Regency Energy Partners LP (RGNC)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 05, 2011 11:00 am ET


Shannon Ming - Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations - Regency GP LLC

Thomas Long - Principal Financial Officer of Regency GP LLC and Executive Vice President of Regency GP LLC

Michael Bradley - Chief Executive Officer of Regency GP LLC, President of Regency GP LLC, Independent Director of Regency GP LLC, Chairman of Risk Management Committee and Member of Conflicts Committee

Jim Holotik - Chief Commercial Officer of Regency GP LLC and Executive Vice President of Regency GP LLC


Bradley Olsen

Michael Blum - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the First Quarter 2011 Regency Energy Partners LP Earnings Conference Call. My name is Jeremy, and I'll be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Ms. Shannon Ming, Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Shannon Ming

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to today's call. Today, we will cover Regency's performance for the first quarter of 2011, as well as review industry trends and fundamentals. Presenting on today's call will be Mike Bradley, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Tom Long, our Chief Financial Officer.

Following our prepared remarks, Regency will open the call for participants for questions. You may access the earnings release and presentation used on today's call through Regency's website at Today's call is being recorded and is also being broadcast live over the Internet on the Regency corporate website. An archive of the webcast and presentation will be available on the website following today's call.

Slide 2 of the presentation describes our use of forward-looking statements and lists some of the risk factors that may affect actual results. Also included in the presentation today are various GAAP measures that have been reconciled back to GAAP. I would also like to note that we will be filing our Form 10-Q after the market closes today.

With that, I will turn the call over to Mike Bradley, our President and CEO.

Michael Bradley

Thanks, Shannon, and good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. First, I'd like to start off the call talking about our recent LDH acquisition and the growth project associated with this joint venture that we announced today, which we are very excited about. Following that, then I will discuss our first quarter results.

We have high expectations for Regency going forward. And with our expanding portfolio of services, we believe that we are very well-positioned to meet our goals of increasing distributions and achieving investment grade metrics. Regency's portfolio of assets, our supportive general partner, diverse business mix and continued focus on capital management puts us in an excellent position for growth going forward.

Our focus on increasing our distributions and achieving investment-grade metrics which further illustrated later this week with the announcement that we have completed the formation of the LDH joint venture with Energy Transfer Partners, which was purchased for approximately $1.9 billion in cash before purchase price adjustments of approximately $48 million. We are very excited to have completed this joint venture, which will be called Lone Star NGL LLC or the Lone Star joint venture going forward.

This acquisition supports our goals in expanding and enhancing our portfolio by establishing an NGL platform, which immediately gives us a strong competitive position in the Natural Gas Liquids business that would be very difficult to build organically due to the strategic location of many of the assets. In addition, with this acquisition, we expand our abilities to provide full service capabilities for our producers in the midstream space.

To recap, Lone Star is a Natural Gas Liquids, Storage, Fractionation and Transportation business. The storage assets are primarily located in Mont Belvieu, Texas one of the largest NGL storage distribution and training complexes in North America. The West Texas pipeline transport NGLs through a 1,000-mile intrastate pipeline system that originates in the Permian Basin in West Texas, passes through the Barnett Shale production area in North Texas and ends at the Mont Belvieu storage and fractionation complex. The processing and fractionation assets are located primarily in Louisiana.

We see significant synergies with our current assets in many growth opportunities for coming years. This morning, we announced the first major growth initiative, which is a new 100,000-barrel per day NGL fractionation facility at Mont Belvieu, which is expected to be in service in early 2013. Total project costs are estimated to be between $350 million and $375 million with Regency's proportion of share being 30% of that. The project will be supported by a 10-year fee-based contract and NGL volumes will be coming from Energy Transfer's existing and soon-to-be completed assets, as well as from Regency's assets.

Returns on the projects are expected to be attractive and accretive to our unit hold. This fractionator demonstrates the types of opportunities we intend to pursue through this partnership as we strengthen our NGL capabilities. In addition to this fractionation facility, we plan to construct -- I'd like to take a moment to discuss some of the additional growth opportunities that are currently being contemplated.

First, we see the potential for up to $1.5 billion of capital to be spent over the next couple of years with Regency's proportion of share being approximately $500 million, which can significantly add to our distributable cash flow and fee-based revenue. Some of the projects being contemplated include expanding the West Texas pipeline, building additional storage capacity and further increasing processing capacity.

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