Regency Energy Partners LP's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Regency Energy Partners LP (RGP)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 09, 2012 11:00 am ET


Shannon A. Ming - Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations - Regency Gp Llc

Michael J. Bradley - Chief Executive Officer of Regency Gp Llc - General Partner, President of Regency Gp Llc - General Partner of Regency Gp and Director of Regency Gp Llc - General Partner

Thomas E. Long - Chief Financial Officer of Regency Gp Llc and Executive Vice President of Regency Gp Llc


Michael J. Blum - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Cathleen King - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Jeremy Tonet - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Yves Siegel - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Heejung Ryoo - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Ethan H. Bellamy - Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, Research Division

Bernard L. Colson - Global Hunter Securities, LLC, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the First Quarter 2012 Regency Energy Partners Earnings Conference Call. My name is Keith, and I'll be your operator for today. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

And 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 go ahead, ma'am.

Shannon A. Ming

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our call today. Today, we will cover Regency's performance for the first quarter of 2012. Presenting will be Mike Bradley, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Tom Long, our Chief Financial Officer. In addition, Jim Holotik, our Chief Commercial Officer, is available for Q&A. Following our prepared remarks, Regency will open the call to participants for questions. You may access the earnings release and presentation news on today's call through Regency's website at

Our call is being recorded and is also being broadcast live on Regency's corporate website. An archive of the webcast and presentation will be available on the site 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 appendix of the presentation today are various non-GAAP measures that have been reconciled to the comparable GAAP measure. Please note, we will file our 10-Q later this afternoon.

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

Michael J. Bradley

Thanks, Shannon. And good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us on our call today.

We're very pleased with our results for the first quarter of 2012, during which we continued to increase our adjusted EBITDA and saw volume growth in South and West Texas and in North Louisiana associated with liquids-rich production. Increased drilling in liquids-rich plays will continue to be our primary growth driver across all of our business segments due to the strategic location of our assets and our ability to provide a broad range of services for our customers. Current NGL fundamentals and producer activity in the liquids-rich plays continue to support our projects under construction while also providing new growth opportunities. And in fact, I'm excited to announce today that we will be constructing another expansion through our existing Tilden plant in South Texas.

This expansion will provide additional gathering, compression and treating capacity and will allow us to gather and treat an incremental 60 million a day of rich gas that also contains high levels of H2S. This project, which is supported by fee-based contracts in a large acreage dedication, will cost approximately $40 million and is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2012. These expenditures are included in Regency's revised 2012 organic growth capital forecast, which Tom will talk about later.

Moving on to an update on the progress of the rest of our organic growth projects. Construction of our Eagle Ford expansion project continues and we are on schedule to complete the project in 2014. We are increasing our capital expenditures related to this project from $450 million to approximately $490 million as we have decided to assume a portion of the project that was originally to be provided by a third party. Additionally, we are close to filling our existing processing capacity and are actively working on expanding our processing capacity in the region in 2012.

Eagle Ford expansion project and the Tilden expansion give Regency an extensive gathering, processing, compression and treating platform to address increasing demand for liquids and treating services for producers in the Eagle Ford Shale.

In West Texas where we are constructing a new processing facility for our Ranch Joint Venture, we have seen rig counts increase 26% from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012. To accommodate production growth associated with the high liquids content, the Ranch Joint Venture's 25 million a day refrigeration plant is expected to go into service in the second quarter of 2012, and we expect the 100 million a day cryo facility to be in service by the end of this year.

In addition, we will begin to see -- receive Avalon Shale volumes through our partners' gathering systems as they are connecting their Avalon acreage into their Bone Spring gathering systems to flow volumes to the new processing facility. These facilities will help alleviate capacity constraints at Regency's Waha plant to accommodate additional production growth.

Turning to the Lone Star joint venture. In the first quarter of 2012, Lone Star completed an interim expansion project on the West Texas Pipeline to provide additional capacity as a bridge until the gateway pipeline is completed. The interim expansion provides an additional 30,000 barrels per day of liquids takeaway from West Texas. This expansion is allowing Regency to flow additional liquid volumes into Mont Belvieu.

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