Enterprise’s distributable cash flow for the third quarter of 2012 provided 1.3 times coverage of the cash distributions that will be paid on November 8, 2012 to unitholders of record on October 31, 2012. Excluding the benefit from the litigation settlement and the loss from the interest rate hedges, distributable cash flow for the third quarter of 2012 would have been $789 million and provided 1.4 times coverage of the cash distributions declared with respect to the quarter. The partnership retained $177 million of distributable cash flow for the third quarter of 2012, which is available to reinvest in growth capital projects, reduce debt, and decrease the need to issue additional equity.
Revenues for the third quarter of 2012 were $10.5 billion compared to $11.3 billion for the same quarter of 2011 primarily attributable to lower commodity prices, which more than offset the effect of higher overall volumes. Certain of Enterprise’s revenues and operating costs and expenses can fluctuate significantly based on the prices of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, petrochemicals and refined products without necessarily affecting operating income, gross operating margin and distributable cash flow to the same degree.
Review of Segment Performance for the Third Quarter of 2012
NGL Pipelines & Services – Gross operating margin for the NGL Pipelines & Services segment increased $68 million, or 12 percent, to $616 million for the third quarter of 2012 compared to $548 million for the same quarter of 2011.Enterprise’s natural gas processing and related NGL marketing business generated gross operating margin of $352 million for the third quarter of 2012 compared to $348 million for the third quarter of 2011. This $4 million increase was largely due to higher NGL sales margins, commodity hedging results associated with our natural gas processing activities and higher fee-based natural gas processing volumes, which more than offset the effect of lower equity NGL production and prices. Our natural gas processing plants reported record fee-based processing volumes of 4.5 Bcfd. Equity NGL production (the NGLs that Enterprise earns title to as a result of providing processing services) was 99 MBPD for the third quarter of 2012 compared to 114 MBPD for the third quarter of 2011.