Lawson Crain, director of business development at Cogent Midstream LLC, is today’s featured Forty Under 40 honoree.
Crain’s first job out of college was with Energy Transfer Partners as a commercial operations analyst in Dallas, which he said offered him a unique experience early in his career to participate in a commercial operations rotation.
“I had the opportunity to sit with various groups including pipeline scheduling, natural gas marketing, gas contracts and field operations with the sole goal of learning the ropes of the natural gas pipeline industry,” he said. “That early opportunity to learn and gain diverse experience has shaped my career for the better.”
Now with Cogent Midstream, Crain said he has “always unapologetically sought to maintain a customer-based focus and create value for those customers.” And so far, his approach has paid off, with Cogent’s gathering and processing volumes in the southern Midland Basin having doubled since he joined the midstream operator.
Cogent operates the largest private greenfield gathering and processing system in the southern Midland Basin. Headquartered in Dallas, the company is backed by growth capital commitments from EnCap Flatrock Midstream.
The company recently constructed a 25-mile lateral in Reagan County, Texas, as part of the Cogent Intrastate Pipeline (CIP) project, which Crain said required significant creativity.
“Cogent’s objectives were to add at least one more residue gas pipeline, to maintain operational flexibility, to secure a diversified mix of index price exposure and to avoid adding significant long term take-or-pay commitments,” he said .
“We were tasked with getting all our customers on board with the project in a month which meant a lot of complex meetings and conversations around the value of the project,” he continued. “Through our hustle and close communication, our customers saw the benefit of added optionality and were universally supportive of the CIP project.”
Activist groups had raised concerns regarding Enbridge’s intentions to protect streams and wetlands.
However, U.S. regulatory officials may still have to issue another environmental assessment for DAPL before deciding if the 570,000-bbl/d oil pipeline can continue to operate.
A U.S. federal appeals court on Nov. 9 issued a stay of key water crossing permits needed to complete construction of Equitrans Midstream Corp.'s 300-mile Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline in two states.