On this morning’s call, we will review our second quarter results and discuss our rationale for our updates to 2012 earnings guidance, reaffirm our ability to continue to grow ONEOK’s dividend and ONEOK Partners distribution over the next several years even in a lower commodity price environment, and update our progress with our growth projects, including our contracting status for the Bakken Crude Express pipeline and the $1 billion of additional projects we announced just last week.
Let’s start with our second quarter performance. ONEOK Partners turned in an exceptionally strong performance, driven by strong volume growth in the Natural Gas Liquids and Natural Gas Gathering and Processing businesses. Our Natural Gas Distribution segment turned in slightly higher results performing as expected and our energy services segment reported a loss because of the continuing challenges it faces in a low natural gas price environment with low price volatility.
Pierce will provide more detail on each segment’s operating performance in just a few minutes.
We updated our 2012 earnings guidance ranges increasing the range for ONEOK Partners to reflect our expectation of a continued strength of the natural gas liquids business. We decreased slightly the ONEOK guidance range to reflect lower than expected earnings at energy services and to a lesser extent the Natural Gas Distribution segment, partially offset by the strong contribution from the ONEOK Partners segment.As Rob will discuss in a few minutes, we remain confident in our ability to grow ONEOK’s dividends and ONEOK Partners distributions over the next several years even with lower prices. The main driver of these increases will be the volume growth from ONEOK Partners capital investments. Since our last conference call, we have made a lot of progress contracting for our Bakken Crude Express pipeline, which Pierce will discuss in a few minutes. Demand for the capacity is strong and we may have opportunities to increase the pipeline’s capacity.
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