10-K 1 crestwood-10k2015.htm 10-K 10-K
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
ý
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015
OR
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from              to             
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Commission file number
State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
001-34664
Delaware
43-1918951
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
001-35377
Delaware
20-1647837
 
700 Louisiana Street, Suite 2550
Houston, Texas
 
77002
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip code)
(832) 519-2200
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
___________________________________________

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Common Units representing limited partnership interests, listed on the New York Stock Exchange
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
None
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
None
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
None
Indicate by check mark if registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined by Rule 405 of the Securities Act. 
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Yes  x    No  ¨
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
Yes  ¨    No  x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.     
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Yes  ¨    No  x
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
Yes  ¨    No  x



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Yes  x  No  ¨
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
Yes  x  No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Yes  x No  ¨
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
Yes  x No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. 
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
x
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
Large accelerated filer ¨
Accelerated filer x
Non-accelerated filer ¨
Smaller reporting company ¨
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
Large accelerated filer ¨
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer x
Smaller reporting company ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Yes  ¨    No  x
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
Yes  ¨    No  x
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter (June 30, 2015).
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
$0.5 billion
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
$1.7 billion
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant's classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date (February 12, 2016).
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
$9.04 per common unit
69,057,459
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
None
None
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the following documents are incorporated by reference into the indicated parts of this report:
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
None
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP
 
None
Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of a reporting company, meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction (I)(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing this report with the reduced disclosure format as permitted by such instruction.





CRESTWOOD EQUITY PARTNERS LP
INDEX TO ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mine Safety Disclosures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


3


FILING FORMAT

This Annual Report on Form 10-K is a combined report being filed by two separate registrants: Crestwood Equity Partners LP and Crestwood Midstream Partners LP. Crestwood Midstream Partners LP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity Partners LP. Information contained herein related to any individual registrant is filed by such registrant solely on its own behalf. Each registrant makes no representation as to information relating exclusively to the other registrant.

Item 15 of Part III of this Annual Report includes separate financial statements (i.e., balance sheets, statements of operations, statement of comprehensive income, statements of partners' capital and statements of cash flows, as applicable) for Crestwood Equity Partners LP and Crestwood Midstream Partners LP. The notes accompanying the financial statements are presented on a combined basis for each registrant. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included under Item 7 of Part II is presented for each registrant.

4


GLOSSARY

The terms below are common to our industry and used throughout this report.
/d
per day
AOD
Area of dedication, which means the acreage dedicated to a company by an oil and/or natural gas producer under one or more contracts.
ASC
Accounting Standards Codification.
Barrel (Bbl)
One barrel of petroleum products equal to 42 U.S. gallons.
Base gas
A quantity of natural gas held within the confines of the natural gas storage facility and used for pressure support and to maintain a minimum facility pressure. May consist of injected base gas or native base gas. Also known as cushion gas.
Bcf
One billion cubic feet of natural gas. A standard volume measure of natural gas products.
Cycle
A complete withdrawal and injection of working gas. Cycling refers to the process of completing one cycle.
Dth
One dekatherm of natural gas.
EPA
Environmental Protection Agency.
FASB
Financial Accounting Standards Board.
FERC
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Firm service
Services pursuant to which customers receive an assured or firm right to (i) in the context of storage service, store product in the storage facility or (ii) in the context of transportation service, transport product through a pipeline, over a defined period of time.
GAAP
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
Gas storage capacity
The maximum volume of natural gas that can be cost-effectively injected into a storage facility and extracted during the normal operation of the storage facility. Gas storage capacity excludes base gas.
G&P
Gathering and processing.
Hub
Geographic location of a storage facility and multiple pipeline interconnections.
Hub services
With respect to our natural gas storage and transportation operations, the following services: (i) interruptible storage services, (ii) firm and interruptible park and loan services, (iii) interruptible wheeling services, and (iv) balancing services.
Injection rate
The rate at which a customer is permitted to inject natural gas into a natural gas storage facility.
Interruptible service
Services pursuant to which customers receive only limited assurances regarding the availability of (i) with respect to storage services, capacity and deliverability in storage facilities or (ii) with respect to transportation services, capacity and deliverability from receipt points to delivery points. Customers pay fees for interruptible services based on their actual utilization of the storage or transportation assets.
LIBOR
London Interbank Offered Rate.
MMbtu
One million British thermal units, which is approximately equal to one Mcf. One British thermal unit is equivalent to an amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree.
MMcf
One million cubic feet of natural gas.
Natural gas
A gaseous mixture of hydrocarbon compounds, primarily methane together with varying quantities of ethane, propane, butane and other gases.
Natural Gas Act
Federal law enacted in 1938 that established the FERC's authority to regulate interstate pipelines.
Natural gas liquids (NGLs)
Those hydrocarbons in natural gas that are separated from the natural gas as liquids through the process of absorption, condensation, adsorption or other methods in natural gas processing or cycling plants. NGLs include natural gas plant liquids (primarily ethane, propane, butane and isobutane) and lease condensate (primarily pentanes produced from natural gas at lease separators and field facilities).
NYSE
New York Stock Exchange.
Salt cavern
A man-made cavern developed in a salt dome or salt beds by leaching or mining of the salt.
SEC
Securities and Exchange Commission.

5


Wheeling
The transportation of natural gas from one pipeline to another pipeline through the pipeline facilities of a natural gas storage facility. The gas does not flow into or out of actual storage, but merely uses the surface facilities of the storage operation.
Withdrawal rate
The rate at which a customer is permitted to withdraw gas from a natural gas storage facility.
Working gas
Natural gas in a storage facility in excess of base gas. Working gas may or may not be completely withdrawn during any particular withdrawal season.
Working gas storage capacity
See gas storage capacity (above).




6


PART I

Item 1. Business.

Unless the context requires otherwise, references to (i) “we,” “us,” “our,” “ours,” “our company,” the “Company,” the “Partnership,” “Crestwood Equity,” "CEQP," and similar terms refer to either Crestwood Equity Partners LP itself or Crestwood Equity Partners LP and its consolidated subsidiaries, as the context requires, (ii) “Crestwood Midstream” and "CMLP" refers to Crestwood Midstream Partners LP and its consolidated subsidiaries following the Crestwood Merger (defined below), (iii) “Legacy Inergy” refers to Inergy, L.P. and its consolidated subsidiaries prior to the Crestwood Merger, (iii) “Inergy Midstream” refers to Inergy Midstream, L.P. and its consolidated subsidiaries prior to the Crestwood Merger, and (iv) “Legacy Crestwood” refers to Crestwood Midstream Partners LP and its consolidated subsidiaries prior to the Crestwood Merger. Unless otherwise indicated, information contained herein is reported as of December 31, 2015.

Introduction

Crestwood Equity, a Delaware limited partnership formed in March 2001, is a master limited partnership (MLP) that develops, acquires, owns or controls, and operates primarily fee-based assets and operations within the energy midstream sector. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, we provide broad-ranging infrastructure solutions across the value chain to service premier liquids-rich natural gas and crude oil shale plays across the United States. We own and operate a diversified portfolio of crude oil and natural gas gathering, processing, storage and transportation assets that connect fundamental energy supply with energy demand across North America. Crestwood Equity's common units representing limited partner interests are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “CEQP.”

Crestwood Equity is a holding company. All of our consolidated operating assets are owned by or through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Crestwood Midstream, a Delaware limited partnership. Our consolidated operating assets primarily include:

natural gas facilities with approximately 2.6 Bcf/d of gathering capacity, 481 MMcf/d of processing capacity, 40.9 Bcf of certificated working gas storage capacity and 1.3 Bcf/d of firm pipeline transmission capacity;

NGL facilities with approximately 24,000 Bbls/d of fractionation capacity and 2.8 million barrels of storage capacity, as well as our portfolio of transportation assets (consisting of truck and rail terminals, truck/trailer units and rail cars) capable of transporting more than 294,000 Bbls/d of NGLs; and

crude oil facilities with approximately 125,000 Bbls/d of gathering capacity, approximately 1.5 million barrels of total storage capacity, 48,000 Bbls/d of transportation capacity and 160,000 Bbls/d of rail loading capacity.

Our primary business objective is to maximize the value of Crestwood for all stakeholders.


7


Ownership Structure

The diagram below reflects a simplified version of our ownership structure as of December 31, 2015:



Crestwood Equity. Crestwood Equity GP LLC, which is indirectly owned by Crestwood Holdings LLC (Crestwood Holdings), owns our non-economic general partnership interest. Crestwood Holdings, which is substantially owned and controlled by First Reserve Management, L.P. (First Reserve), also owns approximately 21% of Crestwood Equity's limited partner and subordinated units as of December 31, 2015.

Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood Equity owns a 99.9% limited partnership interest in Crestwood Midstream and Crestwood Gas Services GP LLC (CGS GP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity, owns a 0.1% limited partnership interest in Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood Midstream GP LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity, owns the non-economic general partnership interest of Crestwood Midstream.


8


Crestwood Merger (2013). In May 2013, Crestwood Holdings and the former owners of Crestwood Equity's general partner entered into a series of transactions that would effectively consolidate and combine the operations of Legacy Crestwood and Legacy Inergy. The parties first completed a series of “upstairs” transactions in June 2013 that resulted in Crestwood Holdings’ acquisition of control of Crestwood Equity. The “downstairs” portion of the strategic business combination was completed in October 2013 when publicly-traded Legacy Crestwood merged with and into publicly-traded Inergy Midstream (the Crestwood Merger) and Inergy Midstream immediately thereafter changed its name to Crestwood Midstream Partners LP.

Simplification Merger (2015). In May 2015, Crestwood Equity, Crestwood Midstream and certain of their affiliates entered into a definitive agreement under which Crestwood Midstream would merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity, with Crestwood Midstream surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity (the Simplification Merger). On September 30, 2015, the Simplification Merger was completed immediately following the affirmative approval of the merger by Crestwood Midstream's unaffiliated unitholders.

Prior to the Simplification Merger, Crestwood Equity indirectly owned a non-economic general partnership interest in Crestwood Midstream and 100% of its incentive distribution rights (IDRs), which entitled Crestwood Equity to receive 50% of all distributions paid to Crestwood Midstream's common unit holders in excess of its initial quarterly distribution of $0.37 per common unit. Crestwood Midstream's common units were also listed on the NYSE under the listing symbol "CMLP." Upon becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity as a result of the Simplification Merger, Crestwood Midstream's IDRs were eliminated and its common units ceased to be listed on the NYSE.

See Part IV, Item 15, Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Notes 1 and 3 for additional information on these related transactions.

Our Assets

Prior to the Simplification Merger, except for the assets comprising our NGL marketing business, all of our operating assets were owned by or through Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood Operations LLC (Crestwood Operations), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity, owned and operated the assets comprising our NGL marketing business, consisting mainly of our West Coast NGL assets, our Seymour NGL storage facility, and our NGL transportation terminals and fleet. In connection with the closing of the Simplification Merger on September 30, 2015, Crestwood Equity contributed 100% of its interests in Crestwood Operations to Crestwood Midstream. As a result of this equity contribution, and as of December 31, 2015, all of the Company's consolidated assets are owned by or through Crestwood Midstream.

In conjunction with the Simplification Merger, we modified our segments and our financial statements now reflect three operating and reporting segments: (i) gathering and processing operations; (ii) storage and transportation operations; and (iii) marketing, supply and logistics operations (formerly NGL and crude services operations). Consequently, the results of our Arrow operations are now reflected in our gathering and processing operations for all periods presented and our COLT Hub operations and Powder River Basin Industrial Complex, LLC (PRBIC) investment are now reflected in our storage and transportation operations for all periods presented. These respective operations were previously included in our NGL and crude services operations. Below is a description of our operating and reporting segments.

Gathering and Processing

Our G&P operations provide gathering and transportation services (natural gas, crude oil and produced water) and processing, treating and compression services (natural gas) to producers in unconventional shale plays and tight-gas plays in North Dakota, West Virginia, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Arkansas and Louisiana. This segment primarily includes (i) our crude oil, gas and produced water gathering systems in the Bakken Shale play; (ii) our rich gas gathering systems and processing plants in the Bakken, Marcellus, Barnett, Delaware Permian and Powder River Basin (PRB) Niobrara Shale plays; and (iii) our dry gas gathering systems in the Barnett, Fayetteville, and Haynesville Shale plays.


9


The table below summarizes certain information about our G&P systems (including our equity investment) as of December 31, 2015:
Play
(State)
Counties /
Parishes
Pipeline (Miles)
Gathering Capacity
2015 Average Gathering Volumes
Compression (HP)
Number of In-Service Processing Plants
Processing Capacity
(MMcf/d)
Gross
Acreage Dedication
Bakken
North Dakota
McKenzie and Dunn
590 (1)
100 MMcf/d - natural gas gathering
125 MBbls/d - crude oil gathering
40 MBbls/d - water gathering
43 MMcf/d - natural gas gathering
64 MBbls/d - crude oil gathering
26 MBbls/d - water gathering
18,000
150,000
Marcellus
West Virginia
Harrison, Barbour and Doddridge
80
875 MMcf/d
550 MMcf/d
138,080
140,000
Barnett
Texas
Hood, Somervell, Tarrant, and Denton
507
955 MMcf/d
341 MMcf/d
153,465
1
425
140,000
Fayetteville
Arkansas
Conway, Faulkner, Van Buren, and White
173
510 MMcf/d
73 MMcf/d
27,645
143,000
Permian
New Mexico
Eddy
73
50 MMcf/d
17 MMcf/d
955
1
20
107,000
Granite Wash
Texas
Roberts
36
36 MMcf/d
27 MMcf/d
12,240
1
36
22,000
Haynesville / Bossier
Louisiana
Sabine
57
100 MMcf/d
6 MMcf/d
22,000
PRB Niobrara (2)
Wyoming
Converse
211
140 MMcf/d
80 MMcf/d
50,895
1
120,000
388,000

(1)
Consists of 215 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline, 194 miles of crude oil gathering pipeline, and 181 miles of produced water gathering pipeline.
(2)
Our PRB Niobrara assets are owned by Jackalope Gas Gathering Services, L.L.C. (Jackalope), our 50% equity method investment.

We generate G&P revenues predominantly under fee-based contracts, which minimizes our commodity price exposure and provides less volatile operating performance and cash flows. Our principal G&P systems are described below.

Bakken

Our Arrow system gathers crude oil, rich gas and produced water from wells operating on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the core of the Bakken Shale in McKenzie and Dunn Counties, North Dakota.  Located approximately 60 miles southeast of the COLT Hub, the Arrow system connects to our COLT Hub through the Hiland and Tesoro crude oil pipeline systems.  The Arrow system includes approximately 590 miles of gathering lines, a 23-acre central delivery point with 266,000 barrels of crude oil working storage capacity and multiple pipeline take-away outlets, and salt water disposal wells.  Our operations are anchored by long-term gathering contracts with producers who have dedicated over 150,000 acres to the Arrow system, and our underlying contracts largely provide for fixed-fee gathering services with annual escalators for crude oil, natural gas and produced water gathering services.

Marcellus

We own and operate natural gas gathering and compression systems in Harrison, Doddridge and Barbour Counties, West Virginia. These systems consist of 80 miles of low pressure gathering lines and ten compression and dehydrations stations with 138,080 horsepower. Through these systems, we provide midstream services, primarily to Antero Resources Appalachian Corporation (Antero), under long-term, fixed-fee contracts across two operating areas: our eastern area of operation (East AOD), where we are the exclusive gatherer, and our western area of operation (Western Area), where we provide compression services.

In the East AOD, we provide gathering, dehydration and compression services, on a fixed-fee basis, to Antero on approximately 140,000 gross acres dedicated pursuant to a 20-year gathering and compression agreement. The gathering agreement provides for an annual minimum volume commitment of 450 MMcf/d in 2016 through 2018. We gather and ultimately redeliver Antero’s production to MarkWest's Sherwood Gas Processing Plant and various regional pipeline systems,

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including Columbia, EQT, Dominion and Momentum's Stonewall pipeline which was placed into service in December 2015. Our system is currently connected to 233 Antero wells.

In the Western Area, we provide compression and dehydration services to Antero’s gathering facilities predominantly with our West Union and Victoria compressor stations under a seven year, fixed-fee agreement that runs through 2021, subject to Antero’s right to extend the contract term for an additional three years. In the Western Area, Antero provides minimum volume commitments for approximately 50% of the throughput capacity of each compressor station.

Barnett

We own and operate three systems in the Barnett Shale, including the Cowtown, Lake Arlington and the Alliance systems.

Our Cowtown system, which is located principally in the southern portion of the Fort Worth Basin, consists of (i) pipelines that gather rich natural gas produced by customers and deliver the volumes to our plants for processing, (ii) the Cowtown plant, which includes two natural gas processing units that extract NGLs from the natural gas stream and deliver customers’ residue gas and extracted NGLs to unaffiliated pipelines for sale downstream, and (iii) the Corvette plant, which extracts NGLs from the natural gas stream and delivers customers’ residue gas and extracted NGLs to unaffiliated pipelines for sale downstream. For the year ended December 31, 2015, our plants had a total average throughput of 128 MMcf/d of natural gas with an average NGL recovery of 10,000 Bbl/d. In June 2015, we shut down the Corvette plant and diverted processing volumes to the Cowtown plant but we continue to use the compression facilities at the Corvette plant.

Our Lake Arlington system, which is located in eastern Tarrant County, Texas, consists of a dry gas gathering system and related dehydration and compression facilities. Our Alliance system, which is located in northern Tarrant and southern Denton Counties, Texas, consists of a dry gas gathering system and a related dehydration, compression and amine treating facility.

Fayetteville

We own and operate five systems in the Fayetteville Shale, including the Twin Groves, Prairie Creek, Woolly Hollow, Wilson Creek, and Rose Bud systems. Our Twin Groves, Prairie Creek, and Woolly Hollow systems (Conway and Faulkner Counties) consist of three gas gathering, compression, dehydration and treating facilities. Our Wilson Creek (Van Buren County) and Rose Bud (White County) systems each consist of a gas gathering system and related dehydration and compression facilities. All of our systems gather natural gas produced by customers and deliver customers’ gas to unaffiliated pipelines for downstream sale.

Delaware Permian

We own and operate several gas gathering and processing systems in the fast growing Delaware Permian region. Our systems, located in Eddy County, New Mexico, consists of two dry gas gathering systems (Las Animas systems) and one rich gas gathering system and processing plant (Willow Lake system). In July 2014, we expanded our Willow Lake system to include a 20 MMcf/d processing plant. The Willow Lake expansion was anchored by a 10-year fixed-fee agreement with Concho Resources Inc. (Concho), formerly Legend Production Holdings, LLC.

In late 2015, we expanded the Willow Lake processing plant to 50 MMcf/d, which we completed and placed into service in January 2016. The recent expansion of the Willow Lake system was supported by a seven year contract extension with Mewbourne Oil Co. (Mewbourne) which significantly increased the amount of WolfCamp drilling and rich gas development expected in the area.

Other 100% Owned and Operated Systems

We also own and operate systems in the Granite Wash and the Haynesville/Bossier Shales. Our Indian Creek system, which is located in Roberts County, Texas in the Granite Wash, includes a rich gas gathering system, compression facility and processing plant. Our Sabine system, which is located in Sabine Parish, Louisiana, includes high-pressure gas gathering pipelines that provide gathering and treating services for producers in the Haynesville/Bossier Shale.


11


PRB Niobrara Joint Venture

Our G&P segment includes our 50% equity interest in the Jackalope joint venture with Williams Partners LP (Williams), which we account for under the equity method of accounting. The joint venture, operated by Williams, owns the Jackalope gas gathering system and Bucking Horse processing plant, which serves a 388,000 gross acre dedication, operated by Chesapeake Energy Corporation (Chesapeake) in Converse County, Wyoming. The Jackalope system consists of approximately 211 miles of gathering pipelines, 50,895 horsepower of compression and the 120 MMcf/d Bucking Horse processing plant, which was placed into service in January 2015. The system connects to 88 well pads and is supported by a 20-year gathering and processing agreement with Chesapeake. Under the agreement, Jackalope receives cost-of-service based fees with annual redeterminations sufficient to provide Jackalope a fixed return on all capital invested to build out and expand the system over the life of the contract. See Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 6 for a further discussion of our investment in Jackalope.

The table below summarizes certain contract profile information (including our equity investment) as of December 31, 2015:
Shale Play
Type of Services
Type of Contracts(1)
Gross Acreage Dedication
Major Customers
Weighted Average Remaining Contract Terms (in years)
Arrow
Gathering - crude oil, natural gas and water
Fixed-fee
150,000
WPX, Whiting Petroleum, Halcon Resources Corporation, XTO Energy, QEP Resources, Inc., Enerplus
7
Marcellus
Gathering
Fixed-fee(2)
140,000
Antero
16
 
Compression
Fixed-fee
Antero
4
Barnett
Gathering
Fixed-fee
140,000
Quicksilver(3), Devon Energy
7
 
Processing
Fixed-fee
Quicksilver(3), Devon Energy
7
 
Compression
Fixed-fee
Quicksilver(3), Devon Energy
7
Fayetteville
Gathering
Fixed-fee
143,000
BHP Billiton Petroleum (BHP)
9
 
Treating
Fixed-fee
BHP
9
Permian
Gathering
Fixed-fee
107,000
Concho
5
 
Processing
Mixed
Concho, Mewbourne
5
Other(4)
Gathering
Fixed-fee
44,000
Sabine Oil and Gas
8
 
Processing
Mixed
Sabine Oil and Gas
8
PRB Niobrara(5)
Gathering
Fixed-fee cost-of-service
388,000
Chesapeake
16
 
Processing
Fixed-fee cost-of-service
Chesapeake
16

(1)
Fixed-fee contracts represent contracts in which our customers agree to pay a flat rate based on the amount of gas delivered. Mixed contracts include percent-of-proceeds and fixed-fee arrangements. Our fixed-fee cost-of-service contracts have fees designed to recover operating costs and capital expenditures plus a fixed return.
(2)
Antero has provided minimum volume commitments under our agreement, which increase from an average of 450 MMcf/d in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively.
(3)
Eni SpA and Tokyo Gas own approximately 27.5% and 25%, respectively, of Quicksilver Resources Inc.'s (Quicksilver) Barnett assets. In March 2015, Quicksilver filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We are closely monitoring our exposure to Quicksilver to ensure prompt payment of invoices. For a further discussion of the impact of Quicksilver's bankruptcy to us, see Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, "Our Company."
(4)
Other shale plays include Granite Wash and Haynesville / Bossier.
(5)
Our PRB Niobrara assets are owned by Jackalope, our 50% equity method investment.

Storage and Transportation

We own and operate five high-performance natural gas storage facilities with an aggregate certificated working gas storage capacity of approximately 79.3 Bcf, including our 50.01% ownership interest in Tres Palacios Gas Storage Company LLC (Tres Palacios), and three natural gas pipeline systems with an aggregate firm transportation capacity of 1.3 Bcf/d. All of our natural gas storage and transportation assets are located near major shale plays and demand markets, and they have low maintenance costs and long useful lives. Our storage and transportation segment also includes our COLT Hub, one of the largest crude-by-rail loading terminal serving Bakken crude oil production, and our 50.01% ownership interest in the Powder River Basis Industrial Complex LLC (PRBIC), which owns a crude-by-rail terminal serving PRB Niobrara crude oil production.


12


Storage Facilities. We own and operate four storage facilities located in New York and Pennsylvania. Our storage facilities have comparatively high cycling capabilities and their interconnectivity with interstate pipelines offers significant flexibility to our customers. Each of our storage facilities are fully contracted. Our natural gas storage facilities, each of which generates fee-based revenues, include:

Stagecoach, a FERC-certificated 26.2 Bcf multi-cycle, depleted reservoir storage facility owned and operated by our Stagecoach Pipeline & Storage Company LLC (formerly known as Central New York Oil And Gas Company, L.L.C.) (Stagecoach Pipeline) subsidiary. A 21-mile, 30-inch diameter south pipeline lateral connects the storage facility to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC's (TGP) 300 Line, and a 10-mile, 20-inch diameter north pipeline lateral connects to the Millennium Pipeline (Millennium).

Thomas Corners, a FERC-certificated 7.0 Bcf multi-cycle, depleted reservoir storage facility owned and operated by our Arlington Storage Company, LLC (Arlington Storage) subsidiary. An 8-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline lateral connects the storage facility to TGP's 200 Line, and a 8-mile, 8-inch diameter pipeline lateral connects to Millennium. Thomas Corners is also connected to Dominion Transmission Inc. (Dominion) system through our Steuben facility.

Seneca Lake, a FERC-certificated 1.5 Bcf multi-cycle, bedded salt storage facility owned and operated by Arlington Storage. A 20-mile, 16-inch diameter pipeline lateral connects the storage facility to the Millennium and Dominion systems.

Steuben, a FERC-certificated 6.2 Bcf single-cycle, depleted reservoir storage facility owned and operated by Arlington Storage. A 15-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline lateral connects the storage facility to the Dominion system, and a 6-inch diameter pipeline measuring less than one mile connects our Steuben and Thomas Corners storage facilities.

The following provides additional information about our natural gas storage facilities (including our equity investment in Tres Palacios) as of December 31, 2015:
Storage Facility /
Location
 
Certificated Working Gas Storage Capacity
(Bcf)
 
Certificated Maximum Injection Rate
(MMcf/d)
 
Certificated Maximum Withdrawal Rate
(MMcf/d)
 
Pipeline Connections
Stagecoach
Tioga County, NY;
Bradford County, PA
 
26.2

 
 
250
 
500
 
TGP's 300 Line;
Millennium;
Transco's Leidy Line(1)
Thomas Corners
Steuben County, NY
 
7.0

 
 
70
 
140
 
TGP's 200 Line; Millennium;
Dominion
Seneca Lake
Schuyler County, NY
 
1.5

(2) 
 
73
 
145
 
Dominion;
Millennium
Steuben
Steuben County, NY
 
6.2

 
 
30
 
60
 
TGP's 200 Line; Millennium;
Dominion
Consolidated Total
 
40.9

 
 
423
 
845
 
 
Tres Palacios(3)
 
38.4

 
 
1,000
 
2,500
 
Multiple(4)
Total
 
79.3

 
 
1,423
 
3,345
 
 

(1)
Stagecoach is connected to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation's (Transco) Leidy Line through our MARC I Pipeline.
(2)
We have been authorized by the FERC to expand Seneca Lake’s working gas storage capacity to 2 Bcf.
(3)
The Tres Palacios assets are owned by Tres Palacios Holdings LLC (Tres Holdings), our 50.01% equity-method investment.
(4)
Tres Palacios is interconnected to Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC, Kinder Morgan Tejas Pipeline, L.P., Houston Pipe Line Company, Central Texas Gathering System, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Transco, TGP, Valero Natural Gas Pipe Line Company, Channel Pipeline Company, and Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.

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In December 2014, Crestwood Equity sold 100% of its membership interest in Tres Palacios, which owns a FERC-certificated 38.4 Bcf multi-cycle salt dome natural gas storage facility located in Texas, to Tres Holdings. Crestwood Midstream and Brookfield Infrastructure Group (Brookfield) formed Tres Holdings for the purpose of acquiring owning and operating Tres Palacios and each joint venture member paid approximately $66.4 million of cash to Crestwood Equity for Tres Palacios. As a result of this transaction, Crestwood Midstream owns 50.01% of Tres Palacios and operates its natural gas storage facility. Brookfield owns the remaining 49.99% interest in Tres Palacios.

The Tres Palacios natural gas storage facility's 63-mile, dual 24-inch diameter header system (including a 52-mile north pipeline lateral and an approximate 11-mile south pipeline lateral) interconnects with 10 pipeline systems and can receive residue gas from the tailgate of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Houston Central processing plant. The certificated maximum injection rate of the Tres Palacios storage facility is 1,000 MMcf/d and the certificated maximum withdrawal rate is 2,500 MMcf/d. See Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 6 for a further discussion of our membership interest in Tres Palacios.

Transportation Facilities. We own three natural gas pipeline systems located in New York and Pennsylvania. Throughput on our interstate and intrastate pipeline systems can be expanded at relatively low capital costs. In 2015, our transportation facilities delivered approximately 1.3 Bcf/d of natural gas on a firm or interruptible basis for our transportation and storage customers. Our natural gas transportation facilities include:

North-South Facilities, which include compression and appurtenant facilities installed to expand transportation capacity on the Stagecoach north and south pipeline laterals. The bi-directional interstate facilities, which are owned and operated by Stagecoach Pipeline, provide more than 547 MMcf/d of firm interstate transportation capacity to shippers. The North-South Facilities generate fee-based revenues under a negotiated rate structure authorized by the FERC.

MARC I Pipeline, a 39-mile, 30-inch diameter interstate natural gas pipeline that connects the Stagecoach south lateral and TGP's 300 Line in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, with Transco’s Leidy Line in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. The bi-directional pipeline, which is owned and operated by Stagecoach Pipeline, provides more than 716 MMcf/d of firm interstate transportation capacity to shippers. It includes a 16,360 horsepower gas-fired compressor station near the Transco interconnection, and a 15,000 horsepower electric-powered compressor station at the interconnection between the Stagecoach south lateral and TGP’s 300 Line. The MARC I Pipeline generates fee-based revenues under a negotiated rate structure authorized by the FERC.

We completed an open season for an expansion of the MARC I Pipeline in the first quarter of 2015 and have entered into firm service contracts with multiple customers for the expansion capacity.  This project includes a new 530 MMcf/d supply point into the MARC I Pipeline (Wilmot Station) through an interconnection with Appalachian Midstream Services and 280 MMcf/d expansion of the existing interconnect between MARC I and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation (Transco). The Transco expansion project was completed and placed into service in November 2015.

East Pipeline, a 37.5 mile, 12-inch diameter intrastate natural gas pipeline located in New York, which transports 30 MMcf/d of natural gas from Dominion to the Binghamton, New York city gate. The pipeline, which is owned by Crestwood Pipeline East, LLC (CPE), runs within three miles of our Stagecoach north lateral's point of interconnection with Millennium. The East Pipeline generates fee-based revenues under a negotiated rate structure authorized by the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC).

Rail Loading Facilities. We own or have interest in crude oil rail loading facilities in North Dakota and Wyoming. Our crude oil rail loading facilities include:

COLT Hub. The COLT Hub consists of our integrated crude oil loading, storage and pipeline terminal located in the heart of the Bakken and Three Forks Shale oil-producing areas in Williams County, North Dakota. It has approximately 1.2 million barrels of total crude oil storage capacity and is capable of loading up to 160,000 Bbls/d. Customers can source crude oil for rail loading through interconnected gathering systems, a twelve-bay truck unloading rack and the COLT Connector, a 21-mile 10-inch bi-directional proprietary pipeline that connects the COLT terminal to our storage tank at Dry Fork (Beaver Lodge/Ramberg junction). The COLT Hub is connected to the Meadowlark Midstream Company, LLC and Hiland Partners, LP (Hiland) crude oil gathering systems at the COLT terminal, and the Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. and Tesoro Corporation (Tesoro) pipeline systems at Dry Fork.


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PRBIC. PRBIC, our 50.01% equity-method investment, owns an integrated crude oil loading, storage and pipeline terminal located in Douglas County, Wyoming, which provides a market for crude oil production from the PRB Niobrara. The joint venture, operated by Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC (Twin Eagle), sources crude oil production from Chesapeake and other PRB Niobrara producers. PRBIC includes 20,000 Bbls/d of rail loading capacity and 380,000 barrels of crude oil working storage capacity. Additionally, in anticipation of growing PRB Niobrara crude oil volumes, PRBIC expanded its pipeline terminal to include connections to Kinder Morgan's HH Pipeline system in July 2015 and initiated a pipeline project to interconnect with Plains All American Pipeline's Rocky Mountain Pipeline system, which is expected to be completed in March 2016. See Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 6 for a further discussion of our investment in PRBIC.

The table below summarizes our major contract information associated with our storage and transportation facilities (including our equity investment) as of December 31, 2015:
Facility
Type of Services
Type of Contracts(1)
Contract Volumes
Major Customers
Weighted Average Remaining Contract Terms (in years)
North-South Facilities
Transportation
Firm
547 MMcf/d
Southwestern Energy, Anadarko Energy Services Company (Anadarko), Chesapeake Energy (Chesapeake), Cabot Oil, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui)
3
MARC I Pipeline
Transportation
Firm
716 MMcf/d
Chesapeake, Statoil Natural Gas, Anadarko, Mitsui, Sequent Energy Management (Sequent)
6
East Pipeline
Transportation
Firm
30 MMcf/d
NY State Electric & Gas Corp
5
Stagecoach
Storage
Firm
22.4 Bcf
Consolidated Edison of NY, New Jersey Natural Gas, Repsol Energy North America Corporation (Repsol), Sequent
2
Thomas Corners
Storage
Firm
7.2 Bcf
Repsol, Tenaska Gas Storage, LLC, Emera Inc.
1
Seneca Lake
Storage
Firm
1.5 Bcf
Dominion Transmission Inc., NY State Electric & Gas Corp, DTE Energy Trading
2
Steuben
Storage
Firm
6.2 Bcf
PSEG Energy Resources & Trade LLC, Repsol, Pivot Utility Holdings
2
Tres Palacios(2)
Storage
Firm
34.5 Bcf
Brookfield, Anadarko, Repsol, Koch Energy Services LLC, MGI, NJR Energy
2
COLT
Rail Loading
Fixed-fee(3)
144,300 Bbl/d
Tesoro, U.S. Oil, BP, Sunoco Inc., and Statoil Inc.
2
PRBIC(4)
Rail Loading
Fixed-fee
10,000 Bbl/d
Chesapeake
3

(1)
Firm contracts represent take-or-pay contracts whereby our customers agree to pay for a specified amount of storage or transportation capacity, whether or not the capacity is utilized.
(2)
The Tres Palacios assets are owned by Tres Holdings, our 50.01% equity-method investment.
(3)
Fixed-fee contracts represent contracts in which our customers agree to pay a flat rate based on the amount of commodity delivered.
(4)
Crestwood Crude Logistics LLC, our wholly-owned subsidiary, owns our 50.01% equity-method investment in PRBIC.

Marketing, Supply and Logistics

Our marketing, supply and logistics segment's operations include our NGL supply and logistics business (including NGL buy-sell, storage, trucking, and terminal services), our crude oil and produced water trucking business, and US Salt, LLC (US Salt).

NGL Supply and Logistics. Our NGL supply and logistics business serves producers, refiners and other customers that produce or consume natural gas liquids, including primarily propane, butane and natural gasoline. To provide these services, we utilize our portfolio of proprietary and third party NGL processing, fractionation, storage, terminal and trucking assets. These assets consist primarily of:

our fleet of rail and rolling stock with 294,000 Bbls/d of NGL transmission capacity, which also includes our rail-to-truck terminals located in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, and our truck maintenance facilities located in Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Ohio;

our West Coast NGL operations, which provides processing, fractionation, storage, transportation and marketing services to producers, refiners and other customers. Located near Bakersfield, California, our West Coast facilities include 24 million gallons of aboveground NGL storage capacity, 25 MMcf/d of natural gas processing capacity, 12,000 Bbls/d of NGL fractionation capacity, 8,000 Bbls/d of butane isomerization capacity and NGL rail and truck take-away options. We separate NGLs from natural gas, deliver to local natural gas pipelines, and retain NGLs for

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further processing at our fractionation facility, as well as provide butane isomerization and refrigerated storage services. Our isomerization facility chemically changes normal butane to isobutane, which we provide to Western US refineries for motor fuel production;

our NGL storage facilities include the Seymour and Bath storage facilities. The Seymour storage facility is located in Seymour, Indiana, and has 21 million gallons of underground NGL storage capacity and 1.2 million gallons of aboveground "bullet" storage capacity. The facility's receipts and deliveries are supported by Enterprise Teppco pipeline, allowing pipeline and truck access. The Bath storage facility is located in Bath, New York and has 1.7 million gallons of underground NGL storage capacity and is supported by both rail and truck terminal facilities capable of loading and unloading 23 rail cars per day and approximately 100 truck transports per day; and

NGL pipeline and storage capacity leased from third parties, including more than 500,000 barrels of NGL working storage capacity at major hubs in Mt. Belvieu, Texas and Conway, Kansas.

Crude Oil and Produced Water Trucking. Our crude oil and produced water trucking fleet has 48,000 Bbls/d of crude oil and produced water transportation capacity. These assets were acquired in the first half of 2014. We provide hauling services to customers in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Texas and New Mexico.

US Salt. US Salt is an industry-leading solution mining and salt production company located on the shores of Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen in Schuyler County, New York. It is one of five major solution mined salt manufacturers in the United States, capable of producing more than 400,000 tons of evaporated salt products for food, industrial and pharmaceutical uses. The solution mining process used by US Salt creates salt caverns that can be converted into natural gas and NGL storage capacity.

Customers

For the year ended December 31, 2015, we had no customer that accounted for more than 10% of our total consolidated revenues. For the year ended December 31, 2014, Tesoro accounted for approximately 12% of our total consolidated revenues. No customer accounted for 10% or more of our total consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Industry Background

The midstream sector of the energy industry provides the link between exploration and production and the delivery of crude oil, natural gas and their components to end-use markets. The midstream sector consists generally of gathering, processing, storage, and transportation activities. We gather crude oil and natural gas; process natural gas; fractionate NGLs; store crude oil, NGLs and natural gas; and transport crude oil, NGLs and natural gas.

The diagram below depicts the main segments of the midstream sector value chain:



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Crude Oil

Pipelines typically provide the most cost-effective option for shipping crude oil. Crude oil gathering systems normally comprise a network of small-diameter pipelines connected directly to the well head that transport crude oil to central receipt points or interconnecting pipelines through larger diameter trunk lines. Common carrier pipelines frequently transport crude oil from central delivery points to logistics hubs or refineries under tariffs regulated by the FERC or state authorities. Logistic hubs provide storage and connections to other pipeline systems and modes of transportation, such as railroads and trucks. Pipelines not engaged in the interstate transportation of crude may also be proprietary or leased entirely to a single customer.

Trucking complements pipeline gathering systems by gathering crude oil from operators at remote wellhead locations not served by pipeline gathering systems. Trucking is generally limited to low volume, short haul movements because trucking costs escalate sharply with distance, making trucking the most expensive mode of crude oil transportation. Railroads provide additional transportation capabilities for shipping crude oil between gathering storage systems, pipelines, terminals and storage centers and end-users.
 
Natural Gas

Midstream companies within the natural gas industry create value at various stages along the value chain by gathering natural gas from producers at the wellhead, processing and separating the hydrocarbons from impurities and into lean gas (primarily methane) and NGLs, and then routing the separated lean gas and NGL streams for delivery to end-markets or to the next stage of the value chain.
 
A significant portion of natural gas produced at the wellhead contains NGLs. Natural gas produced in association with crude oil typically contains higher concentrations of NGLs than natural gas produced from gas wells. This rich natural gas is generally not acceptable for transportation in the nation’s transmission pipeline system or for residential or commercial use. Processing plants extract the NGLs, leaving residual lean gas that meets transmission pipeline quality specifications for ultimate consumption. Processing plants also produce marketable NGLs, which, on an energy equivalent basis, typically have a greater economic value as a raw material for petrochemicals and motor gasolines than as a component of the natural gas stream.

Gathering. At the earliest stage of the midstream value chain, a network of typically small diameter pipelines known as gathering systems directly connect to wellheads or pad sites in the production area. Gathering systems transport gas from the wellhead to downstream pipelines or a central location for treating and processing. Gathering systems are often designed to be highly flexible to allow gathering of natural gas at different pressures and scalable to allow for additional production and well connections without significant incremental capital expenditures. A byproduct of the gathering process is the recovery of condensate liquids, which are sold on the open market.

Compression. Gathering systems are operated at pressures intended to enable the maximum amount of production to be gathered from connected wells. Through a mechanical process known as compression, volumes of natural gas at a given pressure are compressed to a sufficiently higher pressure, thereby allowing those volumes to be delivered into a higher pressure downstream pipeline to be shipped to market. Because wells produce at progressively lower field pressures as they age, it becomes necessary to add additional compression over time to maintain throughput across the gathering system.

Treating and Dehydration. Treating and dehydration involves the removal of impurities such as water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide that may be present when natural gas is produced at the wellhead. Impurities must be removed for the natural gas to meet the quality specifications for pipeline transportation, and end users normally cannot consume (and will not purchase) natural gas with a high level of impurities. Therefore, to meet downstream pipeline and end user natural gas quality standards, the natural gas is dehydrated to remove water and is chemically treated to separate the impurities from the natural gas stream.

Processing. Once impurities are removed, pipeline-quality residue gas is separated from NGLs. Most rich natural gas is not suitable for long-haul pipeline transportation or commercial use and must be processed to remove the heavier hydrocarbon components. The removal and separation of hydrocarbons during processing is possible because of the differences in physical properties between the components of the raw gas stream. There are four basic types of natural gas processing methods: cryogenic expansion, lean oil absorption, straight refrigeration and dry bed absorption. Cryogenic expansion represents the latest generation of processing, incorporating extremely low temperatures and high pressures to provide the best processing and most economical extraction.


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Natural gas is processed not only to remove heavier hydrocarbon components that would interfere with pipeline transportation or the end use of the natural gas, but also to separate from the natural gas those hydrocarbon liquids that could have a higher value as NGLs than as natural gas. The principal component of residue gas is methane, although some lesser amount of entrained ethane typically remains. In some cases, processors have the option to leave ethane in the gas stream or to recover ethane from the gas stream, depending on ethane’s value relative to natural gas. The processor’s ability to “reject” ethane varies depending on the downstream pipeline’s quality specifications. The residue gas is sold to industrial, commercial and residential customers and electric utilities.

Fractionation. Once NGLs have been removed from the natural gas stream, they can be broken down into their base components to be useful to commercial customers. Mixed NGL streams can be further separated into purity NGL products, including ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane, and natural gasoline. Fractionation works based on the different boiling points of the different hydrocarbons in the NGL stream, and essentially occurs in stages consisting of the boiling off of hydrocarbons one by one. The entire fractionation process is broken down into steps, starting with the removal of the lighter NGLs from the stream. In general, fractionators are used in the following order: (i) deethanizer, which separates ethane from the NGL stream, (ii) depropanizer, which separates propane, (iii) debutanizer, which boils off the butanes and leaves the pentanes and heavier hydrocarbons in the NGL stream, and (iv) butane splitter (or deisobutanizer), which separates isobutanes and normal butanes.

Transportation and Storage. Once raw natural gas has been treated or processed and the raw NGL mix fractionated into individual NGL components, the natural gas and NGL components are stored, transported and marketed to end-use markets. The natural gas pipeline grid in the United States transports natural gas from producing regions to customers, such as LDCs, industrial users and electric generation facilities.

Historically, the concentration of natural gas production in a few regions of the United States generally required transportation pipelines to transport gas not only within a state but also across state borders to meet national demand. However, a recent shift in supply sources, from conventional to unconventional, has affected the supply patterns, the flows and the rates that can be charged on pipeline systems. The impacts vary among pipelines according to the location and the number of competitors attached to these new supply sources. These changing market dynamics are prompting midstream companies to evaluate the construction of short-haul pipelines as a means of providing demand markets with cost-effective access to newly-developed production regions, as compared to relying on higher-cost, long-haul pipelines that were originally designed to transport natural gas greater distances across the country.

Natural gas storage plays a vital role in maintaining the reliability of gas available for deliveries. Natural gas is typically stored in underground storage facilities, including salt dome caverns, bedded salt caverns and depleted reservoirs. Storage facilities are most often utilized by pipeline companies to manage temporary imbalances in operations; natural gas end-users, such as LDCs, to manage the seasonality and variability of demand and to satisfy future natural gas needs; and, independent natural gas marketing and trading companies in connection with the execution of their trading strategies.

Salt Manufacturing

According to the United States Geological Survey, approximately 270 million metric tons of salt were produced in the world in 2015. Salt is generally categorized into four types based upon the method of production: evaporated salt, solar salt, rock salt and salt in brine. Dry salt is produced through the following methods: solution mining and mechanical evaporation, solar evaporation or deep-shaft mining. US Salt produces salt using solution mining and mechanical evaporation. In solution mining, wells are drilled into salt beds or domes and then water is injected into the formation and circulated to dissolve the salt. After salt is removed from a solution-mined salt deposit, the empty cavern can be used to store other substances, such as natural gas, NGLs or compressed air.

The salt solution, or brine, is next pumped out of the cavern and taken to a processing plant for evaporation. The brine may be treated to remove minerals and then pumped into vacuum pans in which the brine is boiled, and evaporated until a salt slurry is created. The slurry is then dried and separated. Depending on the type of salt product to be produced, iodine and an anti-caking agent may be added to the salt. Most food grade table salt is produced in this manner.

Competition

Our G&P operations compete for customers based on reputation, operating reliability and flexibility, price, creditworthiness, and service offerings, including interconnectivity to producer-desired takeaway options (e.g., processing facilities and pipelines). We face strong competition in acquiring new supplies in the production basins in which we operate, and competition customarily is impacted by the level of drilling activity in a particular geographic region and fluctuations in

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commodity prices. Our primary competitors include other midstream companies with G&P operations and producer-owned systems, and certain competitors enjoy first-mover advantages over us and may offer producers greater gathering and processing efficiencies, lower operating costs and more flexible commercial terms.

Our NGL supply and logistics business competes primarily with integrated major oil companies, refiners and processors, and other energy companies that own or control transportation and storage assets that can be optimized for supply, marketing and logistics services.

Natural gas storage and pipeline operators compete for customers primarily based on geographic location, which determines connectivity and proximity to supply sources and end-users, as well as price, operating reliability and flexibility, available capacity and service offerings. Our primary competitors in our natural gas storage market include other independent storage providers and major natural gas pipelines with storage capabilities embedded within their transmission systems. Our primary competitors in our natural gas transportation market include major natural gas pipelines and intrastate pipelines that can transport natural gas volumes between interstate systems. Long-haul pipelines often enjoy cost advantages over new pipeline projects with respect to options for delivering greater volumes to existing demand centers, and new projects and expansions proposed from time to time may serve the markets we serve and effectively displace the service we provide to customers.

Our crude oil rail terminals primarily compete with crude oil pipelines and other midstream companies that own and operate rail terminals in the markets we serve. The crude oil logistics business is characterized by strong competition for supplies, and competition is based largely on customer service quality, pricing, and geographic proximity to customers and other market hubs.

Our salt operations compete for customers primarily based on price and service. Because transportation costs are a material component of the costs borne by our customers, most of our customers are geographically located east of the Mississippi River.

Regulation

Our operations are subject to extensive regulation by federal, state and local authorities. The regulatory burden on our operations increases our cost of doing business and, in turn, impacts our profitability. In general, midstream companies have experienced increased regulatory oversight over the past few years, and we expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future.

Pipeline Safety

We are subject to pipeline safety regulations imposed by the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). PHMSA regulates safety requirements in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of jurisdictional natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline facilities. Currently, all of our natural gas pipelines used in gathering, storage and transportation activities are subject to regulation by PHMSA under the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968, as amended (NGPSA), and all of our NGL and crude oil pipelines used in gathering, storage and transportation activities are subject to regulation by PHMSA as hazardous liquids pipelines under the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act of 1979, as amended (HLPSA).

These federal statutes and PHMSA implementing regulations collectively impose numerous safety requirements on pipeline operators, such as the development of a written qualification program for individuals performing covered tasks on pipeline facilities and the implementation of pipeline integrity management programs. For example, pursuant to the authority under the NGPSA and HLPSA, PHMSA has promulgated regulations requiring pipeline operators to develop and implement integrity management programs for certain gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that, in the event of a pipeline leak or rupture could affect high-consequence areas, such as areas of high population and areas unusually sensitive to environmental damage. Integrity management programs require more frequent inspections and other preventative measures to ensure pipeline safety in high consequence areas.

We plan to continue testing under our pipeline integrity management programs to assess and maintain the integrity of our pipelines in accordance with PHMSA regulations. Notwithstanding our preventive and investigatory maintenance efforts, we may incur significant expenses if anomalous pipeline conditions are discovered or due to the implementation of more stringent pipeline safety standards resulting from new or amended legislation. For example, President Obama in January 2012 signed the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (Pipeline Safety Act), which requires increased safety measures for gas and hazardous liquids transportation pipelines. Among other things, the Pipeline Safety Act directs the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations relating to expanded integrity management requirements, automatic or remote-controlled valve use, excess flow valve use, leak detection system installation, testing to confirm the material strength

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of certain pipelines, and operator verification of records confirming the maximum allowable pressure of certain intrastate gas transmission pipelines. The 2011 Pipeline Safety Act also increases the maximum penalty for violation of pipeline safety regulations from $100,000 to $200,000 per violation per day and also from $1 million to $2 million for a related series of violations. The safety enhancement requirements and other provisions of the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act as well as any implementation of PHMSA regulations thereunder or any issuance or reinterpretation of guidance by PHMSA or any state agencies with respect thereto could require us to install new or modified safety controls, pursue additional capital projects or conduct maintenance programs on an accelerated basis, any or all of which tasks could result in our incurring increased operating costs that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.

Furthermore, PHMSA is considering changes to its natural gas transmission pipeline regulations to, among other things, expand the scope of high consequence areas, strengthen integrity management requirements applicable to existing operators; strengthen or expand non-integrity pipeline management standards relating to such matters as valve spacing, automatic or remotely-controlled valves, corrosion protection, and gathering lines; and add new regulations to govern the safety of underground natural gas storage facilities, including underground storage caverns and injection or withdrawal well piping that are not regulated today. We cannot predict the final outcome of these legislative or regulatory efforts or the precise impact that compliance with any resulting new safety requirements may have on our business.

Future developments, such as stricter environmental laws or regulations, or more stringent enforcement of existing requirements could directly affect our operations. For example, in January 2015, the Obama Administration announced plans for the EPA to issue final standards in 2016 that would reduce methane emissions from new and modified oil and natural gas production and natural gas processing and transmission facilities by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. In October 2015, the EPA reduced the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. State recommendations for area designations are due on October 1, 2016, and the EPA will finalize the designations by October 1, 2017. In matters that could have an indirect adverse effect on our business by decreasing demand for the services that we offer, the EPA and other federal and state agencies are conducting studies of potential adverse impacts that certain drilling methods (including hydraulic fracturing) may have on water quality and public health, whereas, Congress has considered, and several states have proposed or enacted, legislation or regulations imposing more stringent or costly requirements for exploration and production companies to develop and produce hydrocarbons.

States are largely preempted by federal law from regulating pipeline safety for interstate lines, but most are certified by the Department of Transportation to assume responsibility for enforcing federal intrastate pipeline regulations and inspection of intrastate pipelines. In practice, because states can adopt stricter standards for intrastate pipelines than those imposed by the federal government for interstate pipelines, states vary considerably in their authority and capacity to address pipeline safety. Our pipelines have operations and maintenance plans designed to keep the facilities in compliance with pipeline safety requirements, and we do not anticipate any significant difficulty in complying with applicable state laws and regulations.

Natural Gas Storage and Transportation

Our interstate natural gas storage and transportation operations are subject to regulation by the FERC under the Natural Gas Act, and two of our wholly owned subsidiaries (Stagecoach Pipeline and Arlington Storage) are regulated by the FERC as natural gas companies. Under the Natural Gas Act, the FERC has authority to regulate gas transportation services in interstate commerce, which includes natural gas storage services. The FERC exercises jurisdiction over rates charged for services and the terms and conditions of service; the certification and construction of new facilities; the extension or abandonment of services and facilities; the maintenance of accounts and records; the acquisition and disposition of facilities; standards of conduct between affiliated entities; and various other matters. Regulated natural gas companies are prohibited from charging rates determined by the FERC to be unjust, unreasonable, or unduly discriminatory, and both the existing tariff rates and the proposed rates of regulated natural gas companies are subject to challenge.

The rates and terms and conditions of our natural gas storage and transportation services are found in the FERC-approved tariffs of (i) Stagecoach Pipeline, the owner of the Stagecoach facility, the North-South Facilities and the MARC I Pipeline, (ii) Arlington Storage, the owner of the Thomas Corners, Seneca Lake and Steuben facilities, and (iii) Tres Palacios, the owner of the Tres Palacios facility. Stagecoach Pipeline, Arlington Storage and Tres Palacios are authorized to charge and collect market-based rates for storage services, and Stagecoach Pipeline is authorized to charge and collect negotiated rates for transportation services. Market-based and negotiated rate authority allows us to negotiate rates with individual customers based on market demand, which we then make public. A loss of market-based or negotiated rate authority or any successful complaint or protest against the rates charged or provided by Stagecoach Pipeline or Arlington Storage could have an adverse impact on our revenues.


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In addition, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Natural Gas Act to (i) prohibit market manipulation by any entity; (ii) direct the FERC to facilitate market transparency in the market for sale or transportation of physical natural gas in interstate commerce; and (iii) significantly increase the penalties for violations of the Natural Gas Act, the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, and FERC rules, regulations or orders thereunder. As a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the FERC has the authority to impose civil penalties for violations of these statutes and FERC rules, regulations and orders, up to $1 million per day per violation.

Our interstate natural gas storage operations are also subject to non-rate regulation by various state agencies. For example, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has jurisdiction over well drilling, conversion and plugging in New York.  The NYSDEC therefore regulates aspects of our Stagecoach, Thomas Corners, Seneca Lake and Steuben natural gas storage facilities.

Our intrastate pipeline in New York (the East Pipeline) is subject to lightened regulation under NYPSC regulations and policies. Lightened regulation generally exempts us from NYPSC regulation applicable to the provision of retail service. CPE, as the owner and operator of the East Pipeline, remains subject to limited corporate (e.g., obtaining approval prior to any transfer of its ownership interests or the issuance of debt securities) and operational and safety (e.g., filing of vegetation management plan) regulation established and maintained by the NYPSC.

Natural Gas Gathering

Natural gas gathering facilities are exempt from FERC jurisdiction under Section 1(b) of the Natural Gas Act. Although the FERC has not made formal determinations with respect to all of our facilities we consider to be gathering facilities, we believe that our natural gas pipelines meet the traditional tests that the FERC has used to determine that a pipeline is a gathering pipeline and is therefore not subject to FERC jurisdiction. The distinction between FERC-regulated transmission services and federally unregulated gathering services, however, has been the subject of substantial litigation, and the FERC determines whether facilities are gathering facilities on a case-by-case basis, so the classification and regulation of our gathering facilities is subject to change based on future determinations by the FERC, the courts or Congress. If the FERC were to consider the status of an individual facility and determine that the facility and/or services provided by it are not exempt from FERC regulation under the Natural Gas Act and the facility provides interstate service, the rates for, and terms and conditions of, services provided by such facility would be subject to regulation by the FERC under the Natural Gas Act or the Natural Gas Policy Act. Such regulation could decrease revenue, increase operating costs, and, depending upon the facility in question, could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows. In addition, if any of our facilities were found to have provided services or otherwise operated in violation of the Natural Gas Act or the Natural Gas Policy Act, this could result in the imposition of civil penalties as well as a requirement to disgorge charges collected for such service in excess of the rate established by the FERC.

States may regulate gathering pipelines. State regulation of gathering facilities generally includes various safety, environmental and, in some circumstances, requirements prohibiting undue discrimination, and in some instances complaint-based rate regulation. Our natural gas gathering operations may be subject to ratable take and common purchaser statutes in the states in which we operate. These statutes are designed to prohibit discrimination in favor of one producer over another producer or one source of supply over another source of supply, and they generally require our gathering pipelines to take natural gas without undue discrimination as to source of supply or producer. These statutes have the effect of restricting our right as an owner of gathering facilities to decide with whom we contract to purchase or transport natural gas.

The states in which we operate gathering systems have adopted a form of complaint-based regulation of natural gas gathering operations, which allows natural gas producers and shippers to file complaints with state regulators in an effort to resolve grievances relating to gathering access and rate discrimination. To date, these regulations have not had an adverse effect on our systems. We cannot predict whether such a complaint will be filed against us in the future, and failure to comply with state regulations can result in the imposition of administrative, civil and criminal remedies.

In Texas, we have filed with the Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) to establish rates and terms of service for certain of our pipelines. Our assets in Texas include intrastate common carrier NGL pipelines subject to the regulation of the TRCC, which requires that our NGL pipelines file tariff publications that contain all the rules and regulations governing the rates and charges for services we perform. NGL pipeline rates may be limited to provide no more than a fair return on the aggregate value of the pipeline property used to render services.


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NGL Storage

Our NGL storage terminals are subject primarily to state and local regulation. For example, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR) and the NYSDEC have jurisdiction over the underground storage of NGLs and well drilling, conversion and plugging in Indiana and New York, respectively. Thus, the INDNR regulates aspects of our Seymour facility, and the NYSDEC regulates aspects of the Bath facility and our proposed storage facility near Watkins Glen.

We filed an application with the NYSDEC in October 2009 for an underground storage permit for our Watkins Glen NGL storage development project. The agency issued a Positive Declaration for the project in November 2010, determined in August 2011 that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement we submitted for the project was complete, and held public hearings on the project in September and November 2011. In early 2012, based on concerns expressed by interested stakeholders and conversations with NYSDEC staff, we informed the agency that we would reduce our environmental footprint and modified our brine pond design. In September 2012, we submitted to the NYSDEC final drawings and plans for our revised project design. In August 2014, the NYDEC announced that it would convene an issues conference to determine if there are any significant issues that require an adjudicatory hearing. The issues conference was held in mid-February 2015, and we are awaiting a ruling from the presiding administrative law judge on whether additional hearings are required for any of the technical issues addressed at the issues conference. We continue to pursue the approvals required to construct our proposed NGL storage facility near Watkins Glen, New York but we cannot predict with certainty if and when the permitting process will be concluded.

Crude Oil Transportation

The transportation of crude oil by common carrier pipelines on an interstate basis is subject to regulation by the FERC under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and the rules and regulations promulgated under those laws. FERC regulations require interstate common carrier petroleum pipelines to file with the FERC and publicly post tariffs stating their interstate transportation rates and terms and conditions of service. The ICA and FERC regulations also require that such rates be just and reasonable, and to be applied in a non-discriminatory manner and to not confer undue preference upon any shipper. The transportation of crude oil by common carrier pipelines on an intrastate is subject to regulation by state regulatory commissions. The basis for intrastate crude oil pipeline regulation, and the degree of regulatory oversight and scrutiny given to intrastate crude oil pipeline rates, varies from state to state. Intrastate common carriers must also offer service to all shippers requesting service on the same terms and under the same rates. Our crude oil pipelines in North Dakota are not common carrier pipelines and, therefore, are not subject to rate regulation by the FERC or any state regulatory commission.

Certain of our crude oil operations located in North Dakota are subject to state regulation by the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC). For example, gas conditioning requirements established by the NDIC recently will require operators of crude by rail terminals to report to the NDIC any crude volumes received for loading that exceed federal vapor pressure limits. State legislation has been proposed that, if passed, would authorize and require the NDIC to promulgate regulations under which produced water pipelines would be required to, among other things, install leak detection facilities and post bonds to cover potential remediation costs associated with releases. Moreover, the regulation of our customers' production activities by the NDIC impacts our operations. For example, on July 1, 2014, the NDIC issued an order pursuant to which the agency adopted legally enforceable “gas capture percentage goals” targeting the capture of certain percentages of natural gas produced in the state by specified dates. Exploration and production operators in the state may be required to install new equipment to satisfy these goals, and any failure by operators subject to the legal requirements to meet these gas capture percentage goals would subject those operators to production restrictions, which developments could reduce the amount of commodities we gather on the Arrow system from those operators who are our customers and have a corresponding adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Portions of our Arrow gathering system, which is located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, are subject to regulation by the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation (MHA Nation). An entirely separate and distinct set of laws and regulations applies to operators and other parties within the boundaries of Native American reservations in the United States. Various federal agencies within the U.S. Department of the Interior, particularly the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the EPA, together with each Native American tribe, promulgate and enforce regulations pertaining to oil and gas operations on Native American reservations. These regulations include lease provisions, environmental standards, Tribal employment contractor preferences and numerous other matters.

Native American tribes are subject to various federal statutes and oversight by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and BLM. However, each Native American tribe is a sovereign nation and has the right to enact and enforce certain other laws and regulations entirely independent from federal, state and local statutes and regulations, as long as they do not supersede or conflict with such federal statutes. These tribal laws and regulations include various fees, taxes, requirements to employ Native

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American tribal members or use tribal owned service businesses and numerous other conditions that apply to lessees, operators and contractors conducting operations within the boundaries of a Native American reservation. Further, lessees and operators within a Native American reservation are often subject to the Native American tribal court system, unless there is a specific waiver of sovereign immunity by the Native American tribe allowing resolution of disputes between the Native American tribe and those lessees or operators to occur in federal or state court.

We are therefore subject to various laws and regulations pertaining to Native American oil and gas leases, fees, taxes and other burdens, obligations and issues unique to oil and gas operations within Native American reservations. One or more of these Native American requirements, or delays in obtaining necessary approvals or permits necessary to operate on tribal lands pursuant to these regulations, may increase our costs of doing business on Native American tribal lands and have an impact on the economic viability of any well or project on those lands.

PHMSA is currently reviewing the adequacy of Bakken crude laboratory testing measures used to determine the packaging group selection for shipment of crude by rail. PHMSA's objective is to confirm that crude being offered for shipment by rail has been properly classified and characterized to ensure the safe transport to end users.  We, as the owner of a Bakken crude loading terminal, are providing input as this review process progresses through multiple agencies and organizations. 
Supply and Logistics

The transportation of crude oil and NGLs by truck is subject to regulations promulgated under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. These regulations, which are administered by the DOT, cover the transportation of hazardous materials.

IRS Audit

On April 9, 2015, the IRS completed their examination of our 2011 partnership tax return and issued a No Adjustment Letter to us.

Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Matters

Our operations are subject to stringent federal, regional, state and local laws and regulations governing the discharge and emission of pollutants into the environment, environmental protection, or occupational health and safety. These laws and regulations may impose significant obligations on our operations, including the need to obtain permits to conduct regulated activities; restrict the types, quantities and concentration of materials that can be released into the environment; apply workplace health and safety standards for the benefit of employees; require remedial activities or corrective actions to mitigate pollution from former or current operations; and impose substantial liabilities on us for pollution resulting from our operations. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of sanctions, including administrative, civil and criminal penalties; the imposition of investigatory, remedial and corrective action obligations or the incurrence of capital expenditures; the occurrence of delays in the development of projects; and the issuance of injunctions restricting or prohibiting some or all of the activities in a particular area.

The following is a summary of the more significant existing federal environmental laws and regulations, each as amended from time to time, to which our business operations are subject:
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, a remedial statute that imposes strict liability on generators, transporters and arrangers of hazardous substances at sites where hazardous substance releases have occurred or are threatening to occur;
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which governs the treatment, storage and disposal of solid wastes, including hazardous wastes;
The Clean Air Act, which restricts the emission of air pollutants from many sources and imposes various pre-construction, monitoring and reporting requirements;
The Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the federal Clean Water Act, which regulates discharges of pollutants from facilities to state and federal waters;
The Safe Drinking Water Act, which ensures the quality of the nation's public drinking water through adoption of drinking water standards and controlling the injection of substances into below-ground formations that may adversely affect drinking water sources;

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The National Environmental Policy Act, which requires federal agencies to evaluate major agency actions having the potential to significantly impact the environment and which may require the preparation of Environmental Assessments and more detailed Environmental Impact Statements that may be made available for public review and comment;
The Endangered Species Act, which restricts activities that may affect federally identified endangered and threatened species or their habitats through the implementation of operating restrictions or a temporary, seasonal, or permanent ban in affected areas; and
The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which establishes workplace standards for the protection of the health and safety of employees, including the implementation of hazard communications programs designed to inform employees about hazardous substances in the workplace, potential harmful effects of these substances, and appropriate control measures.
Certain of these environmental laws impose strict, joint and several liability for costs required to clean up and restore properties where pollutants have been released regardless of whom may have caused the harm or whether the activity was performed in compliance with all applicable laws. In the course of our operations, generated materials or wastes may have been spilled or released from properties owned or leased by us or on or under other locations where these materials or wastes have been taken for recycling or disposal. In addition, many of the properties owned or leased by us were previously operated by third parties whose management, disposal or release of materials and wastes was not under our control. Accordingly, we may be liable for the costs of cleaning up or remediating contamination arising out of our operations or as a result of activities by others who previously occupied or operated on properties now owned or leased by us. Private parties, including the owners of properties that we lease and facilities where our materials or wastes are taken for recycling or disposal, may also have the right to pursue legal actions to enforce compliance as well as to seek damages for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations or for personal injury or property or natural resource damages. We may not be able to recover some or any of these additional costs from insurance.

During 2014, we experienced three releases on our Arrow produced water gathering system. Approximately 28,000 barrels of produced water were released on lands within the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. We have substantially completed our remediation efforts for the 2014 spills subject to approval by the MHA Nation and the applicable regulatory agencies. In May 2015, we experienced a release of approximately 5,200 barrels of produced water on our Arrow water gathering system. We have also notified our insurance carriers of the releases under our environmental policies and we believe our remediation costs will be recoverable under our insurance policies.

In October 2014, we received data requests from the EPA related to the 2014 water releases, and we responded to the requests during the first half of 2015. In April 2015, the EPA issued a Notice of Potential Violation (NOPV) under the Clean Water Act relating to the 2014 water releases. We responded to the NOPV in May 2015, and have commenced settlement discussion with the EPA concerning the NOPV. On March 3, 2015, we received a grand jury subpoena from the United States Attorney’s Office in Bismarck, North Dakota, seeking documents and information relating to the largest of the three 2014 water releases, and we provided the requested information during the second quarter of 2015. In August 2015, we received a notice of violation from the Three Affiliated Tribes' Environmental Division related to our 2014 produced water releases on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The notice of violation imposes fines and requests reimbursements exceeding $1.1 million; however, the notice of violation was stayed on September 15, 2015, upon our posting of a performance bond for the amount contemplated by the notice and pending the outcome of ongoing settlement discussions with the regulatory agencies asserting jurisdiction over the 2014 produced water releases. We cannot predict what the outcome of these investigations will be.

We own a propane storage and distribution facility in Seymour, Indiana. On May 15, 2014, the EPA issued a request relating to our compliance with the chemical accident prevention provision at the facility.  We responded to the request on August 6, 2014, and at EPA’s request, we submitted additional documentation of compliance on January 30, 2015.  We entered into a consent agreement and final order with the EPA and paid a civil penalty of approximately $0.3 million in December 2015.

Employees

As of February 1, 2016, we had 1,300 full-time employees, 302 of which were general and administrative employees and 998 of which were operational. As of February 1, 2016, US Salt had 126 employees, 99 of which are members of a labor union. We believe that our relationship with our employees (including union labor) is satisfactory.


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Available Information

Our website is located at www.crestwoodlp.com. We make available, free of charge, on or through our website our annual reports on Form 10-K, which include our audited financial statements, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as we electronically file such material with the SEC. These documents are also available, free of charge, at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. In addition, copies of these documents, excluding exhibits, may be requested at no cost by contacting Investor Relations, Crestwood Equity Partners LP or Crestwood Midstream Partners LP, 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 2550, Houston, Texas 77002, and our telephone number is (832) 519-2200.

We also make available within the “Corporate Governance” section of our website our corporate governance guidelines, the charter of our Audit Committee and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Requests for copies may be directed in writing to Crestwood Equity Partners LP, 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 2550, Houston, Texas 77002, Attention: General Counsel. Interested parties may contact the chairperson of any of our Board committees, our Board's independent directors as a group or our full Board in writing by mail to Crestwood Equity Partners LP, 700 Louisiana Street, Suite 2550, Houston, Texas 77002, Attention: General Counsel. All such communications will be delivered to the director or directors to whom they are addressed.



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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Risks Inherent in Our Business

Our business depends on hydrocarbon supply and demand fundamentals, which can be adversely affected by numerous factors outside of our control.

Our success depends on the supply and demand for natural gas, NGLs and crude oil, which has historically generated the need for new or expanded midstream infrastructure . The degree to which our business is impacted by changes in supply or demand varies. Our business can be negatively impacted by sustained downturns in supply and demand for one or more commodities, including reductions in our ability to renew contracts on favorable terms and to construct new infrastructure. For example, in 2015, significantly lower commodity prices have resulted in an industry-wide reduction in capital expenditures by producers and a slowdown in drilling, completion and supply development efforts. This trend has continued in 2016. Notwithstanding this market downturn, production volumes of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs have continued to grow (or decline at a slower rate than expected). Similarly major factors that will impact natural gas demand domestically will be the realization of potential liquefied natural gas exports and demand growth within the power generation market. Factors expected to impact crude oil demand include the recent lifting of the crude oil export ban in 2015. In addition, the supply and demand for natural gas, NGLs and crude oil for our business will depend on many other factors outside of our control, some of which include:

adverse changes in general global economic conditions;
adverse changes in domestic regulations that could impact the supply or demand for oil and gas;
technological advancements that may drive further increases in production and reduction in costs of developing shale plays;
competition from imported supplies and alternate fuels;
commodity price changes, including the recent decline in crude oil and natural gas prices, that could negatively impact the supply of, or the demand for these products;
increased costs to explore for, develop, produce, gather, process or transport commodities;
adoption of various energy efficiency and conservation measures; and
perceptions of customers on the availability and price volatility of our services, particularly customers’ perceptions on the volatility of commodity prices over the longer-term.

If volatility and seasonality in the oil and gas industry decrease, because of increased production capacity or otherwise, the demand for our services and the prices that we will be able to charge for those services may decline. In addition to volatility and seasonality, an extended period of low commodity prices, as the industry is currently experiencing, could adversely impact storage and transportation values for some period of time until market conditions adjust. The duration and magnitude of the recent decline in oil prices cannot be predicted. These commodity price impacts could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Our future growth may be limited if commodity prices remain low, resulting in a prolonged period of reduced midstream infrastructure development and service requirements to customers.

Our business strategy depends on our ability to provide increased services to our customers and develop growth projects that can be financed appropriately. We may be unable to complete successful, accretive growth projects for any of the following reasons, among others:
 
we fail to identify (or we are outbid for) attractive expansion or development projects or acquisition candidates that satisfy our economic and other criteria;
we fail to secure adequate customer commitments to use the facilities to be developed, expanded or acquired; or
we cannot obtain governmental approvals or other rights, licenses or consents needed to complete such projects or acquisitions on time or on budget, if at all.

The development and construction of gathering, processing, storage and transportation facilities involves numerous regulatory, environmental, safety, political and legal uncertainties beyond our control and may require the expenditure of significant amounts of capital. When we undertake these projects, they may not be completed on schedule, at the budgeted cost or at all. Moreover, our revenues may not increase immediately upon the expenditure of funds on a particular growth project. For instance, if we build a new gathering system or transmission pipeline, the construction may occur over an extended period of time and we will not receive material increases in revenues until the project is placed in service. Accordingly, if we do pursue growth projects, we can provide no assurances that our efforts will provide a platform for additional growth for our company.


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Our ability to finance new growth projects and make capital expenditures may be limited by our access to the capital markets or ability to raise investment capital at a cost of capital that allows for accretive midstream investments.

Since 2014, the significant decline in energy commodity prices has led to an increased concern by energy investors regarding the future outlook for the industry. This has resulted in a historic decline in equity and debt valuations in the publicly traded capital markets as well as increased trading volatility. As a result, our publicly traded common units and unsecured debt have substantially decreased in value with a corresponding increase in yield resulting in a higher cost of capital than we have historically experienced. Our growth strategy depends on our ability to identify, develop and contract for new growth projects and raise the investment capital, at a reasonable cost of capital, required to generate accretive returns from the growth project. This trend may continue and could negatively impact our ability to grow for any of the following reasons:

access to the public equity and debt markets for partnerships of similar size to us may limit our ability to raise new equity and debt capital to finance new growth projects;
if the current downturn persists, based on current market conditions, it is unlikely that we could issue equity or debt at costs of capital that would enable us to invest in new growth projects on an accretive basis; or
we cannot raise financing for such projects or acquisitions on economically acceptable terms.

The growth projects we complete may not perform as anticipated.

Even if we complete growth projects that we believe will be strategic and accretive, such projects may nevertheless reduce our cash available for distribution due to the following factors, among others:
 
mistaken assumptions about capacity, revenues, synergies, costs (including operating and administrative, capital, debt and equity costs), customer demand, growth potential, assumed liabilities and other factors;
the failure to receive cash flows from a growth project or newly acquired asset due to delays in the commencement of operations for any reason;
unforeseen operational issues or the realization of liabilities that were not known to us at the time the acquisition or growth project was completed;
the inability to attract new customers or retain acquired customers to the extent assumed in connection with an acquisition or growth project;
the failure to successfully integrate growth projects or acquired assets or businesses into our operations and/or the loss of key employees; or
the impact of regulatory, environmental, political and legal uncertainties that are beyond our control.
 
In particular, we may construct facilities to capture anticipated future growth in production and/or demand in a region in which such growth does not materialize. As a result, new facilities may not be able to attract enough throughput to achieve our expected investment return, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions.

If we complete future growth projects, our capitalization and results of operations may change significantly, and you will not have the opportunity to evaluate the economic, financial and other relevant information that we will consider in determining the application of these funds and other resources. If any growth projects we ultimately complete are not accretive to our cash available for distribution, our ability to make distributions may be reduced.
 
We may rely upon third-party assets to operate our facilities, and we could be negatively impacted by circumstances beyond our control that temporarily or permanently interrupt the operation of such third-party assets.

Certain of our operations depend on assets owned and controlled by third parties to operate effectively. For example, (i) certain of our “rich gas” gathering systems depend on interconnections and processing plants owned by third parties for us to move gas off our systems; (ii) our crude oil gathering systems depend on third-party pipelines to move crude to demand markets or rail terminals and our crude oil rail terminals depend on railroad companies to move our customers’ crude oil to market; and (iii) our natural gas storage facilities rely on third-party interconnections and pipelines to receive and deliver natural gas. Since we do not own or operate these third-party facilities, their continuing operation is outside of our control. If third-party facilities become unavailable or constrained, or other downstream facilities utilized to move our customers’ product to their end destination become unavailable, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and ability to make distributions.


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In addition, the rates charged by processing plants, pipelines and other facilities interconnected to our assets affect the utilization and value of our services. Significant changes in the rates charged by these third parties, or the rates charged by the third parties that own “downstream” assets required to move commodities to their final destinations, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions.

We depend on a limited number of customers for a substantial portion of our revenues.

We generate a substantial portion of our gathering revenues from a limited number of oil and gas producers. Given the current low commodity price environment and its anticipated impact on shale production, we expect certain of our producer customers to experience declining cash flows and increased leverage. As a result, we expect many of our producer customers to reduce capital spending and/or shut in production for economic reasons which could result in lower revenues for us. In the event these market conditions persist, this could lead to the loss of a significant customer which could also cause a significant decline in our revenues.

For example, our gathering and processing systems are integral to Quicksilver's operations in the Barnett Shale. In March 2015, Quicksilver filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and shut in production of certain wells in conjunction with that filing. As a result of the bankruptcy process, in January 2016, Quicksilver executed an asset purchase agreement with a third party for the sale of its U.S. oil and gas assets. The sale is expected to close on March 31, 2016, pending certain closing conditions. On February 5, 2016, Quicksilver filed a motion to reject its gathering agreements with us. We filed an objection to this motion on February 26, 2016 and a hearing is scheduled in Delaware on March 4, 2016. We are in discussions with the third party regarding those agreements. There is no assurance that we will be able to renegotiate the gathering agreements at acceptable rates or at all. Any such renegotiation or rejection could have a material adverse effect on our gathering and processing revenues and cash flows. We continue to provide services to Quicksilver, and the outcome of its restructuring process could have a significant impact on our G&P segment's results.

Declines in natural gas, NGL or crude prices could adversely affect our business.

Energy commodity prices have declined substantially since 2014 due to a wide range of factors, including a continuing growth of supply, slowdown or decline in demand, and challenges in economic, financial and monetary markets. Sustained low natural gas, NGL or crude oil prices have recently negatively impacted natural gas and oil exploration and production activity levels industry-wide and in the areas we operate. A continued slowdown in activity can result in a decline in the production of hydrocarbons over time, resulting in reduced throughput on our systems, plants, trucks and terminals. Such a decline could also potentially affect the ability of our customers to continue their operations. As a result, sustained low natural gas and crude oil prices could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. In general, the prices of natural gas, oil, condensate, NGLs and other hydrocarbon products fluctuate in response to changes in supply and demand, market uncertainty and a variety of additional factors that are beyond our control.

Our gathering and processing operations depend, in part, on drilling and production decisions of others.

Our gathering and processing operations are dependent on the continued availability of natural gas and crude oil production. We have no control over the level of drilling activity in our areas of operation, the amount of reserves associated with wells connected to our systems, or the rate at which production from a well declines. Our gathering systems are connected to wells whose production will naturally decline over time, which means that our cash flows associated with these wells will decline over time. To maintain or increase throughput levels on our gathering systems and utilization rates at our natural gas processing plants, we must continually obtain new natural gas and crude oil supplies. Our ability to obtain additional sources of natural gas and crude oil primarily depends on the level of successful drilling activity near our systems, our ability to compete for volumes from successful new wells, and our ability to expand our system capacity as needed. If we are not able to obtain new supplies of natural gas and crude oil to replace the natural decline in volumes from existing wells, throughput on our gathering and processing facilities would decline, which could have a material adverse affect on our results of operations and distributable cash flow.
 
Although we have acreage dedications from customers that include certain producing and non-producing oil and gas properties, our customers are not contractually required to develop the reserves and or properties they have dedicated to us. We have no control over producers or their drilling and production decisions in our areas of operations, which are affected by, among other things, (i) the availability and cost of capital; (ii) prevailing and projected commodity prices; (iii) demand for natural gas, NGLs and crude oil, (iv) levels of reserves and geological considerations, (v) governmental regulations, including the availability of drilling permits and the regulation of hydraulic fracturing; and (vi) the availability of drilling rigs and other development services. Fluctuations in energy prices can also greatly affect the development of oil and gas reserves. Drilling and production activity generally decreases as commodity prices decrease, and sustained declines in commodity prices could

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lead to a material decrease in such activity. Because of these factors, even if oil and gas reserves are known to exist in areas served by our assets, producers may choose not to develop those reserves. Reductions in exploration or production activity in our areas of operations could lead to reduced utilization of our systems.

Estimates of oil and gas reserves depend on many assumptions that may turn out to be inaccurate, and future volumes on our gathering systems may be less than anticipated.

We normally do not obtain independent evaluations of natural gas or crude oil reserves connected to our gathering systems. We therefore do not have independent estimates of total reserves dedicated to our systems or the anticipated life of such reserves. It often takes producers longer periods of time to determine how to efficiently develop and produce hydrocarbons from unconventional shale plays than conventional basins, which can result in lower volumes becoming available as soon as expected in the shale plays in which we operate. If the total reserves or estimated life of the reserves connected to our gathering systems is less than anticipated and we are unable to secure additional sources of natural gas or crude oil, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We are exposed to credit risks of our customers, and any material nonpayment or nonperformance by our key customers could adversely affect our cash flows and results of operations.

Many of our customers may experience financial problems that could have a significant effect on their creditworthiness. Severe financial problems encountered by our customers could limit our ability to collect amounts owed to us, or to enforce performance of obligations under contractual arrangements. In addition, many of our customers finance their activities through cash flows from operations, the incurrence of debt or the issuance of equity. The combination of the reduction of cash flows resulting from declines in commodity prices, a reduction in borrowing bases under reserve-based credit facility and the lack of availability of debt or equity financing may result in a significant reduction of customers' liquidity and limit their ability to make payments or perform on their obligations to us. Furthermore, some of our customers may be highly leveraged and subject to their own operating and regulatory risks, which increases the risk that they may default on their obligations to us. Financial problems experienced by our customers could result in the impairment of our assets, reduction of our operating cash flows and may also reduce or curtail their future use of our products and services, which could reduce our revenues.

Our marketing, supply and logistics operations are seasonal and generally have lower cash flows in certain periods during the year, which may require us to borrow money to fund our working capital needs of these businesses.

The natural gas liquids inventory we pre-sell to our customers is higher during the second and third quarters of a given year, and our cash receipts during that period are lower. As a result, we may have to borrow money to fund the working capital needs of our marketing, supply and logistics operations during those periods. Any restrictions on our ability to borrow money could impact our ability to pay quarterly distributions to our unitholders.

Counterparties to our commodity derivative and physical purchase and sale contracts in our marketing, supply and logistics operations may not be able to perform their obligations to us, which could materially affect our cash flows and results of operations.

We encounter risk of counterparty non-performance in our marketing, supply and logistics operations. Disruptions in the price or supply of NGLs for an extended or near term period of time could result in counterparty defaults on our derivative and physical purchase and sale contracts. This could impair our expected earnings from the derivative or physical sales contracts, our ability to obtain supply to fulfill our sales delivery commitments or our ability to obtain supply at reasonable prices, which could result adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Our marketing, supply and logistics operations are subject to commodity risk, basis risk, or risk of adverse market conditions which can adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We attempt to lock in a margin for a portion of the commodities we purchase by selling such commodities for physical delivery to our customers or by entering into future delivery obligations under contracts for forward sale. Through these transactions, we seek to maintain a position that is substantially balanced between purchases, and sales or future delivery obligations. Any event that disrupts our anticipated physical supply of commodities could expose us to risk of loss resulting from the need to fulfill our obligations required under contracts for forward sale. Basis risk describes the inherent market price risk created when a commodity of certain grade or location is purchased, sold or exchanged as compared to a purchase, sale or exchange of a like commodity at a different time or place. Transportation costs and timing differentials are components of basis risk. In a backwardated market (when prices for future deliveries are lower than current prices), basis risk is created with respect to timing. In these instances, physical inventory generally loses value as the price of such physical inventory declines over time.

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Basis risk cannot be entirely eliminated, and basis exposure, particularly in backwardated or other adverse market conditions, can adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in future business conditions could cause recorded long-lived assets and goodwill to become further impaired, and our financial condition and results of operations could suffer if there is an additional impairment of long-lived assets and goodwill.

We continually monitor our business, the business environment and the performance of our operations to determine if an event has occurred that indicates that a long-lived asset may be impaired. If an event occurs, which is a determination that involves judgment, we may be required to utilize cash flow projections to assess our ability to recover the carrying value of our assets based on our long-lived assets’ ability to generate future cash flows on an undiscounted basis. This differs from our evaluation of goodwill, which is evaluated for impairment annually on December 31, and whenever events indicate that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit could be less than the carrying amount. This evaluation requires us to compare the fair value of each of our reporting units primarily utilizing discounted cash flows, to its carrying value (including goodwill). If the fair value exceeds the carrying value amount, goodwill of the reporting unit is not considered impaired.

Under GAAP, during the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, we were required to record $2,217.8 million, $82.0 million and $4.1 million of long-lived asset and goodwill impairments related to certain of our reporting units because changes in circumstances or events (of which one of the several indicators of impairment was considered jointly is a significant and other than temporary decrease in our market capitalization) indicated that the carrying values of such assets exceeded their fair value and were not recoverable.

Our long-lived assets and goodwill impairment analyses are sensitive to changes in key assumptions used in our analysis, such as expected future cash flows, the degree of volatility in equity and debt markets and our unit price. If the assumptions used in our analysis are not realized, it is possible a material impairment charge may need to be recorded in the future. We cannot accurately predict the amount and timing of any impairment of long-lived assets or goodwill. Further, as we work toward a turnaround of our business, we will need to continue to evaluate the carrying value of our goodwill. Any additional impairment charges that we may take in the future could be material to our results of operations and financial condition. For a further discussion of our long-lived assets and goodwill impairments, see Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 2.

Our industry is highly competitive, and increased competitive pressure could adversely affect our ability to execute our growth strategy.

We compete with other energy midstream enterprises, some of which are much larger and have significantly greater financial resources or operating experience, in our areas of operation. Our competitors may expand or construct infrastructure that creates additional competition for the services we provide to customers. Our ability to renew or replace existing contracts with our customers at rates sufficient to maintain current revenues and cash flow could be adversely affected by the activities of our competitors and our customers. All of these competitive pressures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to make distributions.

Our level of indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund operations, limit our ability to react to changes in our business or industry, and place us at a competitive disadvantage.

We had approximately $2.5 billion of long-term debt outstanding as of December 31, 2015. Our inability to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy debt obligations or to obtain alternative financing could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and business prospects.

Our substantial debt could have important consequences to our unitholders. For example, it could:

increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

limit our ability to fund future capital expenditures and working capital, to engage in development activities, or to otherwise realize the value of our assets and opportunities fully because of the need to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments of interest and principal on our debt or to comply with any restrictive covenants or terms of our debt;

result in an event of default if we fail to satisfy debt obligations or fail to comply with the financial and other restrictive covenants contained in the agreements governing our indebtedness, which event of default could result in

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all of our debt becoming immediately due and payable and could permit our lenders to foreclose on any of the collateral securing such debt;

require a substantial portion of cash flow from operations to be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on our indebtedness, therefore reducing our ability to use cash flow to fund operations, capital expenditures and future business opportunities;

increase our cost of borrowing;

restrict us from making strategic acquisitions or causing us to make non-strategic divestitures;

limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business or industry in which we operate, placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our peers who are less highly leveraged and who therefore may be able to take advantage of opportunities that our leverage prevents us from exploring; and

impair our ability to obtain additional financing in the future.

Realization of any of these factors could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Restrictions in our revolving credit facility could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions.
 
Our revolving credit facility contains various covenants and restrictive provisions that will limit our ability to, among other things:
 
incur additional debt;
make distributions on or redeem or repurchase units;
make certain investments and acquisitions;
incur or permit certain liens to exist;
enter into certain types of transactions with affiliates;
merge, consolidate or amalgamate with another company; and
transfer or otherwise dispose of assets.
 
Furthermore, our revolving credit facility contains covenants which requires us to maintain certain financial ratios such as (i) a net debt to consolidated EBITDA ratio (as defined in the credit agreement) of not more than 5.50 to 1.0; (ii) a consolidated EBITDA to consolidated interest expense ratio (as defined in our credit agreement) of not less than 2.50 to 1.00, and (ii) a senior secured leverage ratio (as defined in its credit agreement) of not more than 3.75 to 1.00.

Borrowings under our revolving credit facility are secured by pledges of the equity interests of, and guarantees by, substantially all of our restricted domestic subsidiaries, and liens on substantially all of our real property (outside of New York) and personal property.

The provisions of our credit agreement may affect our ability to obtain future financing and pursue attractive business opportunities and our flexibility in planning for, and reacting to, changes in business conditions. In addition, a failure to comply with the provisions of our revolving credit facility could result in events of default, which could enable our lenders, subject to the terms and conditions of credit agreement, to declare any outstanding principal of that debt, together with accrued interest, to be immediately due and payable. If the payment of any such debt is accelerated, our assets may be insufficient to repay such debt in full, and the holders of our common units could experience a partial or total loss of their investment.

A change of control could result in us facing substantial repayment obligations under our revolving credit facility and senior notes.

Our credit agreement and indentures contain provisions relating to change of control of Crestwood Equity's general partner, Crestwood Equity, and the general partner of Crestwood Midstream. If these provisions are triggered, our outstanding indebtedness may become due. In such an event, there is no assurance that we would be able to pay the indebtedness, in which case the lenders under the revolving credit facility would have the right to foreclose on our assets and holders of our senior notes would be entitled to require us to repurchase all or a portion of our notes at a purchase price equal to 101% of the principal amount thereof, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of such repurchase, which would have a material adverse effect on us. There is no restriction on our ability or the ability of Crestwood Equity's general partner or its parent

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companies to enter into a transaction which would trigger the change of control provision. In certain circumstances, the control of our general partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent, and this may be considered a change in control under our revolving credit facility and senior notes. Please read "The control of our general partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent."

Our ability to make cash distributions may be diminished, and our financial leverage could increase, if we are not able to obtain needed capital or financing on satisfactory terms.

Historically, we have used cash flow from operations, borrowings under our revolving credit facilities and issuances of debt or equity to fund our capital programs, working capital needs and acquisitions. Our capital program may require additional financing above the level of cash generated by our operations to fund growth. If our cash flow from operations decreases as a result of lower throughput volumes on our systems or otherwise, our ability to expend the capital necessary to expand our business or increase our future cash distributions may be limited. If our cash flow from operations is insufficient to satisfy our financing needs, we cannot be certain that additional financing will be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all. Our ability to obtain bank financing or to access the capital markets for future equity or debt offerings may be limited by our financial condition or general economic conditions at the time of any such financing or offering. Even if we are successful in obtaining the necessary funds, the terms of such financings could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions to our unitholders. Further, incurring additional debt may significantly increase our interest expense and financial leverage and issuing additional limited partner interests may result in significant unitholder dilution and would increase the aggregate amount of cash required to maintain the cash distribution rate which could materially decrease our ability to pay distributions. If additional capital resources are unavailable, we may curtail our activities or be forced to sell some of our assets on an untimely or unfavorable basis.

Increases in interest rates could adversely impact our unit price, ability to issue equity or incur debt for acquisitions or other purposes, and ability to make payments on our debt obligations.

Interest rates may increase in the future. As a result, interest rates on future credit facilities and debt offerings could be higher than current levels, causing our financing costs to increase accordingly. Therefore, changes in interest rates either positive or negative, may affect the yield requirements of investors who invest in our units, and a rising interest rate environment could have an adverse impact on our unit price and our ability to issue equity or incur debt for acquisitions or other purposes and to make payments on our debt obligations.

The loss of key personnel could adversely affect our ability to operate.

Our success is dependent upon the efforts of our senior management team, as well as on our ability to attract and retain both executives and employees for our field operations. Our senior executives have significant experience in the oil and gas industry and have developed strong relationships with a broad range of industry participants. The loss of these executives, or the loss of key field employees operating in competitive markets, could prevent us from implementing our business strategy and could have a material adverse effect on our customer relationships, results of operations and ability to make distributions.

We operate in the PRB Niobrara and the Texas Gulf Coast through joint ventures that may limit our operational flexibility.

Our operations in the PRB Niobrara and our storage operations in the Texas Gulf Coast market are conducted through joint venture arrangements (including the Jackalope and PRBIC joint ventures in the PRB Niobrara and our Tres Palacios joint venture in the Texas Gulf Coast market), and we may enter additional joint ventures in the future. In a joint venture arrangement, we could have less operational flexibility, as actions must be taken in accordance with the applicable governing provisions of the joint venture. In certain cases, we:

could have limited ability to influence or control certain day to day activities affecting the operations;
could have limited control on the amount of capital expenditures that we are required to fund with respect to these operations;
could be dependent on third parties to fund their required share of capital expenditures;
may be subject to restrictions or limitations on our ability to sell or transfer our interests in the jointly owned assets; and
may be forced to offer rights of participation to other joint venture participants in certain areas of mutual interest.

In addition, our joint venture participants may have obligations that are important to the success of the joint venture, such as the obligation to pay substantial carried costs pertaining to the joint venture and to pay their share of capital and other costs of the joint venture. The performance and ability of the third parties to satisfy their obligations under joint venture arrangements is

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outside of our control. If these parties do not satisfy their obligations, our business may be adversely affected. Our joint venture partners may be in a position to take actions contrary to our instructions or requests or contrary to our policies or objectives, and disputes between us and our joint venture partners may result in delays, litigation or operational impasses. The risks described above or the failure to continue our joint ventures or to resolve disagreements with our joint venture partners could adversely affect our ability to conduct business that is the subject of a joint venture, which could in turn negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We may not be able to renew or replace expiring contracts.
 
Our primary exposure to market risk occurs at the time our existing contracts expire and are subject to renegotiation and renewal. As of December 31, 2015, the weighted average remaining term of (i) our consolidated portfolio of natural gas storage and transportation contracts is approximately two years, (ii) our consolidated portfolio of natural gas gathering contracts is approximately 10 years, and (iii) our consolidated portfolio of crude oil gathering contracts is approximately three years. The extension or replacement of existing contracts depends on a number of factors beyond our control, including:

the macroeconomic factors affecting natural gas, NGL and crude economics for our current and potential customers;
the level of existing and new competition to provide services to our markets;
the balance of supply and demand, on a short-term, seasonal and long-term basis, in our markets;
the extent to which the customers in our markets are willing to contract on a long-term basis; and
the effects of federal, state or local regulations on the contracting practices of our customers.

Any failure to extend or replace a significant portion of our existing contracts, or extending or replacing them at unfavorable or lower rates, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions.
 
The fees we charge to customers under our contracts may not escalate sufficiently to cover our cost increases, and those contracts may be suspended in some circumstances.
 
Our costs may increase at a rate greater than the rate that the fees we charge to third parties increase pursuant to our contracts with them. In addition, some third parties’ obligations under their agreements with us may be permanently or temporarily reduced upon the occurrence of certain events, some of which are beyond our control, including force majeure events wherein the supply of natural gas or crude oil is curtailed or cut off. Force majeure events generally include, without limitation, revolutions, wars, acts of enemies, embargoes, import or export restrictions, strikes, lockouts, fires, storms, floods, acts of God, explosions, mechanical or physical failures of our equipment or facilities or those of third parties. If our escalation of fees is insufficient to cover increased costs or if any third party suspends or terminates its contracts with us, our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions could be materially adversely affected.

Our operations are subject to extensive regulation, and regulatory measures adopted by regulatory authorities could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our operations are subject to extensive regulation by federal, state and local regulatory authorities. For example, because we transport natural gas in interstate commerce and we store natural gas that is transported in interstate commerce, our natural gas storage and transportation facilities are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FERC under the Natural Gas Act. Federal regulation under the Natural Gas Act extends to such matters as:
 
rates, operating terms and conditions of service;
the form of tariffs governing service;
the types of services we may offer to our customers;
the certification and construction of new, or the expansion of existing, facilities;
the acquisition, extension, disposition or abandonment of facilities;
contracts for service between storage and transportation providers and their customers;
creditworthiness and credit support requirements;
the maintenance of accounts and records;
relationships among affiliated companies involved in certain aspects of the natural gas business;
the initiation and discontinuation of services; and
various other matters.
 
Natural gas companies may not charge rates that, upon review by the FERC, are found to be unjust and unreasonable or unduly discriminatory. Existing interstate transportation and storage rates may be challenged by complaint and are subject to

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prospective change by the FERC. Additionally, rate increases proposed by a regulated pipeline or storage provider may be challenged and such increases may ultimately be rejected by the FERC. We currently hold authority from the FERC to charge and collect (i) market-based rates for interstate storage services provided at the Stagecoach, Thomas Corners, Seneca Lake, Steuben and Tres Palacios facilities and (ii) negotiated rates for interstate transportation services provided by our North-South Facilities and MARC I Pipeline. The FERC's “market-based rate” policy allows regulated entities to charge rates different from, and in some cases, less than, those which would be permitted under traditional cost-of-service regulation. Among the sorts of changes in circumstances that could raise market power concerns would be an expansion of capacity, acquisitions or other changes in market dynamics. There can be no guarantee that we will be allowed to continue to operate under such rate structures for the remainder of those assets' operating lives. Any successful challenge against rates charged for our storage and transportation services, or our loss of market-based rate authority or negotiated rate authority, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions. Our market-based rate authority for our natural gas storage facilities may be subject to review and possible revocation if the FERC determines that we have the ability to exercise market power in our market area. If we were to lose our ability to charge market-based rates, we would be required to file rates based on our cost of providing service, including a reasonable rate of return. Cost-of-service rates may be lower than our current market-based rates.
 
There can be no assurance that the FERC will continue to pursue its approach of pro-competitive policies as it considers matters such as pipeline rates and rules and policies that may affect rights of access to natural gas transportation capacity and transportation and storage facilities. Failure to comply with applicable regulations under the Natural Gas Act, the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, the Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 and certain other laws, and with implementing regulations associated with these laws, could result in the imposition of administrative and criminal remedies and civil penalties of up to $1,000,000 per day, per violation.

A change in the jurisdictional characterization of our gathering assets may result in increased regulation, which could cause our revenues to decline and operating expenses to increase.

Our natural gas and crude oil gathering operations are generally exempt from the jurisdiction and regulation of the FERC, except for certain anti-market manipulation provisions. FERC regulation nonetheless affects our businesses and the markets for products derived from our gathering businesses. The FERC’s policies and practices across the range of its oil and gas regulatory activities, including, for example, its policies on open access transportation, rate making, capacity release and market center promotion, indirectly affect intrastate markets. In recent years, the FERC has pursued pro-competitive policies in its regulation of interstate oil and natural gas pipelines. However, we have no assurance that the FERC will continue this approach as it considers matters such as pipeline rates and rules and policies that may affect rights of access to oil and natural gas transportation capacity. In addition, the distinction between FERC-regulated transmission services and federally unregulated gathering services has regularly been the subject of substantial, on-going litigation. Consequently, the classification and regulation of some of our pipelines could change based on future determinations by the FERC, the courts or Congress. If our gathering operations become subject to FERC jurisdiction, the result may adversely affect the rates we are able to charge and the services we currently provide, and may include the potential for a termination of certain gathering agreements.

State and municipal regulations also impact our business. Common purchaser statutes generally require gatherers to gather or provide services without undue discrimination as to source of supply or producer; as a result, these statutes restrict our right to decide whose production we gather or transport. Federal law leaves any economic regulation of natural gas gathering to the states. The states in which we currently operate have adopted complaint-based regulation of gathering activities, which allows oil and gas producers and shippers to file complaints with state regulators in an effort to resolve access and rate grievances. Other state and municipal regulations may not directly regulate our gathering business, but may nonetheless affect the availability of natural gas for purchase, processing and sale, including state regulation of production rates and maximum daily production allowable from gas wells. While our gathering lines currently are subject to limited state regulation, there is a risk that state laws will be changed, which may give producers a stronger basis to challenge the rates, terms and conditions of its gathering lines.

Our operations are subject to compliance with environmental and operational safety laws and regulations that may expose us to significant costs and liabilities. 

Our operations are subject to stringent federal, regional, state and local laws and regulations governing health and safety aspects of our operations, the discharge of materials into the environment and otherwise relating to environmental protection. Such environmental laws and regulations impose numerous obligations that are applicable to our operations, including the acquisition of permits to conduct regulated activities, the incurrence of capital expenditures to comply with applicable legal requirements, the application of specific health and safety criteria addressing worker protections and the imposition of restrictions on the generation, handling, treatment, storage, disposal and transportation of materials and wastes. Failure to

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comply with such environmental laws and regulations can result in the assessment of substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties, the imposition of remedial liabilities and the issuance of injunctions restricting or prohibiting some or all of our activities. Certain environmental laws impose strict, joint and several liability for costs required to clean up and restore sites where materials or wastes have been disposed or otherwise released. In the course of our operations, generated materials or wastes may have been spilled or released from properties owned or leased by us or on or under other locations where these materials or wastes have been taken for recycling or disposal.
 
It is also possible that adoption of stricter environmental laws and regulations or more stringent interpretation of existing environmental laws and regulations in the future could result in additional costs or liabilities to us as well as the industry in general or otherwise adversely affect demand for our services and salt products. For example, pursuant to President Obama's strategy to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by up to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025, in August 2015, the EPA proposed a suite of requirements and draft guidance related to the reduction in methane emissions from certain equipment and processes in the oil and natural gas source category, including production, processing, transmission and storage activities. If finalized, these rules and any other new methane emission standards imposed on the oil and gas sector could result in increased costs to our and our customers' operations and could delay or curtail our customers' activities, which costs, delays or curtailment could adversely affect our business. In addition, in October 2015, the EPA issued a final rule under the federal Clean Air Act lowering the NAAQS for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion for the 8-hour primary and secondary ozone standards. The EPA also released a final rule in May 2015 that attempted to clarify federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act over waters of the United States, but a number of legal challenges to this rule are pending, and implementation of the rule has been stayed nationwide. To the extent the rule expands the scope of the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction, we could face increased costs and delays with respect to obtaining permits for dredge and fill activities in wetland areas. Our compliance with such new or amended legal requirements could result in our incurring significant additional expense and operating restrictions with respect to our operations, which may not be fully recoverable from customers and, thus, could reduce net income. Our customers may similarly incur increased costs or restrictions that may limit or decrease those customers' operations and have an indirect material adverse effect on our business.

Climate change legislation or regulations restricting emissions of greenhouse gases could result in increased operating and capital costs and reduced demand for our services.
 
The EPA has determined that emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) present an endangerment to public health and the environment because emissions of such gases are, according to the EPA, contributing to warming of the earth's atmosphere and other climatic changes. Based on these findings, the EPA adopted regulations to restrict emissions of GHGs under existing provisions of the Clean Air Act that, among other things, establish Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction and Title V operating permit reviews for GHGs from certain large stationary sources that are already potential major sources of principal, or criteria, pollutant emissions. Facilities required to obtain PSD permits for their GHG emissions also will be required to meet best available control technology standards that typically will be established by the states. The EPA has also adopted regulations requiring the annual reporting of GHG emissions from specified large GHG emission sources in the United States including certain oil and natural gas production, processing, transmission, storage and distribution facilities. On October 22, 2015, the EPA published a final rule expanding the petroleum and natural gas system sources for which annual GHG emissions reporting is required to include GHG emissions reporting beginning in the 2016 reporting year for certain onshore gathering and boosting systems consisting primarily of gathering pipelines, compressors and process equipment used to perform natural gas compression, dehydration and acid gas removal.
 
While the United States Congress has considered adopting legislation from time to time to reduce emissions of GHGs, in the absence of any such legislation in recent years, a number of state and regional efforts have emerged that are aimed at tracking or reducing emissions of GHGs primarily through the planned development of GHG emission inventories and/or regional GHG cap and trade programs. Most of these cap and trade programs work by requiring major sources of emissions, to acquire and surrender emission allowances. On an international level, the United States is one of almost 200 nations that agreed to an international climate change agreement in Paris, France on December 12, 2015, that allows countries to set their own GHG emission targets and disclose the measures each country will use to achieve its GHG emission targets. It is not possible at this time to predict how or when the United States might impose legal requirements as a result of this international agreement.
 
The adoption of legislation or regulatory programs to reduce emissions of GHGs could require us and our customers to incur increased compliance and operating costs, such as costs to purchase and operate emissions control systems, to acquire emissions allowances or comply with new regulatory or reporting requirements. Any such legislation or regulatory programs could also increase the cost of consuming, and thereby reduce demand for, the oil and natural gas that is produced, which may decrease demand for our midstream services. Moreover, any such future laws and regulations that limit emissions of GHGs or that otherwise promote the use of renewable fuels could adversely affect demand for the natural gas our customers produce, which could thereby reduce demand for our services and adversely affect our business. Consequently, legislation and

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regulatory programs to reduce emissions of GHGs could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may incur higher costs as a result of pipeline integrity management program testing and additional safety legislation.

Pursuant to authority under the NGPSA and HLPSA, PHMSA requires pipeline operators to develop integrity management programs for pipelines located where a leak or rupture could harm “high consequence areas”. The regulations require operators like us to:

perform ongoing assessments of pipeline integrity;
identify and characterize applicable threats to pipeline segments that could impact a high consequence area;
maintain processes for data collection, integration and analysis;
repair and remediate pipelines as necessary; and
implement preventive and mitigating actions.

We estimate that the total future costs to complete the testing required by existing PHMSA regulations will not have a material impact to our results. This estimate does not include the costs, if any, for repair, remediation, preventative or mitigating actions that may be determined to be necessary as a result of the testing program itself.

Moreover, new legislation or regulations adopted by PHMSA may impose more stringent requirements applicable to integrity management programs and other pipeline safety aspects of our operations, which could cause us to incur increased capital costs, operational delays and costs of operations. For example, the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act, which authorized funding for federal pipeline safety programs through 2015, directed the Secretary of Transportation to, among other things, promulgate rules relating to expanded integrity management requirements, automatic or remote-controlled valve use, excess flow valve use, leak detection system installation, pipeline material strength testing, and verification of maximum allowable pressures of certain pipelines. The 2011 Pipeline Safety Act also increased civil penalties for certain violations up to $200,000 per violation per day, with a total cap of $2.0 million. Although a number of the mandates imposed under the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act have yet to be acted upon by PHMSA, those mandates continue to have the potential to cause owners and operators of pipeline facilities to incur significant capital expenditures and/or operating costs in the future. Legislation that would reauthorize federal pipeline safety programs through 2019, referred to as Safe Pipes, was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in December 2015. Among other things, the Safe Pipes legislation would require PHMSA to conduct an assessment of its inspection process and integrity management programs for natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines and likely would require PHMSA to pursue those mandates under the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act that have not yet been acted upon.

In addition to these legislative actions, PHMSA is considering changes to its natural gas transmission pipeline regulations to, among other things, expand the scope of high consequence areas, strengthen integrity management requirements applicable to existing operators, strengthen or expand non-integrity pipeline management standards relating to such matters as valve spacing, automatic or remotely-controlled valves, corrosion protection, and gathering lines, and add new regulations to govern the safety of underground natural gas storage facilities, including underground storage caverns and injection or withdrawal well piping that are not regulated today. More recently, in March 2015, PHMSA finalized new rules applicable to gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that, among other changes, impose new post-construction inspections, welding, gas component pressure testing requirements, as well as requirements related to maximum allowable operating pressure calculations. We cannot predict the final outcome of these legislative or regulatory efforts or the precise impact that compliance with any resulting new safety requirements may have on our business, but compliance with such legal requirements could cause us to install new or modified safety controls, pursue additional capital projects or conduct maintenance programs on an accelerated basis, any one or more of which developments could cause us to incur increased costs or other liabilities that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.

Our business involves many hazards and risks, some of which may not be fully covered by insurance.

Our operations are subject to many risks inherent in gathering, processing, storage and transportation segments of the energy midstream industry, such as:

damage to pipelines and plants, related equipment and surrounding properties caused by natural disasters and acts of terrorism;
subsidence of the geological structures where we store natural gas or NGLs, or storage cavern collapses;
operator error;
inadvertent damage from construction, farm and utility equipment;
leaks, migrations or losses of natural gas, NGLs or crude oil;

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fires and explosions;
cyber intrusions; and
other hazards that could also result in personal injury, including loss of life, property and natural resources damage, pollution of the environmental or suspension of operations.

These risks could result in substantial losses due to breaches of contractual commitments, personal injury and/or loss of life, damage to and destruction of property and equipment and pollution or other environmental damage. For example, during 2015 and 2014, we experienced releases on our Arrow water gathering system on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, the remediation and repair costs of which we believe are covered by insurance but nonetheless potentially subjects us to substantial penalties, fines and damages from regulatory agencies and individual landowners. These risks may also result in curtailment or suspension of our operations. A natural disaster or other hazard affecting the areas in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our operations. We are not fully insured against all risks inherent in our business. For example, we do not have any property insurance on any of our underground pipeline systems that would cover damage to the pipelines. We are also not insured against all environmental accidents that might occur, some of which may result in toxic tort claims. If a significant accident or event occurs for which we are not fully insured, it could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions.

We may not be able to maintain or obtain insurance of the type and amount we desire at reasonable rates. As a result of market conditions, premiums and deductibles for certain of our insurance policies may substantially increase. In some instances, certain insurance could become unavailable or available only for reduced amounts of coverage. Additionally, we may be unable to recover from prior owners of our assets, pursuant to our indemnification rights, for potential environmental liabilities. Although we maintain insurance policies with insurers in such amounts and with such coverages and deductibles as we believe are reasonable and prudent, our insurance may not be adequate to protect us from all material expenses related to potential future claims for personal injury and property damage.

We do not own all of the land on which our pipelines and facilities are located, which could disrupt our operations.

We do not own all of the land on which our pipelines and facilities (particularly our G&P facilities) have been constructed, which subjects us to the possibility of more onerous terms or increased costs to obtain and maintain valid easements and rights-of-way. We obtain standard easement rights to construct and operate pipelines on land owned by third parties, and our rights frequently revert back to the landowner after we stop using the easement for its specified purpose.
 
Therefore, these easements exist for varying periods of time. Our loss of easement rights could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate our business, thereby resulting in a material reduction in our revenue, earnings and ability to make distributions.

We are subject to litigation related to the Simplification Merger.

We are subject to litigation related to the Simplification Merger (see "Item 3. Legal Proceedings"). It is possible that additional claims beyond those that have already been filed will be brought by the current plaintiffs or by others in an effort to enjoin the Simplification Merger or seek monetary relief from us. We cannot predict the outcome of these lawsuits, or others, nor can we predict the amount of time and expense that will be required to resolve the lawsuit(s). In addition, the cost to us defending the litigation, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial.

Terrorist attacks or “cyber security” events, or the threat of them, may adversely affect our business.

The U.S. government has issued public warnings that indicate that pipelines and other assets might be specific targets of terrorist organizations or “cyber security” events.  These potential targets might include our pipeline systems or operating systems and may affect our ability to operate or control our pipeline assets, our operations could be disrupted and/or customer information could be stolen. The occurrence of one of these events could cause a substantial decrease in revenues, increased costs to respond or other financial loss, damage to reputation, increased regulation or litigation and or inaccurate information reported from our operations.  These developments may subject our operations to increased risks, as well as increased costs, and, depending on their ultimate magnitude, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.


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Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us

We may not have sufficient cash from operations following the establishment of cash reserves and payment of fees and expenses to enable us to pay quarterly distributions to our common and preferred unitholders.
 
We may not have sufficient cash each quarter to pay quarterly distributions to our common unitholders or, alternatively, we may reallocate a portion of our available cash to debt repayment or capital investment. The amount of cash we can distribute on our common units principally depends upon the amount of cash we generate from our operations and payments of fees and expenses as well as decisions the board of directors makes regarding acceptable levels of debt or the desire to invest in new growth projects. Our board typically reviews these factors on a quarterly basis. Before we pay any cash distributions on our preferred and common units, we will establish reserves and pay fees and expenses, including reimbursements to our general partner and its affiliates, for all expenses they incur and payments they make on our behalf. These costs will reduce the amount of cash available to pay distributions to our common unitholders and, to the extent we are unable to declare and pay fixed cash distributions on our preferred units following the quarter ending June 30, 2017, we cannot make cash distributions to our common unitholders until all payments accruing on the preferred units have been repaid.
 
The amount of cash we have available to distribute on our preferred and common units will fluctuate from quarter to quarter based on, among other things:

the rates we charge for storage and transportation services and the amount of services our customers purchase from us, which will be affected by, among other things, the overall balance between the supply of and demand for commodities, governmental regulation of our rates and services, and our ability to obtain permits for growth projects;
force majeure events that damage our or third-party pipelines, facilities, related equipment and surrounding properties;
prevailing economic and market conditions;
governmental regulation, including changes in governmental regulation in our industry;
changes in tax laws;
the level of competition from other midstream companies;
the level of our operating and maintenance and general administrative costs;
the level of capital expenditures we make;
our ability to make borrowings under our revolving credit facility;
our ability to access the capital markets for additional investment capital; and
acceptable levels of debt, liquidity and/or leverage.

In addition, the actual amount of cash we will have available for distribution will depend on other factors, some of which are beyond our control, including: the level and timing of capital expenditures we make; our debt service requirements and other liabilities; fluctuations in our working capital needs; our ability to borrow funds and access capital markets; restrictions contained in our debt agreements; and the amount of cash reserves established by our general partner.

Our partnership agreement requires that we distribute all of our available cash, which could limit our ability to grow given the current trends existing in the capital markets.
 
Since 2014, the dramatic decrease in commodity prices has negatively impacted the equity and debt markets resulting in limitations on our ability to access the capital markets for new growth capital at a reasonable cost of capital. Historically, we have distributed all of our available cash to our preferred and common unitholders on a quarterly basis and relied upon external financing sources, including commercial bank borrowings and the issuance of debt and equity securities, to fund our acquisitions and expansion capital expenditures. If the current capital market trends persist, we may be unable to finance growth externally by accessing the capital markets, and may have to depend on a reallocation of our cash distributions to reduce debt and/or invest in new growth projects. In addition, we may dispose of assets to reduce debt and/or invest in new growth projects, which can impact the level of our cash distributions.
 
In the event we continue to distribute all of our available cash or decide to reallocate cash to debt reduction, our growth may not be as fast as that of businesses that reinvest their available cash to expand ongoing operations. To the extent we decide to reallocate cash to debt reduction or invest in new capital projects, we may be unable to maintain or increase our per unit distribution level. Subject to certain restrictions that apply if we are not able to pay cash distributions to our preferred unitholders following the quarter ending June 30, 2017, there are no limitations in our partnership agreement on our ability to issue additional units, including units ranking senior to the common units. The incurrence of additional commercial borrowings or other debt to finance our growth strategy would result in increased interest expense, which, in turn, may impact the available cash that we have to distribute to our unit holders.


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We may issue additional common units without common unitholder approval, which would dilute existing common unit holder ownership interests.
 
Our partnership agreement does not limit the number of additional limited partner interests we may issue at any time without the approval of our existing common unitholders. The issuance of additional common units or other equity interests of equal or senior rank will have the following effects:

our existing common unitholders' proportionate ownership interest in us will decrease; 
the amount of cash available for distribution on each common unit may decrease; 
the ratio of taxable income to distributions may increase; 
the relative voting strength of each previously outstanding common unit may be diminished; and 
the market price of the common units may decline.

Holders of our common units have limited voting rights and are not entitled to elect our general partner or its directors, which could reduce the price at which our common units will trade.
 
Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, our common unitholders have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business and, therefore, limited ability to influence management's decisions regarding our business. Our common unitholders will have no right on an annual or ongoing basis to elect our general partner or its board of directors. The board of directors of our general partner, including the independent directors, is chosen entirely by Crestwood Holdings, as a result of it owning our general partner, and not by our common unitholders. Unlike publicly traded corporations, we will not conduct annual meetings of our common unitholders to elect directors or conduct other matters routinely conducted at annual meetings of stockholders of corporations. As a result of these limitations, the price at which the common units will trade could be diminished because of the absence or reduction of a takeover premium in the trading price.

Common unitholders may have liability to repay distributions and in certain circumstances may be personally liable for the obligations of the partnership.
 
Under certain circumstances, common unitholders may have to repay amounts wrongfully returned or distributed to them. Under Section 17-607 of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act (the Delaware Act), we may not make a distribution to our common unitholders if the distribution would cause our liabilities to exceed the fair value of our assets. Delaware law provides that for a period of three years from the date of the impermissible distribution, limited partners who received the distribution and who knew at the time of the distribution that it violated Delaware law will be liable to the limited partnership for the distribution amount. A purchaser of units who becomes a limited partner is liable for the obligations of the transferring limited partner to make contributions to the partnership that are known to the purchaser of units at the time it became a limited partner and for unknown obligations if the liabilities could be determined from the partnership agreement. Liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and liabilities that are non-recourse to the partnership are not counted for purposes of determining whether a distribution is permitted.
 
It may be determined that the right, or the exercise of the right by the limited partners as a group, to (i) remove or replace our general partner, (ii) approve some amendments to our partnership agreement or (iii) take other action under our partnership agreement constitutes “participation in the control” of our business. A limited partner that participates in the control of our business within the meaning of the Delaware Act may be held personally liable for our obligations under the laws of Delaware to the same extent as our general partner. This liability would extend to persons who transact business with us under the reasonable belief that the limited partner is a general partner. Neither our partnership agreement nor the Delaware Act specifically provides for legal recourse against our general partner if a limited partner were to lose limited liability through any fault of our general partner.

The amount of cash we have available for distribution to common unitholders depends primarily on our cash flow and not solely on profitability, which may prevent us from making cash distributions during periods when we record net income.
 
The amount of cash we have available for distribution depends primarily upon our cash flow, including cash flow from reserves and working capital or other borrowings, and not solely on profitability, which will be affected by non-cash items. As a result, we may pay cash distributions during periods when we record net losses for financial accounting purposes and may not pay cash distributions during periods when we record net income.


39


Our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of unitholders owning 20% or more of our common units.
 
Our partnership agreement restricts unitholders' voting rights by providing that any units held by a person or group that owns 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, other than our general partner and its affiliates, their transferees and persons who acquired such units with the prior approval of the board of directors of our general partner, cannot vote on any matter.

Crestwood Holdings and its affiliates may sell its common units in the public or private markets, and such sales could have an adverse impact on the trading price of the common units. Additionally, Crestwood Holdings may pledge or hypothecate its common units or is interest in Crestwood Holdings LP.

As of December 31, 2015, Crestwood Holdings and its affiliates beneficially held an aggregate of 14,569,858 limited partner units. The sale of any or all of these units in the public or private markets could have an adverse impact on the price of the common units or on any trading market on which the common units are traded. Additionally, Crestwood Holdings may pledge or hypothecate its common units or its interest in Crestwood Holdings or its subsidiaries. Such pledge or hypothecation may include terms and conditions that might result in an adverse impact on the trading price of our common units.

Our preferred units contain covenants that may limit our business flexibility.

Our preferred units contain covenants preventing it from taking certain actions without the approval of the holders of a majority or a super-majority of the preferred units, depending on the action as described below. The need to obtain the approval of holders of the preferred units before taking these actions could impede our ability to take certain actions that management or our board of directors may consider to be in the best interests of its unit holders. The affirmative vote of the then-applicable voting threshold of the outstanding preferred units, voting separately as a class with one vote per preferred unit, shall be necessary to amend our partnership agreement in any manner that (1) alters or changes the rights, powers, privileges or preferences or duties and obligations of the preferred units in any material respect, (2) except as contemplated in the partnership agreement, increases or decreases the authorized number of preferred units, or (3) otherwise adversely affects the preferred units, including without limitation the creation (by reclassification or otherwise) of any class of senior securities (or amending the provisions of any existing class of partnership interests to make such class of partnership interests a class of senior securities). In addition, our partnership agreement provides certain rights to the preferred unit holders that could impair our ability to consummate (or increase the cost of consummating) a change-in-control transaction, which could result in less economic benefits accruing to our common unit holders.

Unitholders have less ability to elect or remove management than holders of common stock in a corporation.
Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, unitholders have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business, and therefore limited ability to influence management’s decisions regarding our business. Unitholders did not elect, and do not have the right to elect, our general partner or its board of directors on an annual or other continuing basis. The board of directors of our general partner is chosen by Crestwood Holdings LLC, the general partner of the sole member of our general partner, Crestwood Holdings LP (Holdings LP), which currently is the only voting member of the general partner of Holdings LP, and effectively has the authority to appoint all of our directors. Although our general partner has a fiduciary duty to manage our partnership in a manner beneficial to us and our unitholders, the directors of our general partner also have a fiduciary duty to manage our general partner in a manner beneficial to its sole member, Holdings LP.
If unitholders are dissatisfied with the performance of our general partner, they will have little ability to remove our general partner. Our general partner generally may not be removed except upon the vote of the holders of 66⅔% of the outstanding units voting together as a single class.
Our unitholders’ voting rights are further restricted by a provision in our partnership agreement providing that any units held by a person that owns 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, other than our general partner and its affiliates, cannot be voted on any matter.
The control of our general partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent.
Our general partner may transfer its general partner interest to a third party in a merger or in a sale of all or substantially all of its assets without the consent of our unitholders. Furthermore, there is no restriction in our partnership agreement on the ability of the owner of our general partner, Holdings LP, from transferring its ownership interest in our general partner to a third party. Additionally, Holdings LP’s general partner interest in our general partner is pledged as collateral under a Credit Agreement between Crestwood Holdings LLC and various lenders (Holdings Credit Agreement).  In the event of a default by Crestwood

40


Holdings LLC under the Holdings Credit Agreement, the lenders may foreclose on the pledged general partner interest and take or transfer control of our general partner without unitholder consent. The new owner of our general partner would then be in a position to replace the board of directors and officers of our general partner with its own choices and to control the decisions taken by our board of directors and officers. This effectively permits a “change of control” without the vote or consent of the common unitholders. In addition, such a change of control could result in our indebtedness becoming due. Please read "A change of control could result in us facing substantial repayment obligations under our revolving credit facility and senior notes.
Potential conflicts of interest may arise among our general partner, its affiliates and us. Our general partner and its affiliates have limited fiduciary duties to us, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of us.
Conflicts of interest may arise among our general partner and its affiliates, on the one hand, and us, on the other hand. As a result of these conflicts, our general partner may favor its own interests and the interests of its affiliates over our interests. These conflicts include, among others, the following:
Our general partner is allowed to take into account the interests of parties other than us in resolving conflicts of interest, which has the effect of limiting its fiduciary duties to us.
Our general partner has limited its liability and reduced its fiduciary duties under the terms of our partnership agreement, while also restricting the remedies available for actions that, without these limitations, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty. As a result of purchasing our units, unitholders consent to various actions and conflicts of interest that might otherwise constitute a breach of fiduciary or other duties under applicable state law.
Our general partner determines the amount and timing of our investment transactions, borrowings, issuances of additional partnership securities and reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is available for distribution.
Our general partner determines which costs it and its affiliates have incurred are reimbursable by us.
Our partnership agreement does not restrict our general partner from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered, or from entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf, so long as the terms of any such payments or additional contractual arrangements are fair and reasonable to us.
Our general partner controls the enforcement of obligations owed to us by it and its affiliates.
Our general partner decides whether to retain separate counsel, accountants or others to perform services for us.

Our partnership agreement limits our general partner’s fiduciary duties to us and restricts the remedies available for actions taken by our general partner that might otherwise constitute breaches of fiduciary duty.
Our partnership agreement contains provisions that reduce the standards to which our general partner would otherwise be held by state fiduciary duty law. For example, our partnership agreement:
provides that our general partner is entitled to make decisions in “good faith” if it reasonably believes that the decisions are in our best interests;
generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest not approved by the Conflicts Committee of the board of directors of our general partner and not involving a vote of unitholders must be on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or be “fair and reasonable” to us and that, in determining whether a transaction or resolution is “fair and reasonable,” our general partner may consider the totality of the relationships among the parties involved, including other transactions that may be particularly advantageous or beneficial to us; and
provides that our general partner and its officers and directors will not be liable for monetary damages to us, our limited partners or assignees for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that the general partner or those other persons acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud, willful misconduct or gross negligence.

Our general partner has a limited call right that may require unitholders to sell their units at an undesirable time or price.
If at any time our general partner and its affiliates own more than 80% of our outstanding units, our general partner will have the right, but not the obligation, which it may assign to any of its affiliates or to us, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the units held by unaffiliated persons at a price not less than their then-current market price. As a result, unitholders may be required to sell their units at an undesirable time or price and may not receive any return on their investment. Unitholders may also incur a tax liability upon a sale of their units. As of December 31, 2015, the directors and executive officers of our general partner owned approximately 6% of our common units.

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Tax Risks to Common Unitholders

Our tax treatment depends on our status as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If the IRS were to treat us as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, or we were to become subject to material additional amounts of entity-level taxation for state tax purposes, then our cash available for distribution to unitholders would be substantially reduced.
The anticipated after-tax economic benefit of an investment in our common units depends largely on our being treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Despite the fact that we are organized as a limited partnership under Delaware law, we would be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes unless we each satisfy a “qualifying income” requirement. Based upon our current operations, we believe we satisfy the qualifying income requirement. However, no ruling has been or will be requested regarding our treatment as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Failing to meet the qualifying income requirement or a change in current law could cause us to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes or otherwise subject us to taxation as an entity.
If we were treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we would pay federal income tax on our taxable income at the corporate tax rate, which is currently a maximum of 35%, as well as any applicable state or local taxes. Distributions to our unitholders would generally be taxed again as corporate distributions, and no income, gains, losses, deductions or credits would flow through to our unitholders. Because a tax would be imposed upon us as a corporation, our cash available for distribution to our unitholders would be substantially reduced. Therefore, treatment of us as a corporation would result in a material reduction in the anticipated cash flow and after-tax return to our common unitholders, likely causing a substantial reduction in the value of our common units.
Our partnership agreement provides that if a law is enacted or existing law is modified or interpreted in a manner that subjects us to taxation as a corporation or otherwise subjects us to entity-level taxation for federal, state or local income tax purposes, the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution amounts may be adjusted to reflect the impact of that law on us. At the state level, several states have been evaluating ways to subject partnerships to entity-level taxation through the imposition of state income, franchise, or other forms of taxation. Imposition of a similar tax on us in the jurisdictions in which we operate or in other jurisdictions to which we may expand could substantially reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.
The tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships or an investment in our common units could be subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative changes and differing interpretations, possibly applied on a retroactive basis.
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, or an investment in our common units may be modified by administrative, legislative or judicial changes or differing interpretations at any time. For example, the Obama administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2017 recommends that certain publicly traded partnerships earning income from activities related to fossil fuels be taxed as corporations beginning in 2022. From time to time, members of Congress propose and consider such substantive changes to the existing federal income tax laws that affect publicly traded partnerships. If successful, the Obama administration’s proposal or other similar proposals could eliminate the qualifying income exception to the treatment of all publicly-traded partnerships as corporations upon which we rely for our treatment as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
In addition, the Internal Revenue Service, on May 5, 2015, issued proposed regulations concerning which activities give rise to qualifying income within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code. We do not believe the proposed regulations affect our ability to qualify as a publicly traded partnership. However, finalized regulations could modify the amount of our gross income that we are able to treat as qualifying income for the purposes of the qualifying income requirement.
Any modification to the U.S. federal income tax laws may be applied retroactively and could make it more difficult or impossible for us to meet the exception for certain publicly traded partnerships to be treated as partnerships for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We are unable to predict whether any of these changes or other proposals will ultimately be enacted. Any such changes could negatively impact the value of an investment in our common units.

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If the IRS were to contest the federal income tax positions we take, it may adversely impact the market for our common units, and the costs of any such contest would reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders. Recently enacted legislation alters the procedures for assessing and collecting taxes due for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, in a manner that could substantially reduce cash available for distribution to you.
We have not requested a ruling from the IRS with respect to our treatment as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. The IRS may adopt positions that differ from the positions we take. It may be necessary to resort to administrative or court proceedings to sustain some or all of the positions we take. A court may not agree with the positions we take. Any contest with the IRS may materially and adversely impact the market for our common units and the price at which they trade. In addition, the costs of any contest with the IRS will be borne indirectly by you and our general partner because the costs will reduce our cash available for distribution.
Recently enacted legislation applicable to us for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 alters the procedures for auditing large partnerships and also alters the procedures for assessing and collecting taxes due (including applicable penalties and interest) as a result of an audit. Unless we are eligible to (and choose to) elect to issue revised Schedules K-1 to our partners with respect to an audited and adjusted return, the IRS may assess and collect taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) directly from us in the year in which the audit is completed under the new rules. If we are required to pay taxes, penalties and interest as the result of audit adjustments, cash available for distribution to our unitholders may be substantially reduced. In addition, because payment would be due for the taxable year in which the audit is completed, unitholders during that taxable year would bear the expense of the adjustment even if they were not unitholders during the audited taxable year.
You will be required to pay taxes on your share of our income, including your share of income from the cancellation of debt, even if you do not receive cash distributions from us.
You will be required to pay any federal income taxes and, in some cases, state and local income taxes on your share of our taxable income, whether or not you receive cash distributions from us. You may not receive cash distributions from us equal to your share of our taxable income or even equal to the actual tax liability which results from that income.
In response to current market conditions, we may engage in transactions to delever the Partnership and manage our liquidity that may result in income and gain to you without a corresponding cash distribution. For example, if we sell assets and use the proceeds to repay existing debt or fund capital expenditures, you may be allocated taxable income and gain resulting from the sale without receiving a cash distribution. Further, taking advantage of opportunities to reduce our existing debt, such as debt exchanges, debt repurchases, or modifications of our existing debt could result in cancellation of indebtedness income (COD income) being allocated to our unitholders as taxable income. You may be allocated COD income, and income tax liabilities arising therefrom may exceed cash distributions. The ultimate effect of any such allocations will depend on the unitholder's individual tax position with respect to its units. Unitholders are encouraged to consult their tax advisors with respect to the consequences to them of COD income.
Tax gain or loss on the disposition of our common units could be more or less than expected.
If you sell your common units, you will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between your amount realized and your tax basis in those common units. Because distributions in excess of your allocable share of our total net taxable income result in a reduction in your tax basis in your common units, the amount, if any, of such prior excess distributions with respect to the units you sell will, in effect, become taxable income to you if you sell such units at a price greater than your tax basis in those common units, even if the price you receive is less than your original cost. Furthermore, a substantial portion of the amount realized, whether or not representing gain, may be taxed as ordinary income due to potential recapture of depreciation deductions. In addition, because the amount realized includes a unitholder's share of our nonrecourse liabilities, if you sell your units, you may incur a tax liability in excess of the amount of cash you receive from the sale.
Tax-exempt entities, regulated investment companies and non-U.S. persons face unique tax issues from owning common units that may result in adverse tax consequences to them.
Investment in common units by tax-exempt entities, including employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts (known as “IRAs”), and non-U.S. persons raises issues unique to them. For example, virtually all of our income allocated to organizations exempt from federal income tax, including individual retirement accounts and other retirement plans, will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable to them. Distributions to non-U.S. persons will be reduced by withholding taxes imposed at the highest effective applicable tax rate, and non-U.S. persons will be required to file U. S. federal income tax returns and pay tax on their share of our taxable income. If you are a tax-exempt entity or a non-U.S. person, you should consult your tax advisor before investing in our common units.

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We will treat each purchaser of our common units as having the same tax benefits without regard to the specific common units purchased. The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could adversely affect the value of our common units.
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of common units and because of other reasons, we will adopt depreciation and amortization positions that may not conform to all aspects of existing Treasury Regulations. A successful IRS challenge to those positions could adversely affect the amount of tax benefits available to you. It also could affect the timing of these tax benefits or the amount of gain from the sale of our common units and could have a negative impact on the value of our common units or result in audit adjustments to your tax returns.
We prorate our items of income, gain, loss and deduction between transferors and transferees of our units each month based upon the ownership of units on the first day of each month, instead of on the basis of the date a particular unit is transferred. The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss and deduction among our unitholders.
We generally prorate our items of income, gain, loss and deduction between transferors and transferees of our units each month based upon the ownership of our units on the first day of each month, instead of on the basis of the date a particular unit is transferred. The U. S. Department of the Treasury recently adopted final Treasury Regulations allowing a similar monthly simplifying convention for taxable years beginning on or after August 3, 2015. However, such regulations do not specifically authorize the use of the proration method we adopted for our 2015 taxable year and may not specifically authorize all aspects of our proration method thereafter. If the IRS were to successfully challenge our proration method or new Treasury Regulations were issued, we may be required to change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss, and deduction among our unitholders.
A unitholder whose common units are the subject of a securities loan (e.g., a loan to a “short seller” to cover a short sale of common units) may be considered as having disposed of those common units. If so, he would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss from the disposition.
Because there are no specific rules governing the U.S. federal income tax consequences of loaning a partnership interest, a unitholder whose common units are the subject of a securities loan may be considered as having disposed of the loaned units. In that case, he may no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan and the unitholder may recognize gain or loss from such disposition. Moreover, during the period of the loan, any of our income, gain, loss or deduction with respect to those common units may not be reportable by the unitholder and any cash distributions received by the unitholder as to those common units could be fully taxable as ordinary income. Unitholders desiring to assure their status as partners and avoid the risk of gain recognition from a loan to a short seller should modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from borrowing their common units.
The sale or exchange of 50% or more of our capital and profits interests within a twelve-month period will result in the termination of our partnership for federal income tax purposes.
We will be considered to have constructively terminated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes if there is a sale or exchange within a twelve-month period of 50% or more of the total interests in our capital and profits. For purposes of determining whether the 50% threshold has been met, multiple sales of the same interest will be counted only once. Our termination would, among other things, result in the closing of our taxable year for all unitholders which could result in us filing two tax returns (and unitholders receiving two Schedule K-1s) for one calendar year. Our termination could also result in a deferral of depreciation deductions allowable in computing our taxable income. In the case of a unitholder reporting on a taxable year other than a calendar year, the closing of our taxable year may also result in more than twelve months of our taxable income or loss being includable in its taxable income for the year of termination. Our termination would not affect our classification as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, but instead, we would be treated as a new partnership for federal income tax purposes. If treated as a new partnership, we must make new tax elections and could be subject to penalties if we are unable to determine that a termination occurred. Pursuant to an IRS relief procedure a publicly traded partnership that has technically terminated may request special relief which, if granted by the IRS, among other things, would permit the partnership to provide only a single Schedule K-1 to unitholders for the tax years in which the termination occurs.
Our unitholders will likely be subject to state and local taxes and return filing requirements in states where they do not live as a result of investing in our common units.
In addition to federal income taxes, our unitholders will likely be subject to other taxes, including state and local taxes, unincorporated business taxes, estate, inheritance or intangible taxes and foreign taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property and in which they do not reside. We own property and conduct business in various parts of the United States. Unitholders may be required to file state and local income tax returns in many or all of the jurisdictions in which we do business or own property. Further, unitholders may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. It is our unitholders’ responsibility to file all required U. S. federal, state, local and foreign tax returns.

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.


Item 2. Properties.

A description of our properties is included in Item 1. Business, and is incorporated herein by reference. We also lease office space for our corporate offices in Houston, Texas and our executive offices in Kansas City, Missouri and Fort Worth, Texas.

We lease and rely upon our customers' property rights to conduct a substantial part of our operations, and we own or lease the property rights necessary to conduct our storage and transportation operations. We believe that we have satisfactory title to our assets. Title to property may be subject to encumbrances. For example, we have granted to the lenders of our revolving credit facility security interests in substantially all of our real property interests. We believe that none of these encumbrances will materially detract from the value of our properties or from our interest in these properties, nor will they materially interfere with their use in the operation of our business.


Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

A description of our legal proceedings is included in Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 15, and is incorporated herein by reference.


Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.


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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Unitholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Crestwood Equity. Crestwood Equity's common units representing limited partner interests are traded on the NYSE under the symbol “CEQP.” The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices of the common units, as reported by the NYSE, as well as the amount of cash distributions declared per common unit for the periods indicated.
Quarters Ended:
Low
 
High
 
Cash
Distribution
Per Unit
2015
 
 
 
 
 
December 31, 2015
$
18.80

 
$
22.79

 
$
1.375

September 30, 2015
22.20

 
44.50

 
1.375

June 30, 2015
40.10

 
70.10

 
1.375

March 31, 2015
58.00

 
84.60

 
1.375

2014
 
 
 
 
 
December 31, 2014
$
58.40

 
$
107.30

 
$
1.375

September 30, 2014
105.50

 
154.00

 
1.375

June 30, 2014
128.50

 
150.40

 
1.375

March 31, 2014
124.10

 
145.10

 
1.375


On October 22, 2015, the board of directors of our general partner approved a 1-for-10 reverse split on our common units, effective after the market closed on November 23, 2015. The units began trading on a split-adjusted basis on November 24, 2015. Pursuant to the reverse split, our common unitholders received one common unit for every 10 common units owned with substantially the same terms and conditions of the common units prior to the reverse split.

The last reported sale price of Crestwood Equity's common units on the NYSE on February 12, 2016, was $9.04. As of that date, Crestwood Equity had 69,496,248 common units issued and outstanding, which were held by 281 unitholders of record.

Distribution Policy

Preferred Units. Crestwood Equity is required to make quarterly distributions to its Preferred Unit holders. The holders of the Preferred Units are entitled to receive fixed quarterly distributions of $0.2111 per unit. For the seven quarters following the quarter ended September 30, 2015 (the Initial Distribution Period), distributions on the Preferred Units can be made in additional Preferred Units, cash, or a combination thereof, at our election. If Crestwood Equity elects to pay the quarterly distribution through the issuance of additional Preferred Units, the number of units to be distributed will be calculated as the fixed quarterly distribution of $0.2111 per unit divided by the cash purchase price of $9.13 per unit. Crestwood Equity accrues the fair value of such distribution at the end of the quarterly period and adjust the fair value of the distribution on the date the additional Preferred Units are distributed. Distributions on the Preferred Units following the Initial Distribution Period will be made in cash unless, subject to certain exceptions, (i) there is no distribution being paid on Crestwood Equity's common units and (ii) Crestwood Equity's available cash (as defined in our partnership agreement) is insufficient to make a cash distribution to its Preferred Unit holders. If Crestwood Equity fails to pay the full amount payable to its Preferred Unit holders in cash following the Initial Distribution Period, then (x) the fixed quarterly distribution on the Preferred Units will increase to $0.2567 per unit, and (y) Crestwood Equity will not be permitted to declare or make any distributions to its common unitholders until such time as all accrued and unpaid distributions on the Preferred Units have been paid in full in cash. In addition, if Crestwood Equity fails to pay in full any Preferred Distribution (as defined in its partnership agreement), the amount of such unpaid distribution will accrue and accumulate from the last day of the quarter for which such distribution is due until paid in full, and any accrued and unpaid distributions will be increased at a rate of 2.8125% per quarter.

Common Units. Crestwood Equity makes quarterly distributions to its partners within approximately 45 days after the end of each fiscal quarter in an aggregate amount equal to our available cash for such quarter. Available cash generally means, with respect to each fiscal quarter, all cash on hand at the end of the quarter less the amount of cash that the general partner determines in its reasonable discretion is necessary or appropriate to:


46


provide for the proper conduct of our business, including but not limited to, debt repayments, unit buybacks or capital investment;
comply with applicable law, any of our debt instruments, or other agreements; or
provide funds for distributions to unitholders for any one or more of the next four quarters;

plus all cash on hand on the date of determination of available cash for the quarter resulting from working capital borrowings made subsequent to the end of the quarter. Working capital borrowings are generally borrowings that are made under our revolving credit facility and in all cases are used solely for working capital purposes or to pay distributions to its partners.

On February 12, 2016, Crestwood Equity paid a distribution of $1.3750 per limited partner unit ($5.50 per limited partner unit on an annualized basis) to its unitholders of record on February 5, 2016.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

For the year ended December 31, 2015, 26,095 Crestwood Equity common units were relinquished to cover payroll taxes upon the vesting of restricted units. 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

The following table sets forth in tabular format, a summary of the Crestwood Equity equity compensation plan information as of December 31, 2015: 
Plan category
Number of
securities to be
issued upon
exercise of
outstanding
options, warrants
and rights
 
Weighted-
average
exercise
price of
outstanding
options,
warrants
and rights
 
Number of securities
remaining available for
future issuance under
equity compensation
plans (excluding
securities reflected in
column (a))
 
(a)
 
(b)
 
(c)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

 
$

 

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 
$

 
987,605

Total

 
$

 
987,605


Crestwood Midstream. Prior to the Simplification Merger, Crestwood Midstream's common units representing limited partner interests were traded on the NYSE under the symbol “CMLP.” As a result of the completion of the Simplification Merger on September 30, 2015, Crestwood Midstream became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity, its common units ceased to be issued on the NYSE and its IDRs were eliminated.

The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices of the Crestwood Midstream common units prior to the Simplification Merger, as reported by the NYSE, as well as the amount of cash distributions declared per common unit for the periods indicated.
Quarters Ended:
Low
 
High
 
Cash
Distribution
Per Unit
2015
 
 
 
 
 
June 30, 2015
$
10.84

 
$
16.90

 
$
0.410

March 31, 2015
13.03

 
16.77

 
0.410

2014
 
 
 
 
 
December 31, 2014
$
13.73

 
$
22.78

 
$
0.410

September 30, 2014
20.23

 
24.25

 
0.410

June 30, 2014
21.25

 
24.20

 
0.410

March 31, 2014
21.62

 
24.88

 
0.410


47


Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

Crestwood Midstream. The information has been omitted from this report pursuant to the reduced disclosure format permitted by General Instruction I to Form 10-K.

Crestwood Equity. The Crestwood Equity consolidated financial statements were originally the financial statements of Legacy Crestwood GP prior to being acquired by us on June 19, 2013. Our acquisition of Legacy Crestwood GP was accounted for as a reverse acquisition under the purchase method of accounting in accordance with the accounting standards for business combinations. The accounting for a reverse acquisition results in the legal acquiree (Legacy Crestwood GP) being the acquirer for accounting purposes. Although Legacy Crestwood GP was the acquirer for accounting purposes, we were the acquirer for legal purposes; consequently, we changed our name from Crestwood Gas Services GP, LLC to Crestwood Equity Partners LP.

The income statement and cash flow data for each of the three years ended December 31, 2015 and balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015 and 2014 were derived from our audited financial statements. We derived the income statement and cash flow data for each of the two years ended December 31, 2012 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 from our accounting records. The selected financial data is not necessarily indicative of results to be expected in future periods and should be read together with Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules included elsewhere in this report.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA - We believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are widely accepted financial indicators of a company's operational performance and its ability to incur and service debt, fund capital expenditures and make distributions. EBITDA is defined as income before income taxes, plus debt-related costs (net interest and debt expense and loss on modification/extinguishment of debt) and depreciation, amortization and accretion expense. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA considers the adjusted earnings impact of our unconsolidated affiliates by adjusting our equity earnings or losses from our unconsolidated affiliates for our proportionate share of their depreciation and interest. Adjusted EBITDA also considers the impact of certain significant items, such as unit-based compensation charges, gains and impairments of long-lived assets and goodwill, gains and losses on acquisition-related contingencies, third party costs incurred related to potential and completed acquisitions, certain environmental remediation costs, certain costs related to our 2015 cost savings initiatives, the change in fair value of commodity inventory-related derivative contracts, and other transactions identified in a specific reporting period. The change in fair value of commodity inventory-related derivative contracts is considered in determining Adjusted EBITDA given that the timing of recognizing gains and losses on these derivative contracts differs from the recognition of revenue for the related underlying sale of inventory that these derivatives relate to. Changes in the fair value of other derivative contracts is not considered in determining Adjusted EBITDA given the relatively short-term nature of those derivative contracts. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures calculated in accordance with GAAP, as they do not include deductions for items such as depreciation, amortization and accretion, interest and income taxes, which are necessary to maintain our business. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered an alternative to net income, operating cash flow or any other measure of financial performance presented in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA calculations may vary among entities, so our computation may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.



48


 
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2015
 
2014 (1)
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
 
(in million, except per unit data)
 
Statement of Income Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
$
2,632.8

 
$
3,931.3

 
$
1,426.7

 
$
239.5

 
$
205.8

 
Operating income (loss)
(2,084.8
)
 
117.9

 
28.2

 
61.4

 
71.0

 
Income (loss) before income taxes
(2,305.1
)
 
(9.3
)
 
(49.6
)
 
25.6

 
43.4

 
Net income (loss)
(2,303.7
)
 
(10.4
)
 
(50.6
)
 
24.4

 
42.1

 
Net income (loss) attributable to Crestwood Equity Partners LP
(1,666.9
)
 
56.4

 
6.7

 
14.9

 
7.7

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Performance Measures:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Diluted net income (loss) per limited partner unit: (2)
$
(54.00
)
 
$
3.03

 
$
0.59

 
$
3.73

 
$
1.93

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Distributions declared per limited partner unit(3)
$
5.50

 
$
5.50

 
$
6.925

 
$
13.30

 
$
28.20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EBITDA (unaudited)
$
(1,844.9
)
 
$
403.1

 
$
196.2

 
$
134.6

 
$
124.9

 
Adjusted EBITDA (unaudited)
527.4

 
495.9

 
297.7

 
134.4

 
110.9

 
Net cash provided by operating activities
440.7

 
283.0

 
188.3

 
102.1

 
86.3

 
Net cash used in investing activities
(212.7
)
 
(483.0
)
 
(1,042.9
)
 
(616.6
)
 
(456.5
)
 
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
(236.3
)
 
203.6

 
859.7

 
513.8

 
371.0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Property, plant and equipment, net
$
3,310.8

 
$
3,893.8

 
$
3,905.3

 
$
1,102.4

 
$
916.8

 
Total assets
5,803.7

 
8,461.4

 
8,523.2

 
2,301.6

 
1,739.2

 
Total debt, including current portion
2,543.8

 
2,396.5

 
2,266.0

 
685.2

 
512.5

 
Other long-term liabilities(4)
47.5

 
47.2

 
140.4

 
17.2

 
15.5

 
Partners' capital
2,946.9

 
5,584.5

 
5,508.6

 
1,550.7

 
1,120.0

 








49


 
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
 
(in millions)
 
Reconciliation of Net Income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss)
$
(2,303.7
)
 
$
(10.4
)
 
$
(50.6
)
 
$
24.4

 
$
42.1

 
Depreciation, amortization and accretion
300.1

 
285.3

 
167.9

 
73.2

 
53.9

 
Interest and debt expense, net
140.1

 
127.1

 
77.9

 
35.8

 
27.6

 
Loss on modification/extinguishment of debt
20.0

 

 

 

 

 
Provision (benefit) for income taxes
(1.4
)
 
1.1

 
1.0

 
1.2

 
1.3

 
EBITDA
$
(1,844.9
)

$
403.1

 
$
196.2

 
$
134.6


$
124.9


Unit-based compensation charges
19.7

 
21.3

 
17.4

 
1.9

 
0.9

 
(Gain) loss on long-lived assets, net(5)
821.2

 
1.9

 
(5.3
)
 

 
(1.1
)
 
Goodwill impairment(6)
1,406.3

 
48.8

 
4.1

 

 

 
(Gain) loss on contingent consideration(7)

 
8.6

 
31.4

 
(6.8
)
 
(17.2
)
 
Loss from unconsolidated affiliates, net
60.8

 
0.7

 
0.1

 

 

 
Adjusted EBITDA from unconsolidated affiliates, net
25.3

 
6.9

 
2.5

 

 

 
Change in fair value of commodity inventory-related derivative contracts
5.4

 
(10.3
)
 
10.7

 

 

 
Significant transaction and environmental-related costs and other items(8)
33.6

 
14.9

 
40.6

 
4.7

 
3.4

 
Adjusted EBITDA
$
527.4

 
$
495.9

 
$
297.7

 
$
134.4

 
$
110.9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

50


 
Crestwood Equity Partners LP
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
Reconciliation of Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
440.7

 
$
283.0

 
$
188.3

 
$
102.1

 
$
86.3

 
Net changes in operating assets and liabilities
(98.0
)
 
73.8

 
(19.6
)
 
(4.1
)
 
(4.2
)
 
Amortization of debt-related deferred costs, discounts and premiums
(8.9
)
 
(8.5
)
 
(9.2
)
 
(5.5
)
 
(3.5
)
 
Interest and debt expense, net
140.1

 
127.1

 
77.9

 
35.8

 
27.6

 
Market adjustment on interest rate swaps
0.5

 
2.7

 
1.7

 

 

 
Unit-based compensation charges
(19.7
)
 
(21.3
)
 
(17.4
)
 
(1.9
)
 
(0.9
)
 
Gain (loss) on long-lived assets, net(5)
(821.2
)
 
(1.9
)
 
5.3

 

 
1.1

 
Goodwill impairment(6)
(1,406.3
)
 
(48.8
)
 
(4.1
)
 

 

 
Gain (loss) on contingent consideration(7)

 
(8.6
)
 
(31.4
)
 
6.8

 
17.2

 
Earnings (loss) from unconsolidated affiliates, net
(73.6
)
 
(0.7
)
 
(0.1
)
 

 

 
Deferred income taxes
3.6

 
5.2

 
2.8

 

 

 
      Provision (benefit) for income taxes
(1.4
)
 
1.1

 
1.0

 
1.2

 
1.3

 
      Other non-cash income
(0.7
)
 

 
1.0

 
0.2

 

 
EBITDA
$
(1,844.9
)

$
403.1

 
$
196.2

 
$
134.6


$
124.9


Unit-based compensation charges
19.7

 
21.3

 
17.4

 
1.9

 
0.9

 
(Gain) loss on long-lived assets, net(5)
821.2

 
1.9

 
(5.3
)
 

 
(1.1
)
 
Goodwill impairment(6)
1,406.3

 
48.8

 
4.1

 

 

 
(Gain) loss on contingent consideration(7)

 
8.6

 
31.4

 
(6.8
)
 
(17.2
)
 
Loss from unconsolidated affiliates, net(8)
60.8

 
0.7

 
0.1

 

 

 
Adjusted EBITDA from unconsolidated affiliates, net
25.3

 
6.9

 
2.5

 

 

 
Change in fair value of commodity inventory-related derivative contracts
5.4

 
(10.3
)
 
10.7

 

 

 
Significant transaction and environmental-related costs and other items(9)
33.6

 
14.9

 
40.6

 
4.7

 
3.4

 
Adjusted EBITDA
$
527.4

 
$
495.9

 
$
297.7

 
$
134.4

 
$
110.9

 
(1)
Financial data presented for periods prior to June 19, 2013, solely reflect the operations of Legacy Crestwood GP. Financial data for periods subsequent to June 19, 2013, represent the consolidated operations of Crestwood Equity.
(2)
The weighted average number of units outstanding is calculated based on the presumption that the common and subordinated units issued to acquire Legacy Crestwood GP (the accounting predecessor) were outstanding for the entire period prior to the June 19, 2013 acquisition. On the date of the acquisition, all of our limited partner units were considered outstanding. In addition, on November 23, 2015, CEQP completed a 1-for-10 reverse split of its common units. The accounting standards related to earnings per share requires an entity to restate earnings per share when a stock dividend or stock split occurs, and as such, the earnings per unit for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013, 2013 and 2012 were restated to reflect the 1-for-10 reverse split.
(3)
Reported amounts include the fourth quarter distribution, which was paid in the first quarter of the subsequent year.
(4)
Other long-term liabilities primarily include our capital leases, asset retirement obligations and the fair value of unfavorable contracts recorded in purchase accounting.
(5)
During 2014, we recorded a gain of approximately $30.6 million on the sale of our investment in Tres Palacios Gas Storage LLC. For a further discussion of this transaction see Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 6. In addition, during 2015 and 2014, we recorded property, plant and equipment impairments of approximately $501.7 million and $13.2 million and intangible asset impairments of approximately $316.6 million and $21.3 million, respectively. For a further discussion, see Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - "Critical Accounting Estimates" and Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 2.
(6)
For a further discussion of our goodwill impairments recorded during 2015, 2014 and 2013, see Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - "Critical Accounting Estimates" and Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 2.
(7)
During 2014 and 2013, we recorded a loss on contingent consideration which reflects the fair value of an earn-out premium associated with the original acquisition of our Marcellus G&P assets from Antero in 2012.
(8)
During 2015, we recorded impairments of our Jackalope and PRBIC investments of approximately $51.4 million and $23.4 million, respectively. For a further discussion of these impairments, see Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - "Critical Accounting Estimates" and Part IV, Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules, Note 6.
(9)
Significant transaction and environmental-related costs and other items for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, primarily includes costs incurred related to our 2015 cost savings initiatives, the Simplification Merger, Crestwood Merger and Arrow Acquisition.

51


Item 7.    Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying footnotes.

This report, including information included or incorporated by reference herein, contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of our company and its subsidiaries. These forward-looking statements include:

statements that are not historical in nature, including, but not limited to: (i) our belief that anticipated cash from operations, cash distributions from entities that we control, and borrowing capacity under our credit facility will be sufficient to meet our anticipated liquidity needs for the foreseeable future; (ii) our belief that we do not have material potential liability in connection with legal proceedings that would have a significant financial impact on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations or cash flows; and (iii) our belief that our assets will continue to benefit from the development of unconventional shale plays as significant supply basins; and

statements preceded by, followed by or that contain forward-looking terminology including the words “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend” or the negation thereof, or similar expressions.

Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements due to, among others, the following factors:

our ability to successfully implement our business plan for our assets and operations;
governmental legislation and regulations;
industry factors that influence the supply of and demand for crude oil, natural gas and NGLs;
industry factors that influence the demand for services in the markets (particularly unconventional shale plays) in which we provide services;
weather conditions;
the availability of crude oil, natural gas and NGLs, and the price of those commodities, to consumers relative to the price of alternative and competing fuels;
economic conditions;
costs or difficulties related to the integration of our existing businesses and acquisitions;
environmental claims;
operating hazards and other risks incidental to the provision of midstream services, including gathering, compressing, treating, processing, fractionating, transporting and storing energy products (i.e., crude oil, NGLs and natural gas) and related products (i.e., produced water);
interest rates; and
the price and availability of debt and equity financing; and
the ability to sell or monetize assets in the current market, to reduce indebtedness or for other general partnership purposes.

We have described under Item Part I, 1A, Risk Factors, additional factors that could cause actual results to be materially different from those described in the forward-looking statements. Other factors that we have not identified in this report could also have this effect.

Overview
We own and operate crude oil, natural gas and NGL midstream assets and operations. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, we are a fully-integrated midstream solution provider that specializes in connecting shale-based energy supplies to key demand markets. We conduct our operations through Crestwood Midstream, a limited partnership that owns and operates gathering, processing, storage, and transportation assets in the most prolific shale plays across the United States. Crestwood Equity owns a 99.9% limited partnership interest in Crestwood Midstream and Crestwood Gas Services GP LLC (CGS GP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity, owns a 0.1% limited partnership interest in Crestwood Midstream as of December 31, 2015. Crestwood Midstream's general partner, Crestwood Midstream GP LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity.


52


Our Company

We provide broad-ranging services to customers across the crude oil, NGL and natural gas sector of the energy value chain. Our midstream infrastructure is geographically located in or near significant supply basins, especially developed and emerging liquids-rich and crude oil shale plays, across the United States. We own or control:
natural gas facilities with approximately 2.6 Bcf/d of gathering capacity, 481 MMcf/d of processing capacity, 40.9 Bcf of certificated working gas storage capacity and 1.3 Bcf/d of firm transmission capacity;

NGL facilities with approximately 24,000 Bbls/d of fractionation capacity and 2.8 million barrels of storage capacity, as well as our portfolio of transportation assets (consisting of truck and rail terminals, truck/trailer units and rail cars) capable of transporting more than 294,000 Bbls/d of NGLs; and

crude oil facilities with approximately 125,000 Bbls/d of gathering capacity, approximately 1.5 million barrels of total storage capacity, 48,000 Bbls/d of transportation capacity, and 160,000 Bbls/d of rail loading capacity.
On May 5, 2015, Crestwood Equity, Crestwood Midstream and certain of its affiliates entered into a definitive agreement under which CMLP agreed to merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestwood Equity (the Simplification Merger). On September 30, 2015, CMLP's unitholders approved the Simplification Merger and we completed the merger on that date. As part of the merger consideration, CMLP's common and preferred unitholders (other than the Company and our subsidiaries) received 2.75 common or preferred units of the Company for each common or preferred unit of CMLP held upon completion of the merger. Contemporaneously with the closing of the Simplification Merger, Crestwood Equity contributed 100% of its interest in Crestwood Operations to Crestwood Midstream. Crestwood Operations' assets consist primarily of the assets utilized by our NGL supply and logistics business, including our West Coast NGL operations, our Seymour NGL storage facility and our fleet of NGL transportation and related rail-to-truck terminal assets. As a result of these transactions, Crestwood Equity is a holding company and all of our operating assets and investments are owned by or through Crestwood Midstream.

In conjunction with the Simplification Merger, we modified our business segments and our financial statements now reflect three operating and reporting segments: (i) gathering and processing (G&P), which includes our natural gas, crude oil and produced water G&P operations; (ii) storage and transportation, which includes our natural gas and crude oil storage and transportation operations; and (iii) marketing, supply and logistics (formerly NGL and crude services operations), which includes our NGL supply and logistics business, crude oil storage and rail loading facilities and fleet, and salt production business. Consequently, the results of our Arrow operations are now reflected in our gathering and processing operations for all periods presented and our COLT and PRBIC operations are now reflected in our storage and transportation operations for all periods presented. These respective operations were previously included in our NGL and crude services operations. All of our operations are conducted by or through Crestwood Midstream. Below is a discussion of events that highlight our core business and financing activities.

Gathering and Processing

Our G&P operations provide gathering, compression, treating, and processing services to producers in multiple unconventional resource plays across the United States and we have established footprints in “core of the core” areas of many of the largest shale plays. We believe that our strategy of focusing on prolific shale plays positions us well to (i) generate greater returns in the near term while commodity prices remain depressed, (ii) capture greater upside economics when commodity prices normalize, and (iii) in general, better manage through commodity price cycles and production changes associated therewith.

Our G&P operations primarily include:

Bakken Shale. We own and operate an integrated crude oil, natural gas and produced water gathering system (the Arrow system) on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the core of the Bakken Shale in McKenzie and Dunn Counties, North Dakota. The Arrow system consists of 590 miles of low-pressure gathering pipeline capable of gathering 100 MMcf/d of natural gas, 125 MBbls/d of crude oil, and 40 MBbls/d of produced water. We also have approximately 266,000 barrels of crude oil working storage capacity at the Arrow central delivery point;

Marcellus Shale. We own and operate natural gas gathering and compression systems in Harrison, Doddridge and Barbour Counties, West Virginia. These systems have a total gathering capacity of 875 MMcf/d and 138,080 horsepower of compression;


53


Barnett Shale. We own and operate (i) a low-pressure natural gas gathering system with a gathering capacity of approximately 425 MMcf/d of rich gas produced by our customers in Hood and Somervell Counties, Texas, which delivers the rich gas to our processing plant where NGLs are extracted from the natural gas stream; and (ii) low-pressure gathering systems with a gathering capacity of 530 MMcf/d of dry natural gas produced by our customers in Tarrant and Denton Counties, Texas;

Fayetteville Shale. We own and operate five low-pressure gas gathering systems with a gathering capacity of approximately 510 MMcf/d of dry natural gas produced by our customers in Conway, Faulkner, Van Buren, and White Counties, Arkansas;

Delaware Permian. We own and operate low-pressure dry gas and rich natural gas systems with a primary focus on the Willow Lake system that includes a gathering and processing system with approximately 50 MMcf/d of capacity to serve our customers in Eddy County, New Mexico (Willow Lake system);

Other 100% Owned and Operated Systems. We own and operate (i) a low-pressure natural gas gathering system with a gathering capacity of approximately 36 MMcf/d of rich gas produced by our customers in Roberts County, Texas, and a processing plant that extracts NGLs from the natural gas stream (Granite Wash system); and (ii) high-pressure natural gas gathering pipelines with a gathering capacity of approximately 100 MMcf/d that provide gathering and treating services to our customers located in Sabine Parish, Louisiana (Haynesville/Bossier system); and

PRB Niobrara Shale. We own a 50% ownership interest in the Jackalope joint venture with Williams, which we account for under the equity method of accounting. The joint venture, operated by Williams, owns the Jackalope gas gathering system and Bucking Horse processing plant. The Jackalope system is supported by a 20-year gathering and processing agreement with Chesapeake under an area of dedication of approximately 388,000 gross acres in the core of the PRB Niobrara.

Although the cash flows from our G&P operations are predominantly fee-based under contracts with original terms ranging from 5-20 years, the results of our G&P operations are significantly influenced by the volumes gathered and processed through our systems. During 2015, two of our G&P customers, Quicksilver and Sabine filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In January 2016, Quicksilver executed an asset purchase agreement with a third party for the sale of its U.S. oil and gas assets. The sale is expected to close on March 31, 2016, pending certain closing conditions. On February 5, 2016, Quicksilver filed a motion to reject its gathering agreements with us. We filed an objection to this motion on February 26, 2016 and a hearing is scheduled in Delaware on March 4, 2016. We are in discussions with the third party regarding those agreements. We continue to provide services to Quicksilver, and the outcome of its restructuring process could have a material impact on our G&P segment's results of operations. Sabine continues to work with the bankruptcy court on its bankruptcy filing, and we continue to monitor their proceedings, and the outcome could impact our G&P segment's results of operations in the future.

The cash flows from our G&P operations can also be impacted in the short term by changing commodity prices, seasonality and weather fluctuations. We gather, process, treat, compress, transport and sell crude oil and natural gas pursuant to fixed-fee and, to a lesser extent, percent-of-proceeds contracts. We have historically taken title to the crude oil and natural gas volumes gathered under Arrow's fixed-fee contracts, and we remit netbacks to our producer customers based on the market prices at which we sell the crude oil and natural gas. On our other G&P systems, we do not take title to natural gas or NGLs under our fixed-fee contracts, whereas under our percent-of-proceeds contracts, we take title to the residue gas, NGLs and condensate and remit a portion of the sale proceeds to the producer based on prevailing commodity prices. Our election to enter primarily into fixed-fee contracts minimizes our G&P segment’s commodity price exposure and provides us more stable operating performance and cash flows.

Storage and Transportation

Our storage and transportation segment consists of our natural gas storage and transportation assets as follow:

Northeast Storage and Transportation. We have four natural gas storage facilities (Stagecoach, Thomas Corners, Steuben and Seneca Lake) and three transportation pipelines (North/South Facilities, MARC I and the East Pipeline) located in the Northeast in or near the Marcellus Shale. Our storage facilities provide 40.9 Bcf of certificated firm storage capacity and 1.3 Bcf/d of firm transportation capacity to producers, utilities, marketers and other customers. We believe the location of our storage and transportation assets in the Northeast relative to New York City and other premium demand markets along the East Coast helps to insulate our operations from production and commodity price changes that can more easily impact storage and transportation operators in other geographic regions, including Texas;

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COLT Hub. We own and operate the COLT Hub, which is one of the largest crude oil rail terminals in the Bakken Shale based on actual throughput and which complements our Arrow acquisition. Located approximately 60 miles away from Arrow’s central delivery point, the COLT Hub interconnects with the Arrow system through the Hiland and Tesoro pipeline systems. The hub, which can be sourced by numerous pipeline systems or truck, is capable of loading up to 160,000 Bbls/d and has approximately 1.2 million barrels of total crude oil storage capacity; and

PRBIC. PRBIC, our 50% equity method investment, owns an integrated crude oil loading, storage and pipeline terminal, located in Douglas County, Wyoming, which provides a market for crude oil production from the PRB Niobrara. The joint venture, operated by Twin Eagle, sources crude oil production from Chesapeake and other PRB Niobrara producers. PRBIC includes 20,000 Bbls/d of rail loading capacity and 380,000 barrels of crude oil working storage capacity. Additionally, in anticipation of growing PRB Niobrara crude oil volumes, PRBIC expanded its pipeline terminal to include connections to Kinder Morgan's HH Pipeline system in July 2015 and initiated a pipeline project to interconnect with Plains All American Pipeline's Rocky Mountain Pipeline system, which is expected to be completed in March 2016.

Tres Holdings. We own a 50.01% ownership interest in Tres Holdings LLC (Tres Holdings), a joint venture between Crestwood Midstream and an affiliate of Brookfield, which owns the remaining 49.99% interest in Tres Holdings. Tres Holdings owns Tres Palacios, which owns a FERC-certificated 38.4 Bcf multi-cycle, salt dome natural gas storage facility. Its 63-mile, dual 24-inch diameter header system (including a 52-mile north pipeline lateral and an approximate 11-mile south pipeline lateral) interconnects with 10 pipeline systems and can receive residue gas from the tailgate of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Houston central processing plant. In December 2014, Crestwood Equity sold its 100% membership interest in Tres Palacios to Tres Holdings. As a result of the sale, effective December 1, 2014, Crestwood Equity deconsolidated Tres Palacios' operations. We account for the investment in Tres Holdings under the equity method of accounting. Brookfield and Tres Palacios entered into a five-year, fixed fee contract under which Tres Palacios will make 15 Bcf of firm storage capacity and 150,000 Dth/d of enhanced interruptible services available to Brookfield.

The cash flows from our storage and transportation operations are predominantly fee-based under contracts with an original term ranging from 1-10 years. Our cash flows from interruptible and other hub services tends to increase during the peak winter season. Our current cash flows from crude-by-rail facilities are largely supported by take-or-pay contracts with refiners and, to a lesser extent, marketer customers and are not significantly affected in the short term by changing commodity prices, seasonality or weather fluctuations. We are working to renew long-term storage and loading contracts associated with our COLT Hub operations. Several of these contracts expire in 2016 and we expect to extend the contract terms for several of our existing customers. We are also pursuing multiple pipeline and storage projects at the COLT terminal supported by long-term take-or-pay contracts.

Marketing, Supply and Logistics

Our marketing, supply and logistics segment consists of our NGL supply and logistics business and US Salt. We utilize our over-the-road and rail fleet, processing and storage facilities, and contracted pipeline capacity on a portfolio basis to provide integrated supply and logistics solutions to producers, refiners and other customers.

Our marketing, supply and logistics operations primarily include:

NGL Supply and Logistics Business. Our NGL supply and logistics business serves producers, refiners and other customers that produce or consume natural gas liquids, including primarily propane, butane and natural gasoline. To provide these services, we utilize our portfolio of proprietary and third party NGL processing, fractionation, storage, terminal and trucking assets including our fleet of rail and rolling stock, rail-to-truck terminals, West Coast processing, fractionation and storage operations, NGL storage facilities, and contracted capacity (including leased storage capacity at major hubs and leased transportation capacity on major NGL pipelines);

Crude Oil and Produced Water Trucking. Our crude oil and produced water trucking fleet has 48,000 Bbls/d of crude oil and produced water transportation capacity. These assets were acquired in the first half of 2014. We provide hauling services to customers in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Texas and New Mexico; and

US Salt. Our salt production business, which has a plant near Watkins Glen, New York, is capable of producing more than 400,000 tons of evaporated salt products annually. US Salt’s solution mining process creates underground caverns that can be developed into natural gas and NGL storage capacity.

55



The cash flows from our marketing, supply and logistics business represent sales to creditworthy customers typically under contracts with durations of one year or less, and tend to be seasonal in nature due to customer profiles and their tendencies to purchase NGLs during peak winter periods. The cash flows from our salt operations represent sales to creditworthy customers typically under contracts that are less than one year in duration, and are relatively stable and not subject to seasonal or cyclical variation due to the use of, and demand for, salt products in everyday life.

Outlook and Trends

Our business objective is to create long-term value for our stakeholders by maximizing throughput on our assets, expanding our services and exercising prudent control of operating and administrative costs, resulting in stable operating margins and improving cash flows from operations. Our business strategy further depends on our ability to provide increased services to our customers at competitive fees and develop growth projects that can be financed appropriately.

We have positioned the Company to generate consistent results in a low commodity price environment. Many of our assets are located on long-term, core acreage dedications in shale plays which are economic to varying degrees based upon natural gas, NGL and crude oil prices, the availability of midstream infrastructure to flow production to market and the operational and financial condition of our diverse customer base. We believe the diversity of our asset portfolio, wide range of services provided and extensive customer portfolio, taken together, provides us with a positive forward view of our ability to be successful in the current market which has been impacted by prolonged low commodity prices. In addition, a substantial portion of the midstream services we provide to customers in the shale plays are based on fixed fee, take-or-pay or cost-of-service agreements that ensure a minimum level of cash flow regardless of actual commodity prices or volumetric throughput. We are actively working with our customers to further improve the profitability of their operations through the services we offer, and in certain instances, by adjusting our rate, service and/or volume commitment structures to incentivize them to utilize our services in the short-term while preserving long-term flexibility in a challenging market. In particular, we are in active discussions with a number of our customers regarding amendments and/or extensions of their contracts, and these discussions will continue into 2016.

In 2016, we are evaluating strategic actions to substantially de-risk the investment profile of Crestwood and position the Company to emerge from this challenging market environment as a stronger, better capitalized company. These are designed to address our near-term cost of capital limitations and position the Company for long-term value creation for all stakeholders when the market improves and include reducing capital expenditures, further reducing costs, divesting of assets, evaluating distributions and strengthening the balance sheet including repayment of indebtedness.

During 2015, we completed a number of cost-reduction efforts, including the Simplification Merger, and we decreased our on-going expenses related to operations, maintenance and general and administrative matters by $26.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to 2014, excluding $29.4 million of upfront costs related to this cost savings initiative and the Simplification Merger. We continue to pursue additional opportunities to further reduce costs in 2016, which we believe will result in lower expenses in 2016 compared to 2015. In addition, we expect our 2016 capital expenditures to be limited to previously committed contractual projects around our existing asset footprint of approximately $50 million to $75 million in 2016.
Based on current operations, we expect financial results in 2016 that are relatively consistent with our 2015 results, despite continued anticipated depressed commodity prices. Through the execution of strategic efforts described above, we expect to reposition the Company for increasing stability and strength through a continued challenging market environment, which will over the long-term, best position us to achieve our chief business objective to create long-term value for our stakeholders.

Regulatory Matters

Many activities within the energy midstream sector have experienced increased regulatory oversight over the past few years, and we expect the trend of regulatory oversight to continue for the foreseeable future. We anticipate greater regulatory oversight related to activities that have attracted significant negative attention in the public domain (e.g., transportation of crude oil by rail). We also anticipate greater regulatory oversight in states like North Dakota and tribal sovereignties like the MHA Nation, where regulation in certain areas is now starting to align with the tremendous production growth experienced in those jurisdictions in a short period of time.


56


How We Evaluate Our Operations
 
We evaluate our overall business performance based primarily on EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. We do not utilize depreciation, depletion and amortization expense in our key measures because we focus our performance management on cash flow generation and our assets have long useful lives.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA - We believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are widely accepted financial indicators of a company's operational performance and its ability to incur and service debt, fund capital expenditures and make distributions. We believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are useful to our investors because it allows them to use the same performance measure analyzed internally by our management to evaluate the performance of our businesses and investments without regard to the manner in which they are financed or our capital structure. EBITDA is defined as income before income taxes, plus debt-related costs (net interest and debt expense and loss on modification/extinguishment of debt) and depreciation, amortization and accretion expense. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA considers the adjusted earnings impact of our unconsolidated affiliates by adjusting our equity earnings or losses from our unconsolidated affiliates for our proportionate share of their depreciation and interest. Adjusted EBITDA also considers the impact of certain significant items, such as unit-based compensation charges, gains and impairments of long-lived assets and goodwill, gains and losses on acquisition-related contingencies, third party costs incurred related to potential and completed acquisitions, certain environmental remediation costs, certain costs related to our 2015 cost savings initiatives, the change in fair value of commodity inventory-related derivative contracts, and other transactions identified in a specific reporting period. The change in fair value of commodity inventory-related derivative contracts is considered in determining Adjusted EBITDA given that the timing of recognizing gains and losses on these derivative contracts differs from the recognition of revenue for the related underlying sale of inventory that these derivatives relate to. Changes in the fair value of other derivative contracts is not considered in determining Adjusted EBITDA given the relatively short-term nature of those derivative contracts. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures calculated in accordance with GAAP, as they do not include deductions for items such as depreciation, amortization and accretion, interest and income taxes, which are necessary to maintain our business. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered an alternative to net income, operating cash flow or any other measure of financial performance presented in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA calculations may vary among entities, so our computation may not be comparable to measures used by other companies.
See our reconciliation of net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA in Results of Operations below.


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Results of Operations

In conjunction with the closing of the Simplification Merger on September 30, 2015, CEQP contributed 100% of its interest in Crestwood Operations to CMLP, and as a result of this equity contribution, CMLP controls the operating and financial decisions of Crestwood Operations. CMLP accounted for this transaction as a reorganization of entities under common control and the accounting standards related to such transactions requires CMLP to retroactively adjust its historical results to reflect the operations of Crestwood Operations as being acquired on June 19, 2013, the date in which CMLP and Crestwood Operations came under common control. The contribution of Crestwood Operations to CMLP had no impact on CEQP's results of operations.

The following table summarizes our results of operations for each of the three years ended December 31 (in millions).
 
Crestwood Equity
 
Crestwood Midstream
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2015
 
2014
Revenues
$
2,632.8

 
$
3,931.3

 
$
1,426.7

 
2,632.8

 
3,917.5

Costs of product/services sold
1,883.5

 
3,165.3

 
1,002.3

 
1,883.5

 
3,154.8

Operations and maintenance
190.2

 
203.3

 
104.6

 
188.7

 
195.4

General and administrative
116.3

 
100.2

 
93.5

 
105.6

 
91.7

Depreciation, amortization and accretion
300.1

 
285.3

 
167.9

 
278.5

 
255.4

Gain (loss) on long-lived assets, net
(821.2
)
 
(1.9
)
 
5.3

 
(227.8
)
 
(35.1
)
Goodwill impairment
(1,406.3
)
 
(48.8
)
 
(4.1
)
 
(1,149.1
)
 
(48.8
)
Loss on contingent consideration

 
(8.6
)
 
(31.4
)
 

 
(8.6
)
Operating income (loss)
(2,084.8
)
 
117.9

 
28.2

 
(1,200.4
)
 
127.7

Loss from unconsolidated affiliates, net
(60.8
)
 
(0.7
)
 
(0.1
)
 
(60.8
)
 
(0.7
)
Interest and debt expense, net
(140.1
)
 
(127.1
)
 
(77.9
)
 
(130.5
)
 
(111.4
)
Loss on modification/extinguishment of debt
(20.0
)
 

 

 
(18.9
)
 

Other income, net
0.6

 
0.6

 
0.2

 

 

(Provision) benefit for income taxes
1.4

 
(1.1
)
 
(1.0
)
 

 
(0.9
)
Net income (loss)
(2,303.7
)
 
(10.4
)
 
(50.6
)
 
(1,410.6
)
 
14.7

Add:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest and debt expense, net
140.1

 
127.1

 
77.9

 
130.5

 
111.4

Loss on modification/extinguishment of debt
20.0

 

 

 
18.9

 

Provision (benefit) for income taxes
(1.4
)
 
1.1

 
1.0

 

 
0.9

Depreciation, amortization and accretion
300.1

 
285.3

 
167.9

 
278.5

 
255.4

EBITDA
(1,844.9
)
 
403.1

 
196.2

 
(982.7
)
 
382.4

Unit-based compensation charges
19.7

 
21.3

 
17.4

 
18.1

 
18.1

(Gain) loss on long-lived assets, net
821.2

 
1.9

 
(5.3
)
 
227.8

 
35.1

Goodwill impairment
1,406.3

 
48.8

 
4.1

 
1,149.1