exchange has paralleled the recent plunge in crude oil prices “for no apparent reason.” It said large-horsepower compression demand is unrelated to oil production.

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