Interviewer: Energy Capital
Representing more than 80 corporate members of all sizes, and with nearly a century of existence, the GPA Midstream Association is the largest industry organization for midstream activities in the US. At its core, the institution has the mission to serve and represent the national midstream sector through collaborative expertise.
Since 1921, GPA has set and adopted multiple standards for natural gas liquids; developed simple, reproducible, and compliant test methods for the industry; managed a worldwide cooperative research program; lobbied for the sector on Capitol Hill; positioned itself as an information “go-to” resource for several companies; and so much more.
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GPA Midstream and adaptability
Throughout 2020, the association – as many other organizations and industries elsewhere- faced the challenges of COVID-19. Joel Moxley, President and CEO of the GPA Midstream Association believes it certainly has been a disruptive year. For him, the most crucial and overarching aspect of the pandemic has been the adoption of new practices and the adaptation to them.
“We’ve been used to working together, in person, so to cancel that was a huge hold in our organization for the year. To keep things going, we started to have virtual meetings. We started to adapt to what we have here. We had to adapt just like companies had to adapt in a pandemic world.”
Regarding the natural gas market evolving scenario under the pandemic -in terms of demand and consumption patterns -, Joel Moxley recognized midstream activities are a vital part of the US supply chain. Moving energy from wellheads to markets is an essential activity to keep things going.
In this regard, the CEO shared that even though “in some parts of the year, demand fell off (in the April-May period), companies had to adapt to that. They operated as efficiently as they could, they cut their costs as they could, and everybody had to pitch in. In the pandemic, nobody was immune from being impacted by this.”
Moxley noted that there had been important and equally disruptive historical changes throughout the organization’s lifetime. World War II, 9/11, all kinds of political, economic, and cultural transformations; the pandemic is just one more challenge that will need to be addressed.
Collaboration, ESG, and next steps
GPA Midstream works on behalf of its members in Washington, with regulators and legislators, always seeking to apply efficient and sustainable adjustments on how the industry currently does business.
“We emphasize safety, environmental stewardship, but we also want to do it in a way that makes sense economically. Realizing that in these times there is a lot of emphasis on environmental stewardship, on ESG reporting, things like that that are new to us, and we want to get involved with.”
Also, GPA works shoulder-to-shoulder with technical committees, which provide the expertise that comes from their knowledge of doing their job every day. In this sense, the organization gives annual awards to the people who work in those committees, recognizing them since they help the association to be successful.
Finally, the CEO hopes that vaccines will be much more available in the third quarter of 2021, letting GPA’s members attend in person the association’s 100th anniversary and annual convention. Traditionally, the event was held in April each year. However, this time is going to be celebrated in September, in San Antonio, Texas.
“We hope by moving it in 2021 we will have more regular attendance. We are looking forward to seeing everybody, talk to people. It’s nice to have Zoom calls and Zoom meetings, but it’s not a real substitute for having in-person talks,” Moxley concluded.