Founded in 1998, USA Compression Partners, LP is one of the largest independent natural gas compression services providers across the United States in terms of fleet horsepower. Structured as a master limited partnership ("MLP") with the Energy Transfer family owning approximately 48%, it primarily focuses on large-horsepower applications (greater than 1,000 horsepower) in a number of areas including the Permian/Delaware, Marcellus/Utica, Mid-Continent/SCOOP/STACK, South Texas, East Texas, Louisiana, Rockies. The firm is also involved in engineering, design, operation, service, and repair of compressor units.
As of year-end 2020, USA Compression Partners' fleet was made up of 5,454 units with total horsepower of 3,726,181 (average of 720 horsepower per unit). The partnership has been able to maintain an average horsepower utilization rate of over 90% throughout the inherent boom and bust cycle of natural gas prices since 2007. It has a diversified customer base consisting of major oil and gas companies, large independent upstream players and midstream operators.
Being an MLP, USA Compression Partners passes its cash flows to its investors in the form of a quarterly distribution. The Austin, TX-based partnership's diversified infrastructure assets offer cash flow stability from long-term contracts. Since its IPO in January 2013, USA Compression Partners has distributed more than $1 billion to common unitholders.
For full-year 2020, USA Compression Partners reported revenues of $667.7 million, down 4.4% year over year.
A Word on Natural Gas Compressors: Natural gas compressors help the commodity to move from the wellhead (where it is produced) to the end market (where it is demanded). In other words, compression equipment is an integral part of natural gas pipelines, helping to push the fuel from one place to another. As midstream firms transport natural gas through the pipeline system, a plethora of factors (like frictional pressure, elevation differences and distance) affects its movement. Compression service providers supply the infrastructure needed to maintain the flow and pressure throughout the transportation chain.