Century Midstream LLC (Century) was formally launched today, a new energy company recently created in partnership between a veteran management team and First Reserve, the largest global private equity firm exclusively focused on energy. Century will primarily focus on the development, acquisition and expansion of midstream assets across North America, with an emphasis on emerging liquids and liquids-rich shale plays. First Reserve will support Century with up to US$500 million of equity capital to co-found the company.
Led by Joseph A. Blount, Jr. as Chief Executive Officer with John Howard serving as President and COO, the four principal members of Century’s management team have over a century of collective midstream experience across the entire value chain, a comprehensive understanding of midstream operations in multiple hydrocarbon commodities, and a proven record of value creation as well as safety.
Blount and Howard are joined by Jim Avioli, Jr. as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Brian Raber as Senior Vice President of Engineering. Most recently, this team designed and implemented a comprehensive strategy and business plan for the development of unregulated midstream assets within NiSource (NYSE: NI) providing comprehensive services to producers and others in underserved portions of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, including the Pennant Midstream LLC partnership which provides gas gathering and gas processing services for producers in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Prior to his role as President & COO of NiSource Midstream & Minerals Group, Blount was the President and COO of Genesis Energy LP where he oversaw the diversification of the master limited partnership’s asset portfolio and operations resulting in substantial unit holder return. Prior to Genesis, Blount was the President and COO of Unocal Midstream & Trade and oversaw the worldwide marketing of Unocal’s natural gas, crude oil and condensate resources, the development and management of its pipeline, terminal and storage assets, and its commodity risk management activities.
Century will pursue development and acquisition opportunities in liquids and liquids-rich producing basins, through a long-term partnership approach with upstream producers.
“We have tremendous respect for the First Reserve team and believe they bring unique value to our shared vision of building a pre-eminent midstream business,” said Joe Blount. “We’ve assembled a talented team with strong backgrounds capable of providing reliable solutions for our customers. Timely and cost-effective build out of midstream infrastructure is critical to maintaining production schedules in shale plays today. With our extensive experience of providing on-time delivery and outstanding service to customers, we are excited about the opportunity ahead.”
New drilling techniques and technology have opened previously uneconomic hydrocarbon basins and the application of these technologies is driving significant increases in both natural gas and crude oil production in the U.S. As such, the midstream sector is marked by a high level of growth, creating numerous opportunities to identify suitable assets around which to build a portfolio.
“Century is a great example of our approach of backing high-quality management teams and building long term sustainable businesses in attractive markets,” said Tim Day, co-head of Buyout for First Reserve. “We have known Joe for over 10 years and are very excited about the opportunity to work alongside him and his team, who have deep relationships, experience and a history of value creation through organic and acquisitive growth.”