Friday, July 31, 2009

Holly Energy Partners, L.P. reports second quarter results

DALLAS, Texas - Holly Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: HEP) on July 30 reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2009.
For the quarter, distributable cash flow was $16.4 million, up $2.4 million or 17 percent from the same period last year.
Net income attributable to HEP for the second quarter of 2009 was $16.4 million ($0.82 per basic and diluted limited partner unit) compared to $3.8 million ($0.18 per basic and diluted limited partner unit) for the same period of 2008.
The limited partner per unit amounts are after giving effect to an increase in outstanding common units following the completion of HEP’s public offering of 2,192,400 common units during the quarter.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dip in earnings at TC Pipelines L.P. prompts stock selloff

CALGARY, Alta. - TC PipeLines, LP (NASDAQ: TCLP) on July 30 reported second quarter 2009 net income of $13.7 million or $0.31 per common unit (all amounts in U.S. dollars), a decrease of $5.5 million compared to $19.2 million or $0.47 per common unit for the same period last year.
The market responded to the dip in earnings with 4.4 times normal volume changing hands. TCLP units dipped as low as $33.08 from its prior day close of $37.49 before settling at $36.00 on the day, down 3.97 percent.
TC Pipelines attributed the decrease in net income to lower Northern Border Pipeline Co. revenues and one-time costs associated with its acquisition of North Baja Pipeline, LLC (North Baja) and amendment of the associated incentive distribution rights (IDRs).
While unit income was down, TCLP announced an increase in its unit dividend. "We are very pleased to provide unitholders an increase in our quarterly cash distribution to $0.73 per common unit, equivalent to a $0.10 increase or $2.92 per common unit on an annualized basis. This followed the July 1st close of the transaction to acquire the North Baja pipeline from TransCanada Corp. and to amend the incentive distribution rights," said Russ Girling, chairman and chief executive officer of TC PipeLines GP, Inc.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Magellan Midstream Partners buys Longhorn Pipeline out of bankruptcy

TULSA, Okla. - Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. announced on July 27 that its purchase of substantially all of the assets of Longhorn Partners Pipeline, L.P. has been approved by the bankruptcy court. Closing is set for July 29, with no additional approvals required.
The 700-mile common carrier pipeline system transports refined petroleum products from Houston to El Paso, Texas. A terminal in El Paso, comprised of a five-bay truck loading rack and over 900,000 barrels of storage, is included in the purchase.
The terminal serves local petroleum products demand and distributes product to connecting third-party pipelines for ultimate delivery to markets in Arizona, New Mexico and, in the future, Northern Mexico.
The purchase price for the pipeline system is $250 million plus the fair market value of line fill, which is currently estimated at approximately $100 million. Management intends to finance the acquisition with debt.
"The Longhorn system is an excellent fit with our existing asset portfolio and our stated intent to grow our presence in the Texas market," said Don Wellendorf, chief executive officer. "Magellan is quite knowledgeable of this system because we have served as its operator for the past several years. We feel confident that our business model as an independent pipeline company will attract customers interested in transporting petroleum products to the Southwestern area of the country and are already in discussions with a number of potential customers."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nebraska officialas shut down TransCanada right of way acquisitions in state

LINCOLN, Nebr. – After reportedly receiving a number of complaints, the Nebraska Real Estate Commission (NRES) has shut down the firm acquiring easements for TransCanada in the state.
According to Terry L. Mayrose, deputy director for enforcement at NRES, TransCanada Pipeline had contracted with Universal Field Services to negotiate leases with owners of Nebraska property. Because no one at Universal held a Nebraska real estate license, Universal was found to be in violation of Nebraska statutes requiring brokers of real estate to hold real estate licenses.
NRES issued a cease and desist order to Universal on June 24 directing it to stop negotiating leases with Nebraska landowners until they obtained real estate licenses.
Universal employees are now going through the Nebraska real estate licensing process, which takes about five to six weeks, and includes, in part, a criminal background check, pre-license education, filing an application, passing a test, obtaining error and omission insurance, and other requirements. (Source: Pipeline Safety Trust, Bellingham, Wash.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

GE Oil and Gas lays off 93 at Wisconsin natural gas compressor plant

OSHKOSH, Wis. - About one-third of the employees that work at GE Oil and Gas in Oshkosh have been laid off. That's 93 of company's 270 employees at the location.
Shane Reph, general manager for the North America Division of GE, said the employees were laid off on July 23, but they will be paid through September 21.
The GE Gas and Oil facility in Oshkosh makes high speed compressors. The compressors are used mainly in the natural gas industry, at refineries and along pipelines.
Reph said there is simply not enough demand for their products right now and that companies are not spending money. He said the layoffs are permanent and include both salaried and hourly workers.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sunoco Logistics Partners earnings up 18 percent; dividend upped

PHILADELPHIA - Sunoco Logistics Partners LP on July 21 said its net income increased 18 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, beating analysts’ estimates.
The Philadelphia-based partnership’s revenue also beat estimates, but was down 61 percent because of a drop in the prices of the oil and the oil products it transports and stores in its pipelines, terminals and storage facilities.
Sunoco Logistics (NYSE: SXL) also increased its distribution to $1.04 per unit for the quarter. That’s up 2.5 percent from its distribution in the first quarter and 11.2 percent from the second quarter a year ago.
The partnership earned $66.6 million, or $1.74 per fully diluted unit, in the quarter, up from $51.3 million, or $1.47 per fully diluted unit, in the second quarter of last year. The average earnings estimate of eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters First Call was $1.35.
Sunoco Logistics’ revenue in the quarter was $1.29 billion, down from $3.32 billion in the second quarter of last year. The average revenue estimate of six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters FirstCall was $1.25 billion.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Industry spending on lobbying increases, more goes to Democrats

ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and other energy companies have increased the amount they are spending on lobbying this year as Congress crafts new climate and energy legislation.
Devon Energy spent more in the second quarter lobbying lawmakers than it did all of last year, mostly on climate-change and energy proposals, according to a report filed this week with the Senate. "This is a very unusual time in Washington," said Devon spokesman Chip Minty. "It's an extremely challenging environment."
The American Petroleum Institute has increased its spending from $2.3 million in the first six months of 2008 to $3.7 million so far this year. API spokesman Robert Dodge says the increase reflects changes in the "political world" with the new Obama administration and a strengthened Democratic position in Congress.
According to an article by Jeanne Cummings in on July 21,
Behind the new API drive is Jack Gerard, who took the helm at API last fall after three years at the American Chemical Council. During his tenure there, Gerard transformed the trade association from a Republican-bent insider's club to a more bipartisan, grass-roots-oriented player.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Enbridge to help Enbridge Energy Partners finance Alberta Clipper pipeline

CALGARY - The Alberta Clipper crude oil pipeline from Canada’s oil sands to Superior, Wis., will be funded primarily by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. after the pipeline operator and natural gas distributor completed a restructuring deal for the project with its affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners.
The deal announced July 20 has Enbridge financing two-thirds of the $1.2 billion U.S. segment of the pipeline.
Enbridge is already funding the $2.4 billion Canadian portion of the pipeline now under construction.
Terrance McGill, president of Houston-based Enbridge Energy Partners, said the deal was necessary after equity markets "crashed and burned" last fall.
"Under normal circumstances we would prefer that EEP funds projects on its own in the public and private capital markets," McGill told a conference call on July 20. "However, over the last year or so it has become clear that EEP cannot fund the entire Alberta Clipper project effectively in a fashion that is beneficial to existing unitholders."
McGill said the deal with Enbridge reduces the partnership's need to raise equity so that it can now likely handle its commitment by selling non-strategic assets or a conventional placement of partnership units. He also said the agreement should "materially address the financing uncertainty" that has been a drag on unit prices.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Energy Pipeline News resumes publication; editor recovers from surgery

ATLANTA, Ga. - Energy Pipeline News resumed publication on July 21, following a two-week summer vacation hiatus in which editor Noel Griese underwent quintuple bypass open heart surgery.
Griese was diagnosed with five heart artery blockages in a routine thallium stress test and echocardiogram scheduled by his personal physician and cardiologist, Dr. Stuart Katz, on June 29. On July 2, Dr. Victor Corrigan refined the diagnosis by performing a catheterization at the Fuqua Heart Center at Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital. Blockages of up to 80 percent in five heart arteries were discovered. Surgery was performed at Piedmont on July 7 by a team of specialists headed by Dr. John P. Gott, who previously performed more than 9,000 successful open heart surgeries at Emory University Hospitals and the Fuqua Center at Piedmont.
“I was fortunate to have such a highly competent group of physicians and associates to look after me during the crisis,” Griese said. “I apologize if I’m a bit slow in resuming my editorial duties. I have additional health responsibilities to look after now, but give me 3-4 weeks, and I should be pretty much back to normal.”
Griese thanked those who extended get well wishes and prayers on his behalf. He said he plans to write an online account of his experiences for those who face similar diagnosis and are scheduled for similar surgeries.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Port Isabel, Texas, offers jobs building offshore pipelines

PORT ISABEL - Welders on June 29 began work at a new $40 million plant that local officials say marks the Rio Grande Valley's entry in the offshore old industry.
Port Isabel, located at the southernmost tip of Texas, is one of 12 deepwater ports in Texas, with a depth of 36 feet.
"It's a new era here for us," Bob Cornelison, director of the Port Isabel-San Benito Navigation District, during a tour of the new plant.
Subsea 7, an international underwater engineering construction company, is expected to attract other companies in the offshore oil industry to the Valley, Cornelison said.
The company will assemble pipelines that it will haul to offshore oilrigs, Cornelison said.
The company has hired about 90 workers, Cornelison said.
The company hired high skilled welders to fill some jobs, he said, and was training some local workers at the plant.
"There's a core of welders who were brought in to train locals," he said.
The company plans a massive operation on the 58-acre site off the port's ship channel, Cornelison said.
The company's first project calls for welders to join 38 miles of pipe that its ship will carry to an offshore oilrig in the Gulf of Mexico, Cornelison said.

TransCanada getting more interest in Alaska LNG project than pipeline

ANCHORAGE – TransCanada Corp. told Alaska legislators on June 23 that it is getting serious interest in an LNG alternative to its all-land Alaska gas pipeline project as the company prepares for a 2010 initial open season.
TransCanada Vice President Tony Palmer said potential shippers have expressed interest in up to three billion cubic feet per day of gas for an LNG project at Valdez, which is up from two billion cubic feet TransCanada initially planned to offer as an LNG alternative to an all-land pipeline from northern Alaska.
Palmer would not disclose names of the companies expressing interest, but in recent years, four major firms - BG Energy, Mitsubishi, Sempra International and the Chinese-owned energy company Sinopec - have expressed interest in Alaska LNG.
Palmer said there is not enough gas available for both an LNG and land pipeline, at least initially, if three billion cubic feet a day is shipped to an LNG project in addition to the four billion cubic feet per day TransCanada hopes to ship through a land pipeline.
"It would be an either/or situation for us, not both," he told the House Resources Committee in the committee's meeting.