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Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Increases Quarterly Distribution To $1.20 Per Unit

Stocks in this article: KMI KMP KMR

Oil production declined at the SACROC Unit compared to the first quarter of 2011 (26.9 MBbl/d versus 28.9 MBbl/d) and was below plan due to operational delays. Redistribution of CO 2 injection volumes and balancing of reservoir pressure is nearly complete and SACROC production is expected to be slightly ahead of plan for the rest of the year. Production continued to be stable at the Yates Field for the first quarter (21.2 MBbl/d versus 21.9 MBbl/d) versus the same period last year and was above plan. At the Katz Field, production continued to ramp up in the first quarter versus the comparable period a year ago (1.5 MBbl/d versus 0.2 MBbl/d), but was slightly below plan. The average West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price for the first quarter was $102.86 per barrel compared to the approximately $94.00 per barrel that was assumed when the company developed its 2012 budget.

This segment is an area where KMP is exposed to commodity price risk, but that risk is partially mitigated by a long-term hedging strategy intended to generate more stable realized prices. The realized weighted average oil price per barrel for the year, with all hedges allocated to oil, was $90.63 versus $68.78 for the first quarter of 2011. The realized weighted average NGL price per barrel for the first quarter, allocating none of the hedges to NGLs, was $61.36 compared to $60.93 for the same period last year.

The Terminals business produced first quarter segment earnings before DD&A and certain items of $187 million, up 10 percent from $170 million for the comparable period in 2011, and is currently expected to meet or exceed its published annual budget of 8 percent growth.

Nearly 80 percent of the first quarter growth in this segment compared to the same period last year was driven by organic sources, with the remainder coming from acquisitions. “Internal growth was led by strong export coal volumes across our network, led by record throughput at Pier IX in Virginia,” Kinder said. “Coal volumes were up 5 percent compared to first quarter of 2011 due to strong export demand, which was offset somewhat by lower domestic volumes. Liquids volumes also increased by 9 percent compared to the first quarter last year, attributable to increased tank capacity and throughput at the Carteret liquids terminal in New York Harbor and strong volumes on the Houston Ship Channel.”

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