OILPRICE | With the collapse in oil demand, oil producers and refiners have come under intense financial pressure. Not far behind are the integrated supermajors like ExxonMobil and Chevron. These companies have upstream (oil- and gas-producing) assets as well as refining assets, so they are getting hit on both ends. However, they also have substantial midstream assets. Midstream refers to the transport and storage of oil, natural gas, and finished products like gasoline. Midstream assets generally function as toll collectors, and are more insulated from the volatility of commodity prices.
Many midstream companies — corporations and master limited partnerships (MLPs) — actually grew their distributions throughout the 2014-2016 oil price crash.
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