The midstream’s importance in the energy industry has grown and the organization that has served it for nearly 100 years has a new name. The Gas Processors Association unveiled its new title—GPA Midstream Association—at its 95th annual convention in New Orleans.

Why the change?

“I don’t care if your business is one year old or nearly 100 years like ours, the name change process is neither easy nor fun, but it was necessary for us,” Mark Sutton, president and CEO of the association, told Midstream Business. “Plain and simple, we’re no longer made up only of gas processors and, in reality, that’s been the case for several years now. Our membership today represents every aspect of the midstream industry and it’s time that we make that claim.”

The change took nearly a year to complete, 2015 Chairman John Mollenkopf, executive vice president and COO of MarkWest Energy Partners LP, told the convention’s general session.

“My only task of both the executive and finance committee and board was for each to remain totally open-minded and patient all the way through the name change presentations in order to see the full logic behind the recommendation they were about to get, and they did. Everyone appreciated the equity in the GPA name and all understood that ‘midstream’ is who we’ve become. The name GPA Midstream simply says best who we are,” Mollenkopf told the audience of nearly 2,000 sector leaders.

After considering multiple suggestions, the board voted unanimously for GPA Midstream earlier this year, he added. Midstream Business is the official publication of the association.

The process included a look at several trade association names relating to the energy sector, along with some from other industries, according to Crystal Myers, communications director for the Tulsa, Okla.-based organization. It also contained online search results for key words relevant to the name change initiative, noting especially trade association and/or energy company names that appeared most frequently in the top-tier results among all search entries.

A basic consideration was how to incorporate the familiar “GPA” into the new name, given that the organization is well known in the industry, and that it has become more visible in Washington, D.C., and in energy-state capitals through heightened advocacy efforts in recent years.

“Our association has made great strides in being a respected authority in legislative and regulatory arenas in dealing with everything midstream,” said Sutton. “Government and environmental groups know us as GPA, and GPA Midstream keeps that identity plus bolsters our position as the experts on midstream issues even more.”

Mollenkopf told the general session GPA Midstream Association will have no acronym. After the first full-name reference is made, the association’s style on subsequent uses is “GPA Midstream” as appropriate. END

Paul Hart can be reached at