Deregulation of underground storage has caused many salt formation and other high deliverability sites to be initiated by independent storage service providers that are often small and focused companies.
Currently, there are three major publicly traded independent storage firms, Plains All American Pipeline’s (PAA) natural gas storage subsidiary (PAA Natural Gas Storage), Niska Gas Storage Partners (NKA), and Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP). PAA is part of the Alerian MLP (or master limited partnership) ETF (AMLP), while CEQP is part of the Global X MLP ETF (MLPA).
PAA currently owns and operates three natural gas storage facilities located in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Michigan.
Pine Prairie Energy Center
Located in south Louisiana, this facility is positioned to serve growing markets in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, with nine interstate pipeline interconnects to it.
Blue Water Gas Storage
Located in St. Clair County, Michigan, this facility serves Eastern Canada, the Midwest, and the Northeast. It has six pipeline interconnects.
Southern Pines Energy Center
Located in eastern Mississippi, this facility provides direct or indirect access to eight major natural gas pipelines and primarily serves markets in Florida and the South.
Through these three facilities, PAA provides storage services to customers in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast. Customers include electric utilities, local distribution companies, pipelines, natural gas producers, LNG (or liquefied natural gas) importers, aggregators, marketers, and industrial and commercial end user customers.
Most of PAA’s revenues are derived from the provision of firm storage services under multiyear, fee-based contracts.
The following parts talk about PAA’s second quarter earnings