Industry observers have maintained for some time that the sector needs fewer firms. They cite multiple reasons, among them the shale boom’s maturity, harder to find capital and the fact that— as in all industries—bigger players enjoy a natural advantage over time. 

That advantage proves crucial in downturns such as the double whammy that hit the energy business in the first quarter of 2020. (See the accompanying story for insights on what may lie ahead for midstream players.) 

Consolidation’s not a new trend, but it accelerated last year. The tune behind the midstream’s corporate musical chairs just got louder and faster. 

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