The Partnership reports results by operating segment principally based on regions served. Reportable segments consist of the natural gas gathering, processing and transmission operations in the Barnett Shale in north Texas and in the Permian Basin in west Texas (NTX); the pipelines and processing plants in Louisiana (LIG); the south Louisiana processing and natural gas liquids (NGL) assets, including NGL fractionation and marketing activities (PNGL) and rail, truck, pipeline and barge facilities in the Ohio River Valley (ORV). Each business segment’s contribution to the third-quarter 2012 gross operating margin compared with the third-quarter 2011, and the factors affecting those contributions, are described below:
- The ORV segment contributed $12.4 million of gross operating margin during the third quarter of 2012. Crude oil and condensate and brine water handling and disposal gross operating margins were $8.5 million and $3.9 million, respectively.
- The NTX segment’s gross operating margin improved by $2.7 million. The increased margin from the Permian Basin operations was partially offset by greater losses on a certain delivery contract.
- The PNGL segment’s gross operating margin increased $0.6 million. Higher margins from NGL fractionation and marketing and crude oil terminal activity were partially offset by decreased plant processing margins due to the weaker natural gas processing environment.
- The LIG segment’s gross operating margin decreased by $6.9 million, primarily the result of the weaker natural gas processing environment, lower processing volumes due to scheduled plant maintenance and the impact of the Bayou Corne slurry-filled sinkhole.