“Over the past twelve months, we have placed into service newly constructed assets totaling over $4 billion of capital investment. Substantially all of these assets were completed on time and on or under budget. Some of these assets, such as the first two natural gas processing trains of the Yoakum plant, the fifth NGL fractionator at Mont Belvieu, the Acadian Haynesville Extension and the reversal of the Seaway crude oil pipeline started operating either near or above design capacity shortly after beginning operations. Other assets, such as our Eagle Ford natural gas, NGL and crude oil pipelines, will have a ramp up in volumes over the next few years. These assets are driving the volume and cash flow growth in our fee-based businesses that are now visible in our financial results, and will continue to grow over the next few years,” said Creel.
“Looking forward, for the remainder of 2012 and 2013, we are scheduled to begin operations involving major assets representing approximately $3.7 billion of capital investment. These projects include:
- the ECHO crude oil terminal;
- the third natural gas processing train at our Yoakum plant;
- three NGL fractionators at Mont Belvieu;
- expansion of our NGL export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel;
- modifications that will increase the capacity of the Seaway pipeline to transport crude oil from Cushing to the Texas Gulf Coast;
- the Texas Express and Front Range NGL pipelines; and
- our Eagle Ford crude oil pipeline joint venture with Plains All American.
These projects are essential to facilitate the expected natural gas, NGL and crude oil production growth in the U.S. from the development of the shale plays. These projects will also generate new sources of fee-based volume and cash flow for our partnership. We estimate the percentage of our gross operating margin attributable to fee-based activities will increase from approximately 73 percent in 2011 to approximately 80 percent in 2013 and higher in 2014. The growth in our fee-based cash flows provides the foundation to support future cash distribution increases to partners,” said Creel.