It’s not easy for marketers to make anyone happy these days. Producer customers in particular can be especially temperamental. Executives at Apache Corp. probably would rather roast a marketer over an open fire than invite him over to do business (see Daily GPI, Aug. 19, April 25). But a new survey by Mastio & Co. shows that some marketers have been particularly good at retaining and satisfying customers even in these difficult times.

Crosstex Energy Services has been the best at it, followed by Dominion Energy, Reliant Energy, Tenaska Marketing and Adams Resources, according to Mastio. Guess who was the worst out of 33 top marketers. It was Enron, and El Paso Merchant Energy was next to last, preceded by West Texas Gas Inc., TXU Energy Trading and Nexen, which came in at the twenty-ninth spot.

Mastio’s fourth Natural Gas Producer Purchaser Satisfaction report is the result of nearly 400 interviews with gas producers, who collectively produce more than 90% of the natural gas in North America. Each producer rated buyers/marketers on 25 producer satisfaction attributes, including among other things creditworthiness, prompt payment, willingness to solve problems, accessibility and responsiveness, knowledge, integrity, experience, price competitiveness and performance.

Mastio notes that marketers walk a “very thin line” in dealing with producers and consumers and everyone else in between. While it’s often difficult to serve even one customer, marketers frequently must try to please two on opposite sides of the transaction chain. They have to try to please producers, industrials, other marketers, local distribution companies, electric utilities and independent power producers.

“The simple truth is producers have many choices, and the leading gas buyers are making every contact with their producers count, whether it be on the phone or face to face,” said Mastio & Co. in a statement on its report. “These marketers realize they must listen and understand their producers’ needs no matter how minor or small these needs appear.”

The top three producer needs, according to Mastio, are paying promptly, being creditworthy and quoting competitive prices. The Mastio ranking is as follows:

For more information on Mastio’s ranking, contact Kevin Huntsman at (816) 364-6200 or visit

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