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Genesis Energy's list of announced growth projects total more than twice what the midstream energy company was worth six years ago.

"We were a less than $200 million enterprise," CEO Grant Sims said of the year he joined Genesis, which focuses solely on crude. "Today, we're at about $5.5 billion, and we have well over $500 million in announced growth projects."

Strong growth in total return helped move the limited partnership to No. 4 on this year's Chronicle 100 list of the area's top-performing public companies, up from No. 22. In 2012, total return was 35 percent, nearly three times higher than the previous year. Revenue grew by a third, and earnings per share increased 64 percent.

Sims said the rise in its ranking reflects decisions to strengthen its core of Texas City terminals and pipelines. He also cited expansions in its use of rail cars to transport crude along lines primarily in Gulf Coast states, but also reaching into Wyoming and Missouri.

The year's biggest move came in early 2012 when Genesis purchased $205.9 million of ownership interests in the Gulf of Mexico from Marathon Oil Corp. and then announced a partnership with Enterprise Products Partners to build a 149-mile oil pipeline connecting operations there with Texas coast refineries.

"We seized on the opportunity to be an early mover in what we perceived to be a dramatic turn in the level of activity in the Gulf of Mexico," Sims said.

It's not the first time Sims has overseen a Gulf expansion. As CEO of Leviathan Gas Pipeline Partners in the 1990s, he helped construct deep-water pipelines there.

"The macro backdrop is very favorable for what we're good at, but I'm proud of the way we stepped up and seized opportunities as they presented themselves," Sims said.