MPLX Exceeds Q4 2023 Expectations with Surge in Pipeline Volumes

(Reuters) — Midstream energy company MPLX on Tuesday reported higher fourth-quarter earnings, beating expectations, as its pipelines transported an increased volume of energy products.

MPLX, a partnership formed by Marathon Petroleum Corp., reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) attributable to MPLX of $1,623 million, compared with $1,454 million for the fourth quarter of 2022.

Net income per limited partner unit was $1.10, versus expectations of $0.94, based on LSEG data.

Total pipeline throughputs were 5.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter, an increase of 3% versus the same quarter of 2022.

The average pipeline tariff rate was $0.97 per barrel for the quarter, an increase of 9% versus the same quarter of 2022. Terminal throughput was 3.0 million bpd for the quarter, flat versus the same quarter of 2022.

The company's logistics and storage business reported an increase in adjusted EBITDA of $110 million compared with the same period in 2022, driven by higher rates and throughputs, as well as growth from equity affiliates.

MPLX acquired in late 2023 the remaining 40% interest in a gathering and processing joint venture for approximately $270 million, a strategy it said advances its growth in the Permian basin in the U.S.

Its capital spending plan, which includes $1.1 billion for 2024, focuses on expansion and de-bottlenecking of MPLX's existing logistics and storage assets, and increasing its gathering and processing capacity, it said.

The strategy is anchored in the Marcellus and Utica regions, company officials said during a conference call to discuss earnings. These are in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

In the Marcellus, MPLX continues construction of the Harmon Creek ll processing plant, expected online at the end of the first quarter of 2024.

The cost to develop in the Marcellus is at the low-end of the curve, company officials said, and high utilization and producer activity there supports growth.

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