Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (BWP)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 31, 2011 9:00 am ET


Jamie L. Buskill - Chief Financial Officer of Boardwalk GP LLC, Senior Vice President of Boardwalk GP LLC and Treasurer of Boardwalk GP LLC

Allison McLean - Director of Investor Relations

Stanley C. Horton - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director


S. Ross Payne - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Elvira Scotto - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Stephen J. Maresca - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Sharon Lui - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

John D. Edwards - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., Research Division

Yves Siegel - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Darren Horowitz - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Third Quarter 2011 Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP Earnings Conference Call. My name is Janatha, and I will be your conference operator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host for today, Ms. Allison McLean, Director of Investor Relations.

Allison McLean

Thank you, Janatha. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the third quarter 2011 earnings call for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP. I'm Allison McLean, and I'm pleased to be joined today by Mr. Stan Horton, our President and CEO; and Mr. Jamie Buskill, our CFO.

If you like a copy of the earnings release associated with this call, please download it from our website at

Following our prepared remarks this morning, we will turn the call over for your questions.

We would like to remind you that this conference call will include the use of statements that are forward looking in nature. Statements in this earnings call related to matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions using currently available information and expectations. Actual results achieved by the company may differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements.

The company expressly declaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements made during the call.

I'd also like to remind you that during this call, today, we may discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures such as EBITDA and distributable cash flow. With regard to such financial measures, please refer to our earnings release for reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measures.

Now, I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Stan Horton.

Stanley C. Horton

Thank you, Allison. Good morning, everyone. I hope you've had a chance to review the press releases we issued this morning. We increased our quarterly distribution to $0.5275 per unit today. In the third quarter, we continued to see overall revenue growth despite weakness in our parking and lending business. I will now provide an update of our commercial activities and then Jamie will discuss our financial results in greater detail.

As you recall, from the growth strategies that we laid out last quarter, Boardwalk is now focused on offering a greater array of new services to our customers while maintaining our current risk profile. Earlier this month, on a conference call, we announced a new gathering pipeline in the Marcellus Shale, which is anchored by a 15-year fee-based contract with Southwestern Energy. We also announced that we received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval to transfer some underutilized Gulf South Pipeline assets in south Texas to Boardwalk Field Services and turn those assets into a rich-gas system that will transport liquids-rich Eagle Ford volumes. We anticipate that the asset transferred to Field Services will be complete by the end of this year. We are not announcing firm commitment at this time, but I am pleased with the level of interest we are receiving from the producer community.

Last Monday, we announced that Pat Giroir has joined us as President of our Boardwalk Field Services organization. I'm excited to have Pat on board. Pat is very well respected in the industry and brings a wealth of midstream experience to our company. I believe that bringing on such talent into Field Services further demonstrates our commitment to growing this business.

Also last quarter when discussing our growth strategies, we said that pipelines and storage would remain our core business, and that going forward, we would focus on strengthening our existing pipeline assets by continuing to attach new supplies and markets to our systems via expansions.

Two weeks ago, we announced an acquisition of the Petal and Hattiesburg storage companies in the form of a joint venture in which we will initially own a 20% equity interest. Our Gulf South subsidiary will operate these assets on behalf of the joint venture. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and we anticipate closing in the fourth quarter.

As I discussed on the conference call on October 17, these assets are very strategic to Boardwalk and we expect Boardwalk's portion will be immediately accretive. Here are some of the highlights. The assets are already attached to our Gulf South Pipeline. We plan to connect them to Gulf South 42-inch Southeast Expansion, and we believe both operational and commercial synergies will be created.

There's undeveloped land which may provide for up to 6 additional caverns, 1 of which is expected to be in service in 2013. The location and type of storage, salt dome, which makes these assets ideal for serving natural gas demand in the Southeast, which is expected to grow quite substantially in the next decade due to an anticipated increase in gas-fired electric power generation. All of the current operating capacity is subscribed on a firm basis, with a weighted average remaining contract life of approximately 7 years.

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