Some of the things that set apart natural gas distributor Energy Transfer Partners from its closest competitors are its strategy to quickly grow through mergers and acquisitions and the expansion of its pipelines in the highest yielding areas. It has also shifted business focus from natural gas to crude oil.
Energy Transfer Partners' 2014 acquisition of highly profitable Susser Holdings Corporation gave it access to more than 5,000 retail gas stores under the Sunoco brand, as well as huge anticipated purchasing power due to economies of scale and multi-year profits exceeding $70 million annually, according to MarketWatch. Its 2015 $18 billion merger with Regency Energy Partners makes it the second largest master-limited partnership in the United States, further strengthening its clout in the midstream natural gas distribution and storage business.
ETP also benefited greatly from the shale boom, which provides the industry with new unconventional sources of natural gas. The expansion of its natural gas pipeline projects in high yield areas further adds to its bottom line. Its new crude oil pipeline projects to deliver Bakken crude in North Dakota to Gulf and East Coast refineries also position it as a major player in crude oil distribution.