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UPDATE 1-Energy group MPLX ups pipeline throughput by 6% in second quarter

·2 min read

(Adds detail from earnings call)

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - U.S. midstream oil and natural gas company MPLX LP said Tuesday it had increased total pipeline throughputs by 6% in the second quarter of 2022 and terminal throughput by 4%, compared with year-ago levels.

MPLX said in an earnings statement that total pipeline throughputs were 5.9 million barrels per day (bpd), with terminal throughput of 3.1 million bpd for the second quarter.

The increases were driven largely by increased utilization at refineries operated by its parent company Marathon Petroleum Co, MPLX's Chief Financial Officer John Quaid said during the company's earnings call.

MPLX is still bullish on energy demand, the company said, despite market concerns about a potential global recession that would likely hurt consumption.

"We think there's still room to run on the demand side," said Chief Executive Michael Hennigan in the earnings call. "Demand is looking good. Inventories are low. It's still a pretty constructive environment for us."

The company reported net income of $875 million and adjusted earnings of $1.457 million in the second quarter, both higher than in the same period of 2021.

It raised gathered volumes by 11% from year-ago levels to an average of 5.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). In the Marcellus region, gathered volumes fell 1% versus year-ago levels to an average of 1.3 bcf/d.

The company also announced Tuesday a program to repurchase an additional $1 billion in publicly traded units.

MPLX said it is expanding several projects, including in the Permian where the Whistler pipeline is increasing from 2.0 bcf/d to 2.5 bcf/d, in addition to lateral pipelines into the Midland basin and Corpus Christi domestic and export markets.

"We do believe in the strong growth of the Permian and believe that beyond even the announced expansions of the existing pipes such as Whistler, that a couple of more pipes are going to be needed over the next 5-plus years," Timothy Aydt, executive vice president at MPLX, said in the earnings call.

Construction is also continuing on the 200 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) Tornado ll processing plant, which MPLX expects to come online in the second half of 2022.

MPLX said the 68,000 bpd Smithburg de-ethanizer project in the Marcellus is expected to come online in the third quarter. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Alexander Smith and Jan Harvey)