According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), natural gas production in the Marcellus region rose 3.7% YoY (year-over-year) in 1Q17 from 1Q16. Rig count in the region rose to 45 as of April 21, 2017, compared to its all-time low of 21 in August 2016, as noted in a recent rig report published by Baker Hughes (BHI).
Williams Partners’ Marcellus focus
Williams Partners (WPZ), which is the largest natural gas gatherer in the Northeast region, is expected to benefit from strong drilling activity in the region. According to a recent report by Wood Mackenzie, the Northeast region is expected to lead in US natural gas production growth, accounting for more than 70% of US total natural gas production by 2021. MPLX LP (MPLX), Antero Midstream Partners (AM), EQT Midstream Partners (EQM), and Rice Midstream Partners (RMP) are among the midstream companies with significant Marcellus exposure.