ONEOK ("one oak") is OK with its singled-minded pursuit of profits from natural gas activities. Through its 43%-owned ONEOK Partners (of which it is the general partner) it operates more than 15,900 miles of gas-gathering pipeline and 7,100 miles of transportation pipeline, as well as gas processing plants and storage facilities. The unit also owns one of the US's top natural gas liquids (NGL) systems. ONEOK's energy services unit focuses on marketing natural gas across the US. The company's regulated utilities -- Oklahoma Natural Gas, Kansas Gas Service, and Texas Gas Service -- distribute natural gas to more than 2 million customers. ONEOK also has a parking garage and leases office space in Tulsa.
High NGL and condensate prices and a significant increase in NGL volumes lifted the company's revenues by 14% in 2011 and its net income by 8%. The gains overcame weak natural gas prices.
ONEOK's strategy is to deliver consistent growth and sustainable earnings via its ONEOK Partners, Energy Services, and Distribution segments by both internal investments and strategic acquisitions.
The company's primary growth vehicle, ONEOK Partners, has committed $3 billion to growth projects between 2011 and 2014, primarily in the high-yielding NGL market. It is investing heavily in that unit's growth projects in the Williston Basin (Bakken Shale) in North Dakota and the Cana-Woodford Shale and Granite Wash areas in Oklahoma and Texas.
To keep pace with the growing shale gas market, in late 2011 ONEOK Partners opened a processing plant to process Bakken Shale gas. It plans to open two more by the end of 2013. It is also building NGL pipelines to transport Cana-Woodford Shale and Granite Wash output to fractionators.
In 2012 ONEOK Partners announced that it will spend up to $1.8 billion to build a crude oil pipeline from the Bakken Shale to the major crude oil storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma.
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