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NuStar Energy's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Taking a look at NuStar’s 2011 financial performance, EBITDA of $490 million was higher than the $483 million earned in 2010 driven primarily by the record performance of our storage segment. Storage EBITDA of $281 million was $25 million higher than the $256 million earned in 2010. Increased storage rates on existing contracts, increased customer demand for storage services, a full year of EBITDA from the fourth quarter 2010 completion of our St. Eustatius terminal reconfiguration project as well as the completion of the St. James terminal expansion in the third quarter of this year, all contributed to the segment’s increased EBITDA.

Pipeline transportation segment EBITDA $197 million nearly matched the $199 million earned in 2010. Higher pipeline tariffs and additional revenue generated by the Eagle Ford Shale projects substantially offset a 9% reduction in pipeline throughputs.

Refined products pipeline throughputs were down about 3% for the year when compared to 2010. Turnaround activity at some of our customers’ refineries as well as market conditions that made it more favorable for some of our customers to export refined products, especially diesel then to transport them to Houston on our Corpus Christi to Houston pipeline adversely affected throughput. However, toward the end of the year volume on some of our refined product pipelines increased as we were able to obtain new volume throughput commitments.

Crude oil pipeline throughputs were down almost 18% in 2011. Turnarounds and operating issues at some customers’ refineries and the impact of competitive supply economics negatively impacted throughput on the crude system. But while crude throughputs were down compared to last year, they are on the upswing.

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