Well-Positioned Asset Base
Our gathering systems include extensive natural gas pipeline networks in the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara and Utica shales, and the Mid-Continent regions, which include high-growth unconventional resource plays such as the Colony Wash and Texas Panhandle Granite Wash. These unconventional resource plays represent an increasingly important source of U.S. natural gas supply, and we expect them to continue as growth areas for our customers. We believe that our geographically advantaged asset footprint, the scale of our systems and our expertise in gathering from unconventional resource plays, including developing energy infrastructure in urban and suburban environments, will enable us to expand our position as a major gatherer of natural gas from unconventional resource plays.
Extensive Acreage Dedication and System Scale
We have significant embedded volume growth potential associated with the extensive acreage dedication in our gas gathering agreements. We estimate that the areas covered by our acreage dedications include more than 21,500 potential gross drilling locations in our Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara and Utica shales and Mid-Continent regions. Further, the scale and capacity of our systems in these active drilling plays position us to attract third-party volumes.
Long-term Contracted Cash Flow Stability
We believe that our business model, including our fixed-fee contract structure and long-term gas gathering agreements, mitigates our exposure to direct commodity price risk and provides us with long-term cash flow stability. We have entered into long-term gas gathering agreements with Chesapeake Energy Corporation and other producer customers like Total, Anadarko, Statoil, Shell and ExxonMobil which include minimum volume commitments, periodic fee redeterminations and other contractual provisions that are intended to support the stability of our cash flows.
Access benefits from its experience and relationship with the nation’s largest E&P companies and the strength of its sponsors: Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and The Williams Companies. GIP is an independent infrastructure fund that invests in infrastructure assets and businesses worldwide with concentration on value creation through operational focus and improvement. GIP brings extensive experience investing in midstream energy infrastructure. Williams is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America and has joined GIP in making a strategic investment in Access. Williams brings a vast amount of midstream experience to the company. Additionally, our long-term relationship with Chesapeake Energy Corporation, one of the largest natural gas producers in the U.S., positions Access for continued growth.
Experienced Midstream Management Team Committed to Growth
Our senior officers have significant experience building, acquiring and managing midstream and other assets, and will be focused on optimizing our existing business and expanding our operations through disciplined development and accretive acquisitions. The chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of our general partner average more than 30 years of experience in leadership positions at ConocoPhillips, The Williams Companies, Crosstex Energy and General Electric.
Strong Balance Sheet
Our credit facility provides us with financial flexibility to fund our capital projects independent of market conditions. We believe that our conservative capital structure will allow us to pursue organic growth opportunities and acquisitions — even in challenging commodity price environments and periods of capital markets dislocation.