10-K 1 etp12-31x201710k.htm 10-K Document

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, 2017
OR
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number 1-31219
ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS, L.P.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
73-1493906
(state or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
8111 Westchester Drive, Suite 600, Dallas, Texas 75225
(Address of principal executive offices) (zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (214) 981-0700

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Units
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes          ý          No          ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes          ¨          No          ý
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.
Yes          ý          No          ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
Yes          ý          No          ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the 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.     ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer  ý    Accelerated filer  ¨    Non-accelerated filer  ¨    Smaller reporting company  ¨ Emerging growth company  ¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes          ¨          No          ý
The aggregate market value as of June 30, 2017, of the registrant’s Common Units held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the reported closing price of such Common Units on the New York Stock Exchange on such date, was $21.66 billion. Common Units held by each executive officer and director and by each person who owns 5% or more of the outstanding Common Units have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
At February 16, 2018, the registrant had 1,164,024,480 Common Units outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
None



TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
PAGE
 
 
 
ITEM 1.
 
 
 
ITEM 1A.
 
 
 
ITEM 1B.
 
 
 
ITEM 2.
 
 
 
ITEM 3.
 
 
 
ITEM 4.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 5.
 
 
 
ITEM 6.
 
 
 
ITEM 7.
 
 
 
ITEM 7A.
 
 
 
ITEM 8.
 
 
 
ITEM 9.
 
 
 
ITEM 9A.
 
 
 
ITEM 9B.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 10.
 
 
 
ITEM 11.
 
 
 
ITEM 12.
 
 
 
ITEM 13.
 
 
 
ITEM 14.
 
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 15.
 
 
 
ITEM 16.
 
 
 
 


i


Forward-Looking Statements
Certain matters discussed in this report, excluding historical information, as well as some statements by Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (the “Partnership,” or “ETP”) in periodic press releases and some oral statements of the Partnership’s officials during presentations about the Partnership, include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are identified as any statement that does not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Statements using words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “intend,” “project,” “plan,” “expect,” “continue,” “estimate,” “goal,” “forecast,” “may,” “will” or similar expressions help identify forward-looking statements. Although the Partnership and its General Partner believe such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions and current expectations and projections about future events, no assurance can be given that such assumptions, expectations, or projections will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect, the Partnership’s actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, projected or expected, forecasted, estimated or expressed in forward-looking statements since many of the factors that determine these results are subject to uncertainties and risks that are difficult to predict and beyond management’s control. For additional discussion of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” included in this annual report.
Definitions
The following is a list of certain acronyms and terms generally used in the energy industry and throughout this document:
 
/d
 
per day
 
 
 
 
 
AmeriGas
 
AmeriGas Partners, L.P.
 
 
 
 
 
AOCI
 
accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)
 
 
 
 
 
Aqua – PVR
 
Aqua – PVR Water Services, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
AROs
 
asset retirement obligations
 
 
 
 
 
Bbls
 
barrels
 
 
 
 
 
BBtu
 
billion British thermal units
 
 
 
 
 
Bcf
 
billion cubic feet
 
 
 
 
 
Btu
 
British thermal unit, an energy measurement used by gas companies to convert the volume of gas used to its heat equivalent, and thus calculate the actual energy used
 
 
 
 
 
Capacity
 
capacity of a pipeline, processing plant or storage facility refers to the maximum capacity under normal operating conditions and, with respect to pipeline transportation capacity, is subject to multiple factors (including natural gas injections and withdrawals at various delivery points along the pipeline and the utilization of compression) which may reduce the throughput capacity from specified capacity levels
 
 
 
 
 
CDM
 
CDM Resource Management LLC
 
 
 
 
 
CDM E&T
 
CDM Environmental & Technical Services LLC
 
 
 
 
 
Citrus
 
Citrus, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
CrossCountry
 
CrossCountry Energy, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
Dakota Access
 
Dakota Access, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
DOE
 
United States Department of Energy
 
 
 
 
 
DOJ
 
United States Department of Justice
 
 
 
 
 
DOT
 
United States Department of Transportation
 
 
 
 
 
ELG
 
Edwards Lime Gathering LLC
 
 
 
 
 
EPA
 
United States Environmental Protection Agency
 
 
 
 
 
ETC FEP
 
ETC Fayetteville Express Pipeline, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
ETC MEP
 
ETC Midcontinent Express Pipeline, L.L.C.
 
 
 
 


ii


 
ETC OLP
 
La Grange Acquisition, L.P., which conducts business under the assumed name of Energy Transfer Company
 
 
 
 
 
ETC Tiger
 
ETC Tiger Pipeline, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
ETCO
 
Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
ETE
 
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., a publicly traded partnership and the owner of ETP LLC for the periods presented herein
 
 
 
 
 
ETE Holdings
 
ETE Common Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ETE
 
 
 
 
 
ETP GP
 
Energy Transfer Partners GP, L.P., the general partner of ETP
 
 
 
 
 
ETP Holdco
 
ETP Holdco Corporation
 
 
 
 
 
ETP LLC
 
Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C., the general partner of ETP GP
 
 
 
 
 
Exchange Act
 
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
 
 
 
 
 
ExxonMobil
 
Exxon Mobil Corporation
 
 
 
 
 
FEP
 
Fayetteville Express Pipeline LLC
 
 
 
 
 
FERC
 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
 
 
 
 
 
FGT
 
Florida Gas Transmission Company, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
GAAP
 
accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America
 
 
 
 
 
Gulf States
 
Gulf States Transmission LLC
 
 
 
 
 
HPC
 
RIGS Haynesville Partnership Co. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Regency Intrastate Gas LP
 
 
 
 
 
IDRs
 
incentive distribution rights
 
 
 
 
 
KMI
 
Kinder Morgan Inc.
 
 
 
 
 
Lake Charles LNG
 
Lake Charles LNG Company, LLC (previously named Trunkline LNG Company, LLC), a subsidiary of ETE
 
 
 
 
 
LCL
 
Lake Charles LNG Export Company, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
Legacy ETP Preferred Units
 
legacy ETP Series A cumulative convertible preferred units
 
 
 
 
 
LIBOR
 
London Interbank Offered Rate
 
 
 
 
 
LNG
 
liquefied natural gas
 
 
 
 
 
Lone Star
 
Lone Star NGL LLC
 
 
 
 
 
LPG
 
liquefied petroleum gas
 
 
 
 
 
MBbls
 
thousand barrels
 
 
 
 
 
MEP
 
Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC
 
 
 
 
 
Mi Vida JV
 
Mi Vida JV LLC
 
 
 
 
 
MMcf
 
million cubic feet
 
 
 
 
 
MTBE
 
methyl tertiary butyl ether
 
 
 
 
 
NGL
 
natural gas liquid, such as propane, butane and natural gasoline
 
 
 
 
 
NYMEX
 
New York Mercantile Exchange
 
 
 
 
 
NYSE
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
 
 
 
 
ORS
 
Ohio River System LLC
 
 
 
 
 
OSHA
 
federal Occupational Safety and Health Act


iii


 
 
 
 
 
OTC
 
over-the-counter
 
 
 
 
 
Panhandle
 
Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Company, LP and its subsidiaries
 
 
 
 
 
PCBs
 
polychlorinated biphenyls
 
 
 
 
 
PennTex
 
PennTex Midstream Partners, LP
 
 
 
 
 
PEP
 
Permian Express Partners LLC
 
 
 
 
 
PES
 
Philadelphia Energy Solutions
 
 
 
 
 
PHMSA
 
Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
 
 
 
 
 
Phillips 66
 
Phillips 66 Partners LP
 
 
 
 
 
Ranch JV
 
Ranch Westex JV LLC
 
 
 
 
 
Regency
 
Regency Energy Partners LP
 
 
 
 
 
Retail Holdings
 
ETP Retail Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of ETP
 
 
 
 
 
RIGS
 
Regency Intrastate Gas System
 
 
 
 
 
Rover
 
Rover Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of ETP
 
 
 
 
 
Sea Robin
 
Sea Robin Pipeline Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Panhandle
 
 
 
 
 
SEC
 
Securities and Exchange Commission
 
 
 
 
 
Series A Preferred Units
 
Series A Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Units
 
 
 
 
 
Series B Preferred Units
 
Series B Fixed-to-Floating Rate Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Units
 
 
 
 
 
Shell
 
Royal Dutch Shell
 
 
 
 
 
Southwest Gas
 
Pan Gas Storage, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
Sunoco GP
 
Sunoco GP LLC, the general partner of Sunoco LP
 
 
 
 
 
Sunoco Logistics
 
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P.
 
 
 
 
 
Sunoco LP
 
Sunoco LP (previously named Susser Petroleum Partners, LP)
 
 
 
 
 
Sunoco Partners
 
Sunoco Partners LLC, the general partner of Sunoco Logistics
 
 
 
 
 
Susser
 
Susser Holdings Corporation
 
 
 
 
 
Transwestern
 
Transwestern Pipeline Company, LLC
 
 
 
 
 
TRRC
 
Texas Railroad Commission
 
 
 
 
 
Trunkline
 
Trunkline Gas Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Panhandle
 
 
 
 
 
USAC
 
USA Compression Partners, LP
 
 
 
 
 
USAC Holdings
 
USA Compression Holdings, LLC
Adjusted EBITDA is a term used throughout this document, which we define as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion, amortization and other non-cash items, such as non-cash compensation expense, gains and losses on disposals of assets, the allowance for equity funds used during construction, unrealized gains and losses on commodity risk management activities, non-cash impairment charges, losses on extinguishments of debt and other non-operating income or expense items. Unrealized gains and losses on commodity risk management activities include unrealized gains and losses on commodity derivatives and inventory fair value adjustments (excluding lower of cost or market adjustments). Adjusted EBITDA reflects amounts for less than wholly-owned subsidiaries based on 100% of the subsidiaries’ results of operations and for unconsolidated affiliates based on the Partnership’s proportionate ownership.


iv


PART I
ITEM 1.  BUSINESS
Overview
We (Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership, “ETP” or the “Partnership”) are one of the largest publicly traded master limited partnerships in the United States in terms of equity market capitalization (approximately $23.31 billion as of January 31, 2018). We are managed by our general partner, Energy Transfer Partners GP, L.P. (our “General Partner” or “ETP GP”), and ETP GP is managed by its general partner, Energy Transfer Partners, L.L.C. (“ETP LLC”), which is owned by Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., another publicly traded master limited partnership (“ETE”). The primary activities in which we are engaged, all of which are in the United States, and the operating subsidiaries (collectively referred to as the “Operating Companies”) through which we conduct those activities are as follows:
Natural gas operations, including the following:
natural gas midstream and intrastate transportation and storage; and
interstate natural gas transportation and storage.
Crude oil, NGLs and refined product transportation, terminalling services and acquisition and marketing activities, as well as NGL storage and fractionation services.
The following chart summarizes our organizational structure as of February 7, 2018. For simplicity, certain immaterial entities and ownership interest have not been depicted.
orgchartv4.jpg


1


Unless the context requires otherwise, the Partnership, the Operating Companies, and their subsidiaries are collectively referred to in this report as “we,” “us,” “ETP,” “Energy Transfer” or “the Partnership.”
Significant Achievements in 2017 and Beyond
Strategic Transactions
Our significant strategic transactions in 2017 and beyond included the following, as discussed in more detail herein:
In February 2017, Bakken Holdings Company LLC, an entity in which ETP indirectly owns a 100% membership interest, sold a 49% interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bakken Pipeline Investments LLC, to MarEn Bakken Company LLC, an entity jointly owned by MPLX LP and Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., for $2.00 billion in cash. Bakken Pipeline Investments LLC indirectly owns a 75% interest in each of Dakota Access and ETCO. The remaining 25% of each of Dakota Access and ETCO is owned by wholly-owned subsidiaries of Phillips 66. As discussed below, in July 2017, the Partnership contributed a portion of its ownership interest in Dakota Access and ETCO to PEP. ETP continues to consolidate Dakota Access and ETCO subsequent to this transaction.
In February 2017, Sunoco Logistics formed PEP, a strategic joint venture with ExxonMobil. Sunoco Logistics contributed its Permian Express 1, Permian Express 2, Permian Longview and Louisiana Access pipelines. ExxonMobil contributed its Longview to Louisiana and Pegasus pipelines, Hawkins gathering system, an idle pipeline in southern Oklahoma, and its Patoka, Illinois terminal. Assets contributed to PEP by ExxonMobil were reflected at fair value on the Partnership’s consolidated balance sheet at the date of the contribution, including $547 million of intangible assets and $435 million of property, plant and equipment.
In April 2017, Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Sunoco Logistics completed a merger transaction (the “Sunoco Logistics Merger”) in which Sunoco Logistics acquired Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. in a unit-for-unit transaction, with the Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. unitholders receiving 1.5 common units of Sunoco Logistics for each Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. common unit they owned. In connection with the merger, Sunoco Logistics was renamed Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and Sunoco Logistics’ general partner was merged with and into ETP GP, with ETP GP surviving as an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of ETE.
In July 2017, ETP contributed an approximate 15% ownership interest in Dakota Access and ETCO to PEP, which resulted in an increase in ETP’s ownership interest in PEP to approximately 88%. ETP maintains a controlling financial and voting interest in PEP and is the operator of all of the assets. As such, PEP is reflected as a consolidated subsidiary of the Partnership. ExxonMobil’s interest in PEP is reflected as noncontrolling interest in the consolidated balance sheets. ExxonMobil’s contribution resulted in an increase of $988 million in noncontrolling interest, which is reflected in “Capital contributions from noncontrolling interest” in the consolidated statement of equity.
In October 2017, ETP completed the previously announced contribution transaction with a fund managed by Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners, pursuant to which ETP exchanged a 49.9% interest in the holding company that owns 65% of the Rover pipeline (“Rover Holdco”). As a result, Rover Holdco is now owned 50.1% by ETP and 49.9% by Blackstone. Upon closing, Blackstone contributed funds to reimburse ETP for its pro rata share of the Rover construction costs incurred by ETP through the closing date, along with the payment of additional amounts subject to certain adjustments.
In January 2018, ETP entered into a contribution agreement (“CDM Contribution Agreement”) with ETP GP, ETC Compression, LLC, USAC and ETE, pursuant to which ETP will contribute to USAC 100% of the membership interests of CDM and CDM E&T for aggregate consideration of $1.7 billion, consisting of USAC common units, new USAC Class B units and cash. The Class B units will be substantially similar to USAC common units, except the Class B units will not receive distributions paid with respect to USAC common units prior to the one year anniversary of the closing date of the CDM Contribution Agreement. Each Class B Unit will convert into one USAC common unit on such one year anniversary. In connection with the foregoing, ETP entered into a purchase agreement with ETE, ETP LLC, USAC Holdings and, for certain limited purposes, R/C IV USACP Holdings, L.P., pursuant to which ETE and ETP LLC will acquire from USAC Holdings (i) all of the outstanding interests in the general partner of USAC and (ii) 12,466,912 USAC common units for $250 million in cash. The transactions are expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions.
Significant Organic Growth Projects
Our significant announced organic growth projects in 2017 included the following, as discussed in more detail herein:
In June 2017, ETP announced that the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline (collectively, the “Bakken Pipeline”) were placed in commercial service.
ETP announced that Phase 1A and Phase 1B of the Rover pipeline were placed in service in August 2017 and December 2017, respectively.


2


Segment Overview
See Note 15 to our consolidated financial statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional financial information about our segments.
Intrastate Transportation and Storage Segment
Natural gas transportation pipelines receive natural gas from other mainline transportation pipelines, storage facilities and gathering systems and deliver the natural gas to industrial end-users, storage facilities, utilities and other pipelines. Through our intrastate transportation and storage segment, we own and operate approximately 7,900 miles of natural gas transportation pipelines with approximately 15.2 Bcf/d of transportation capacity and three natural gas storage facilities located in the state of Texas. We also own a 49.99% general partner interest in RIGS, a 450-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas from northwest Louisiana to downstream pipelines and markets. We own a 16% membership interest in the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail pipelines, a 338-mile intrastate pipeline system that delivers natural gas from the Waha Hub near Midland, Texas to the United States/Mexico border.
Through ETC OLP, we own the largest intrastate pipeline system in the United States with interconnects to Texas markets and to major consumption areas throughout the United States. Our intrastate transportation and storage segment focuses on the transportation of natural gas to major markets from various prolific natural gas producing areas through connections with other pipeline systems as well as through our Oasis pipeline, our East Texas pipeline, our natural gas pipeline and storage assets that are referred to as the ET Fuel System, and our HPL System, which are described below.
Our intrastate transportation and storage segment’s results are determined primarily by the amount of capacity our customers reserve as well as the actual volume of natural gas that flows through the transportation pipelines. Under transportation contracts, our customers are charged (i) a demand fee, which is a fixed fee for the reservation of an agreed amount of capacity on the transportation pipeline for a specified period of time and which obligates the customer to pay even if the customer does not transport natural gas on the respective pipeline, (ii) a transportation fee, which is based on the actual throughput of natural gas by the customer, (iii) fuel retention based on a percentage of gas transported on the pipeline, or (iv) a combination of the three, generally payable monthly.
We also generate revenues and margin from the sale of natural gas to electric utilities, independent power plants, local distribution companies, industrial end-users and marketing companies on our HPL System. Generally, we purchase natural gas from either the market (including purchases from our marketing operations) or from producers at the wellhead. To the extent the natural gas comes from producers, it is primarily purchased at a discount to a specified market price and typically resold to customers based on an index price. In addition, our intrastate transportation and storage segment generates revenues from fees charged for storing customers’ working natural gas in our storage facilities and from managing natural gas for our own account.
Interstate Transportation and Storage Segment
Natural gas transportation pipelines receive natural gas from other mainline transportation pipelines, storage facilities and gathering systems and deliver the natural gas to industrial end-users, storage facilities, utilities and other pipelines. Through our interstate transportation and storage segment, we directly own and operate approximately 11,800 miles of interstate natural gas pipelines with approximately 10.3 Bcf/d of transportation capacity and have a 50% interest in the joint venture that owns the 185-mile Fayetteville Express pipeline and the 500-mile Midcontinent Express pipeline. ETP also owns a 50% interest in Citrus, which owns 100% of FGT, an approximately 5,360-mile pipeline system that extends from South Texas through the Gulf Coast to south Florida. ETP operates the FEP and FGT joint ventures.
Our interstate transportation and storage segment includes Panhandle, which owns and operates a large natural gas open-access interstate pipeline network.  The pipeline network, consisting of the Panhandle, Trunkline and Sea Robin transmission systems, serves customers in the Midwest, Gulf Coast and Midcontinent United States with a comprehensive array of transportation and storage services.  In connection with its natural gas pipeline transmission and storage systems, Panhandle has five natural gas storage fields located in Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan and Oklahoma.  Southwest Gas operates four of these fields and Trunkline operates one.
The Rover Pipeline is a new 713-mile natural gas pipeline designed to transport 3.25 Bcf/d of domestically produced natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas to markets across the United States as well as into the Union Gas Dawn Storage Hub in Ontario, Canada, for redistribution back into the United States or into the Canadian market. Currently under construction, portions of the pipeline are in service transporting gas from processing plants in Eastern Ohio for delivery to other pipeline interconnects in Eastern Ohio as well as the Midwest Hub near Defiance, Ohio, where the gas will be delivered for distribution to markets across the United States. The Rover Pipeline Phase 1A and 1B are in service with a capacity of approximately 1.7 Bcf/d.


3


We also own a 50% interest in the MEP pipeline system, which is operated by KMI, and has the capability to transport up to 1.8 Bcf/d of natural gas.
Gulf States is a small interstate pipeline that uses cost-based rates and terms and conditions of service for shippers wishing to secure capacity for interstate transportation service. Rates charged are largely governed by long-term negotiated rate agreements.
The results from our interstate transportation and storage segment are primarily derived from the fees we earn from natural gas transportation and storage services.
Midstream Segment
The midstream natural gas industry is the link between the exploration and production of natural gas and the delivery of its components to end-use markets. The midstream industry consists of natural gas gathering, compression, treating, processing, storage, and transportation, and is generally characterized by regional competition based on the proximity of gathering systems and processing plants to natural gas producing wells and the proximity of storage facilities to production areas and end-use markets.
The natural gas gathering process begins with the drilling of wells into gas-bearing rock formations. Once a well has been completed, the well is connected to a gathering system. Gathering systems generally consist of a network of small diameter pipelines and, if necessary, compression systems, that collects natural gas from points near producing wells and transports it to larger pipelines for further transportation.
Gathering systems are operated at design pressures that will maximize the total throughput from all connected wells. Specifically, lower pressure gathering systems allow wells, which produce at progressively lower field pressures as they age, to remain connected to gathering systems and to continue to produce for longer periods of time. As the pressure of a well declines, it becomes increasingly difficult to deliver the remaining production in the ground against a higher pressure that exists in the connecting gathering system. Field compression is typically used to lower the pressure of a gathering system. If field compression is not installed, then the remaining production in the ground will not be produced because it cannot overcome the higher gathering system pressure. In contrast, if field compression is installed, then a well can continue delivering production that otherwise might not be produced.
Natural gas has a varied composition depending on the field, the formation and the reservoir from which it is produced. Natural gas from certain formations is higher in carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide or certain other contaminants. Treating plants remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from natural gas to ensure that it meets pipeline quality specifications.
Some natural gas produced by a well does not meet the pipeline quality specifications established by downstream pipelines or is not suitable for commercial use and must be processed to remove the mixed NGL stream. In addition, some natural gas produced by a well, while not required to be processed, can be processed to take advantage of favorable margins for NGLs extracted from the gas stream. Natural gas processing involves the separation of natural gas into pipeline quality natural gas, or residue gas, and a mixed NGL stream.
Through our midstream segment, we own and operate natural gas and NGL gathering pipelines, natural gas processing plants, natural gas treating facilities and natural gas conditioning facilities with an aggregate processing, treating and conditioning capacity of approximately 12.3 Bcf/d. Our midstream segment focuses on the gathering, compression, treating, blending, and processing, and our operations are currently concentrated in major producing basins and shales, including the Austin Chalk trend and Eagle Ford Shale in South and Southeast Texas, the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, the Barnett Shale and Woodford Shale in North Texas, the Bossier Sands in East Texas, the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, the Haynesville Shale in East Texas and Louisiana, and the Cotton Valley Shale in Louisiana. Many of our midstream assets are integrated with our intrastate transportation and storage assets.
Our midstream segment also includes a 60% interest in ELG, which operates natural gas gathering, oil pipeline, and oil stabilization facilities in South Texas, a 33.33% membership interest in Ranch Westex JV LLC, which processes natural gas delivered from the NGLs-rich shale formations in West Texas, a 75% membership interest in ORS, which operates a natural gas gathering system in the Utica shale in Ohio, and a 50% interest in Mi Vida JV, which operates a cryogenic processing plant and related facilities in West Texas, a 51% membership interest in Aqua – PVR, which transports and supplies fresh water to natural gas producers in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, and a 50% interest in Sweeny Gathering LP, which operates a natural gas gathering facility in South Texas.
Our midstream segment results are derived primarily from margins we earn for natural gas volumes that are gathered, transported, purchased and sold through our pipeline systems and the natural gas and NGL volumes processed at our processing and treating facilities.


4


NGL and Refined Products Transportation and Services Segment
Our NGL operations transport, store and execute acquisition and marketing activities utilizing a complementary network of pipelines, storage and blending facilities, and strategic off-take locations that provide access to multiple NGL markets.
Liquids transportation pipelines transport mixed NGLs and other hydrocarbons from natural gas processing facilities to fractionation plants and storage facilities. NGL storage facilities are used for the storage of mixed NGLs, NGL products and petrochemical products owned by third parties in storage tanks and underground wells, which allow for the injection and withdrawal of such products at various times of the year to meet demand cycles. NGL fractionators separate mixed NGL streams into purity products, such as ethane, propane, normal butane, isobutane and natural gasoline.
Our NGL and refined products transportation and services segment includes approximately 4,300 miles of NGL pipelines, five NGL and propane fractionation facilities with an aggregate capacity of 545 MBbls/d and NGL storage facilities with aggregate working storage capacity of approximately 53 million Bbls. Four of our NGL and propane fractionation facilities and 50 million Bbls of our NGL storage capacity are located at Mont Belvieu, Texas, one NGL fractionation facility is located in Geismar, Louisiana, and the segment has 3 million Bbls of salt dome storage capacity near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. We are currently constructing a fifth and sixth fractionator in Mont Belvieu, Texas, which are expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019, respectively. The NGL pipelines primarily transport NGLs from the Permian and Delaware basins and the Barnett and Eagle Ford Shales to Mont Belvieu.
Terminalling services are facilitated by approximately 7 million Bbls of NGLs storage capacity, including approximately 1 million Bbls of storage at our Nederland, Texas terminal facility, 1 million Bbls of storage at our Inkster, Michigan terminal facility and 5 million Bbls at our Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania terminal facility (the “Marcus Hook Industrial Complex”). These operations also support our NGLs blending activities, including the use of our patented butane blending technology.
Liquids transportation revenue is principally generated from fees charged to customers under dedicated contracts or take-or-pay contracts. Under a dedicated contract, the customer agrees to deliver the total output from particular processing plants that are connected to the NGL pipeline. Take-or-pay contracts have minimum throughput commitments requiring the customer to pay regardless of whether a fixed volume is transported. Transportation fees are market-based, negotiated with customers and competitive with regional regulated pipelines.
NGL fractionation revenue is principally generated from fees charged to customers under take-or-pay contracts. Take-or-pay contracts have minimum payment obligations for throughput commitments requiring the customer to pay regardless of whether a fixed volume is fractionated from raw make into purity NGL products. Fractionation fees are market-based, negotiated with customers and competitive with other fractionators along the Gulf Coast.
NGL storage revenues are derived from base storage fees and throughput fees. Base storage fees are firm take-or-pay contracts on the volume of capacity reserved, regardless of the capacity actually used. Throughput fees are charged for providing ancillary services, including receipt and delivery and custody transfer fees.
This segment also includes revenues earned from the marketing of NGLs and processing and fractionating refinery off-gas. Marketing of NGLs primarily generates margin from selling ratable NGLs to end users and from optimizing storage assets. Processing and fractionation of refinery off-gas margin is generated from a percentage-of-proceeds of O-grade product sales and income sharing contracts, which are subject to market pricing of olefins and NGLs.
Our refined products operations provide transportation and terminalling services through the use of approximately 2,200 miles of refined products pipelines and approximately 40 active refined products marketing terminals. Our marketing terminals are located primarily in the northeast, midwest and southwest United States, with approximately 8 million Bbls of refined products storage capacity. Our refined products operations include our Eagle Point facility in New Jersey, which has approximately 6 million Bbls of refined products storage capacity. We also include our equity ownership interests in four refined products pipeline companies. The operations also perform terminalling activities at our Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. Our refined products operations utilize our integrated pipeline and terminalling assets, as well as acquisition and marketing activities, to service refined products markets in several regions in the United States.
Crude Oil Transportation and Services Segment
Our crude oil operations provide transportation, terminalling and acquisition and marketing services to crude oil markets throughout the southwest, midwest and northeastern United States. Included within the operations are approximately 9,360 miles of crude oil trunk and gathering pipelines in the southwest and midwest United States and equity ownership interests in two crude oil pipelines. Our crude oil terminalling services operate with an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 33 million Bbls, including approximately 26 million Bbls at our Gulf Coast terminal in Nederland, Texas and approximately 3 million Bbls at our


5


Fort Mifflin terminal complex in Pennsylvania. Our crude oil acquisition and marketing activities utilize our pipeline and terminal assets, our proprietary fleet crude oil tractor trailers and truck unloading facilities, as well as third-party assets, to service crude oil markets principally in the mid-continent United States.
Revenues throughout our crude oil pipeline systems are generated from tariffs paid by shippers utilizing our transportation services. These tariffs are filed with the FERC and other state regulatory agencies, as applicable.
Our crude oil acquisition and marketing activities include the gathering, purchasing, marketing and selling of crude oil primarily in the mid-continent United States. Specifically, the crude oil acquisition and marketing activities include:
purchasing crude oil at both the wellhead from producers, and in bulk from aggregators at major pipeline interconnections and trading locations;
storing inventory during contango market conditions (when the price of crude oil for future delivery is higher than current prices);
buying and selling crude oil of different grades, at different locations in order to maximize value;
transporting crude oil using the pipelines, terminals and trucks or, when necessary or cost effective, pipelines, terminals or trucks owned and operated by third parties; and
marketing crude oil to major integrated oil companies, independent refiners and resellers through various types of sale and exchange transactions.
In November 2016, we purchased a crude oil acquisition and marketing business from Vitol, with operations based in the Permian Basin, Texas. Included in the acquisition was a significant acreage dedication from an investment-grade Permian producer.
All Other Segment
Segments below the quantitative thresholds are classified as “All other.” These include the following:
We own an equity method investment in limited partnership units of Sunoco LP. As of December 31, 2017, our investment consisted of 43.5 million units, representing 43.6% of Sunoco LP’s total outstanding common units. Subsequent to Sunoco LP’s repurchase of a portion of its common units on February 7, 2018, our investment consists of 26.2 million units, representing 31.8% of Sunoco LP’s total outstanding common units.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Sunoco, Inc., owns an approximate 33% non-operating interest in PES, a refining joint venture with The Carlyle Group, L.P., which owns a refinery in Philadelphia.
PES Holdings, LLC ("PES Holdings") and eight affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 21, 2018 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to implement a prepackaged reorganization plan that will allow its shareholders to retain a minority stake. PES Holdings' Chapter 11 Plan (“Plan”) proposes to inject $260 million in new capital into PES Holdings, cut debt service obligations by about $35 million per year and remove debt maturities before 2022.  Under that Plan, PES Holdings’ non-debtor parent, PES, in which ETP holds an indirect 33% equity interest, will provide a $65 million cash contribution in exchange for a 25% stake in the reorganized debtor. After the restructuring, the proportionate ownership of Carlyle Group, L.P. and ETP in PES Holdings will be 16.26% and 8.13%, respectively. Finally, Sunoco Logistics Partners Operations L.P. (“SXL Operating Partnership”), a subsidiary of ETP, is providing an additional $75 million exit loan ranked pari passu with the other debt.  SXL Operating Partnership’s, PES Holdings’ and ETP’s current contracts will be assumed, without any impairments, in the Chapter 11, and business operations will continue uninterrupted.  The financial reorganization is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2018.
We conduct marketing operations in which we market the natural gas that flows through our gathering and intrastate transportation assets, referred to as on-system gas. We also attract other customers by marketing volumes of natural gas that do not move through our assets, referred to as off-system gas. For both on-system and off-system gas, we purchase natural gas from natural gas producers and other suppliers and sell that natural gas to utilities, industrial consumers, other marketers and pipeline companies, thereby generating gross margins based upon the difference between the purchase and resale prices of natural gas, less the costs of transportation. For the off-system gas, we purchase gas or act as an agent for small independent producers that may not have marketing operations.
We own a natural gas compression equipment business with operations in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
We own 100% of the membership interests of Energy Transfer Group, L.L.C. (“ETG”), which owns all of the partnership interests of Energy Transfer Technologies, Ltd. (“ETT”). ETT provides compression services to customers engaged in the transportation of natural gas, including our other segments.


6


We own a 40% interest in the parent of LCL, which is developing a LNG liquefaction project, as described further under “Asset Overview – All Other” below.
We own and operate a fleet of compressors used to provide turn-key natural gas compression services for customer specific systems. We also own and operate a fleet of equipment used to provide treating services, such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide removal, natural gas cooling, dehydration and BTU management. These assets are primarily owned through CDM and CDM E&T. As discussed in “Recent Developments” in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” in January 2018, we entered into an agreement to contribute these assets to USAC.
We are involved in the management of coal and natural resources properties and the related collection of royalties. We also earn revenues from other land management activities, such as selling standing timber, leasing coal-related infrastructure facilities, and collecting oil and gas royalties. These operations also include end-user coal handling facilities.
We also own PEI Power Corp. and PEI Power II, which own and operate a facility in Pennsylvania that generates a total of 75 megawatts of electrical power.
Asset Overview
The descriptions below include summaries of significant assets within the Partnership’s reportable segments. Amounts, such as capacities, volumes and miles included in the descriptions below are approximate and are based on information currently available; such amounts are subject to change based on future events or additional information.
Intrastate Transportation and Storage
The following details our pipelines and storage facilities in the intrastate transportation and storage segment:
Description of Assets
 
Ownership Interest
(%)
 
Miles of Natural Gas Pipeline
 
Pipeline Throughput Capacity
(Bcf/d)
 
Working Storage Capacity
(Bcf/d)
ET Fuel System
 
100
%
 
2,780

 
5.2

 
11.2

Oasis Pipeline
 
100
%
 
750

 
2.3

 

HPL System
 
100
%
 
3,920

 
5.3

 
52.5

East Texas Pipeline
 
100
%
 
460

 
2.4

 

RIGS Haynesville Partnership Co.
 
49.99
%
 
450

 
2.1

 

Comanche Trail Pipeline
 
16
%
 
195

 
1.1

 

Trans-Pecos Pipeline
 
16
%
 
143

 
1.4

 

The following information describes our principal intrastate transportation and storage assets:
The ET Fuel System serves some of the most prolific production areas in the United States and is comprised of intrastate natural gas pipeline and related natural gas storage facilities. The ET Fuel System has many interconnections with pipelines providing direct access to power plants, other intrastate and interstate pipelines, and has bi-directional capabilities. It is strategically located near high-growth production areas and provides access to the Waha Hub near Midland, Texas, the Katy Hub near Houston, Texas and the Carthage Hub in East Texas, the three major natural gas trading centers in Texas.
The ET Fuel System also includes our Bethel natural gas storage facility, with a working capacity of 6.0 Bcf, an average withdrawal capacity of 300 MMcf/d and an injection capacity of 75 MMcf/d, and our Bryson natural gas storage facility, with a working capacity of 5.2 Bcf, an average withdrawal capacity of 120 MMcf/d and an average injection capacity of 96 MMcf/d. Storage capacity on the ET Fuel System is contracted to third parties under fee-based arrangements that extend through 2023.
In addition, the ET Fuel System is integrated with our Godley processing plant which gives us the ability to bypass the plant when processing margins are unfavorable by blending the untreated natural gas from the North Texas System with natural gas on the ET Fuel System while continuing to meet pipeline quality specifications.
The Oasis Pipeline is primarily a 36-inch natural gas pipeline. It has bi-directional capabilities with approximately 1.2 Bcf/d of throughput capacity moving west-to-east and greater than 750 MMcf/d of throughput capacity moving east-to-west. The Oasis pipeline connects to the Waha and Katy market hubs and has many interconnections with other pipelines, power plants, processing facilities, municipalities and producers.


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The Oasis pipeline is integrated with our Southeast Texas System and is an important component to maximizing our Southeast Texas System’s profitability. The Oasis pipeline enhances the Southeast Texas System by (i) providing access for natural gas on the Southeast Texas System to other third-party supply and market points and interconnecting pipelines and (ii) allowing us to bypass our processing plants and treating facilities on the Southeast Texas System when processing margins are unfavorable by blending untreated natural gas from the Southeast Texas System with gas on the Oasis pipeline while continuing to meet pipeline quality specifications.
The HPL System is an extensive network of intrastate natural gas pipelines, an underground Bammel storage reservoir and related transportation assets. The system has access to multiple sources of historically significant natural gas supply reserves from South Texas, the Gulf Coast of Texas, East Texas and the western Gulf of Mexico, and is directly connected to major gas distribution, electric and industrial load centers in Houston, Corpus Christi, Texas City and other cities located along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The HPL System is well situated to gather and transport gas in many of the major gas producing areas in Texas including a strong presence in the key Houston Ship Channel and Katy Hub markets, allowing us to play an important role in the Texas natural gas markets. The HPL System also offers its shippers off-system opportunities due to its numerous interconnections with other pipeline systems, its direct access to multiple market hubs at Katy, the Houston Ship Channel and Agua Dulce, as well as our Bammel storage facility.
The Bammel storage facility has a total working gas capacity of approximately 52.5 Bcf, a peak withdrawal rate of 1.3 Bcf/d and a peak injection rate of 0.6 Bcf/d. The Bammel storage facility is located near the Houston Ship Channel market area and the Katy Hub, and is ideally suited to provide a physical backup for on-system and off-system customers. As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 10.8 Bcf committed under fee-based arrangements with third parties and approximately 36.9 Bcf stored in the facility for our own account.
The East Texas Pipeline connects three treating facilities, one of which we own, with our Southeast Texas System. The East Texas pipeline serves producers in East and North Central Texas and provided access to the Katy Hub. The East Texas pipeline expansions include the 36-inch East Texas extension to connect our Reed compressor station in Freestone County to our Grimes County compressor station, the 36-inch Katy expansion connecting Grimes to the Katy Hub, and the 42-inch Southeast Bossier pipeline connecting our Cleburne to Carthage pipeline to the HPL System.
RIGS is a 450-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas from northwest Louisiana to downstream pipelines and markets. The Partnership owns a 49.99% general partner interest in RIGS.
Comanche Trail is a 195-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas from the Waha Hub near Midland, Texas to the United States/Mexico border near San Elizario, Texas. The Partnership owns a 16% membership interest in and operates Comanche Trail.
Trans-Pecos is a 143-mile intrastate pipeline that delivers natural gas from the Waha Hub near Midland, Texas to the United States/Mexico border near Presidio, Texas. The Partnership owns a 16% membership interest in and operates Trans-Pecos.
Interstate Transportation and Storage
The following details our pipelines in the interstate transportation and storage segment:
Description of Assets
 
Ownership Interest
(%)
 
Miles of Natural Gas Pipeline
 
Pipeline Throughput Capacity
(Bcf/d)
 
Working Gas Capacity
(Bcf/d)
Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline
 
50
%
 
5,360

 
3.1

 

Transwestern Pipeline
 
100
%
 
2,570

 
2.1

 

Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line
 
100
%
 
5,980

 
2.8

 
83.9

Trunkline Gas Pipeline
 
100
%
 
2,220

 
0.9

 
13.0

Tiger Pipeline
 
100
%
 
195

 
2.4

 

Fayetteville Express Pipeline
 
50
%
 
185

 
2.0

 

Sea Robin Pipeline
 
100
%
 
830

 
2.0

 

Rover Pipeline
 
32.6
%
 
713

 
3.25

 

Midcontinent Express Pipeline
 
50
%
 
500

 
1.8

 

Gulf States
 
100
%
 
10

 
0.1

 



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The following information describes our principal interstate transportation and storage assets:
The Florida Gas Transmission Pipeline (“FGT”) is an open-access interstate pipeline system with a mainline capacity of 3.1 Bcf/d and approximately 5,360 miles of pipelines extending from south Texas through the Gulf Coast region of the United States to south Florida. The FGT system receives natural gas from various onshore and offshore natural gas producing basins. FGT is the principal transporter of natural gas to the Florida energy market, delivering over 66% of the natural gas consumed in the state. In addition, FGT’s system operates and maintains over 81 interconnects with major interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines, which provide FGT’s customers access to diverse natural gas producing regions. FGT’s customers include electric utilities, independent power producers, industrials and local distribution companies. FGT is owned by Citrus, a 50/50 joint venture with KMI.
The Transwestern Pipeline is an open-access interstate natural gas pipeline extending from the gas producing regions of West Texas, eastern and northwestern New Mexico, and southern Colorado primarily to pipeline interconnects off the east end of its system and to pipeline interconnects at the California border. The Transwestern Pipeline has bi-directional capabilities and access to three significant gas basins: the Permian Basin in West Texas and eastern New Mexico; the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado; and the Anadarko Basin in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Natural gas sources from the San Juan Basin and surrounding producing areas can be delivered eastward to Texas intrastate and mid-continent connecting pipelines and natural gas market hubs as well as westward to markets in Arizona, Nevada and California. Transwestern’s Phoenix Lateral Pipeline, with a throughput capacity of 660 MMcf/d, connects the Phoenix area to the Transwestern mainline. Transwestern’s customers include local distribution companies, producers, marketers, electric power generators and industrial end-users.
The Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line’s transmission system consists of four large diameter pipelines with bi-directional capabilities, extending approximately 1,300 miles from producing areas in the Anadarko Basin of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and into Michigan.
The Trunkline Gas Pipeline’s transmission system consists of one large diameter pipeline with bi-directional capabilities, extending approximately 1,400 miles from the Gulf Coast areas of Texas and Louisiana through Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.
The Tiger Pipeline is an approximately 195-mile interstate natural gas pipeline with bi-directional capabilities, that connects to our dual 42-inch pipeline system near Carthage, Texas, extends through the heart of the Haynesville Shale and ends near Delhi, Louisiana, with interconnects to at least seven interstate pipelines at various points in Louisiana.
The Fayetteville Express Pipeline is an approximately 185-mile interstate natural gas pipeline that originates near Conway County, Arkansas, continues eastward through White County, Arkansas and terminates at an interconnect with Trunkline Gas Company in Panola County, Mississippi. The Fayetteville Express Pipeline is owned by a 50/50 joint venture with KMI.
The Sea Robin Pipeline’s transmission system consists of two offshore Louisiana natural gas supply systems extending approximately 120 miles into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Rover Pipeline is a new 713-mile natural gas pipeline designed to transport 3.25 Bcf/d of domestically produced natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica Shale production areas to markets across the United States as well as into the Union Gas Dawn Storage Hub in Ontario, Canada, for redistribution back into the United States or into the Canadian market.
The Midcontinent Express Pipeline is an approximately 500-mile interstate pipeline stretching from southeast Oklahoma through northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and central Mississippi to an interconnect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline System in Butler, Alabama. The Midcontinent Express Pipeline is owned by a 50/50 joint venture with KMI.
Gulf States owns a 10-mile interstate pipeline that extends from Harrison County, Texas to Caddo Parish, Louisiana.


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Midstream
The following details our assets in the midstream segment:
Description of Assets
 
Net Gas Processing Capacity
(MMcf/d)
 
Net Gas Treating Capacity
(MMcf/d)
South Texas Region:
 
 
 
 
Southeast Texas System
 
410

 
510

Eagle Ford System
 
1,920

 
1,808

Ark-La-Tex Region
 
1,025

 
1,186

North Central Texas Region
 
715

 
212

Permian Region
 
1,943

 
1,580

Mid-Continent Region
 
885

 
20

Eastern Region
 

 
70

The following information describes our principal midstream assets:
South Texas Region:
The Southeast Texas System is an integrated system that gathers, compresses, treats, processes, dehydrates and transports natural gas from the Austin Chalk trend and Eagle Ford shale formation. The Southeast Texas System is a large natural gas gathering system covering thirteen counties between Austin and Houston. This system is connected to the Katy Hub through the East Texas Pipeline and is also connected to the Oasis Pipeline. The Southeast Texas System includes two natural gas processing plant (La Grange and Alamo) with aggregate capacity of 410 MMcf/d and natural gas treating facilities with aggregate capacity of 510 MMcf/d. The La Grange and Alamo processing plants are natural gas processing plants that process the rich gas that flows through our gathering system to produce residue gas and NGLs. Residue gas is delivered into our intrastate pipelines and NGLs are delivered into our NGL pipelines to Lone Star.
Our treating facilities remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from natural gas gathered into our system before the natural gas is introduced to transportation pipelines to ensure that the gas meets pipeline quality specifications.
The Eagle Ford Gathering System consists of 30-inch and 42-inch natural gas gathering pipelines with over 1.4 Bcf/d of capacity originating in Dimmitt County, Texas, and extending to both our King Ranch gas plant in Kleberg County, Texas and Jackson plant in Jackson County, Texas. The Eagle Ford Gathering System includes four processing plants (Chisholm, Kenedy, Jackson and King Ranch) with aggregate capacity of 1.92 Bcf/d and multiple natural gas treating facilities with combined capacity of 1.81 Bcf/d. Our Chisholm, Kenedy, Jackson and King Ranch processing plants are connected to our intrastate transportation pipeline systems for deliveries of residue gas and are also connected with our NGL pipelines for delivery of NGLs to Lone Star.
Ark-La-Tex Region:
Our Northern Louisiana assets are comprised of several gathering systems in the Haynesville Shale with access to multiple markets through interconnects with several pipelines, including our Tiger Pipeline. Our Northern Louisiana assets include the Bistineau, Creedence, and Tristate Systems, which collectively include three natural gas treating facilities, with aggregate capacity of 1.19 Bcf/d.
Our PennTex Midstream System is primarily located in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, and consists of the Lincoln Parish plant, a 200 MMcf/d design-capacity cryogenic natural gas processing plant located near Arcadia, Louisiana, the Mt. Olive plant, a 200 MMcf/d design-capacity cryogenic natural gas processing plant located near Ruston, Louisiana, with on-site liquids handling facilities for inlet gas; a 35-mile rich gas gathering system that provides producers with access to our processing plants and third-party processing capacity; a 15-mile residue gas pipeline that provides market access for natural gas from our processing plants, including connections with pipelines that provide access to the Perryville Hub and other markets in the Gulf Coast region; and a 40-mile NGL pipeline that provides connections to the Mont Belvieu market for NGLs produced from our processing plants.
The Ark-La-Tex assets gather, compress, treat and dehydrate natural gas in several parishes in north and west Louisiana and several counties in East Texas. These assets also include cryogenic natural gas processing facilities, a refrigeration plant, a conditioning plant, amine treating plants, and an interstate NGL pipeline. Collectively, the eight natural gas processing


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facilities (Dubach, Dubberly, Lisbon, Salem, Elm Grove, Minden, Ada and Brookeland) have an aggregate capacity of 1.03 Bcf/d.
Through the gathering and processing systems described above and their interconnections with RIGS in north Louisiana, we offer producers wellhead-to-market services, including natural gas gathering, compression, processing, treating and transportation.
North Central Texas Region:
The North Central Texas System is an integrated system located in four counties in North Central Texas that gathers, compresses, treats, processes and transports natural gas from the Barnett and Woodford Shales. Our North Central Texas assets include our Godley and Crescent plants, which process rich gas produced from the Barnett Shale and STACK play, with aggregate capacity of 715 MMcf/d and aggregate treating capacity of 212 MMcf/d. The Godley plant is integrated with the ET Fuel System.
Permian Region:
The Permian Basin Gathering System offers wellhead-to-market services to producers in eleven counties in West Texas, as well as two counties in New Mexico which surround the Waha Hub, one of Texas’s developing NGL-rich natural gas market areas. As a result of the proximity of our system to the Waha Hub, the Waha Gathering System has a variety of market outlets for the natural gas that we gather and process, including several major interstate and intrastate pipelines serving California, the mid-continent region of the United States and Texas natural gas markets. The NGL market outlets includes Lone Star’s liquids pipelines. The Permian Basin Gathering System includes ten processing facilities (Waha, Coyanosa, Red Bluff, Halley, Jal, Keyston, Tippet, Orla, Panther and Rebel) with an aggregate processing capacity of 1.62 Bcf/d, treating capacity of 1.58 Bcf/d, and one natural gas conditioning facility with aggregate capacity of 200 MMcf/d.
We own a 50% membership interest in Mi Vida JV, a joint venture which owns a 200 MMcf/d cryogenic processing plant in West Texas. We operate the plant and related facilities on behalf of Mi Vida JV.
We own a 33.33% membership interest in Ranch JV, which processes natural gas delivered from the NGL-rich Bone Spring and Avalon Shale formations in West Texas. The joint venture owns a 25 MMcf/d refrigeration plant and a 125 MMcf/d cryogenic processing plant.
Mid-Continent Region:
The Mid-Continent Systems are located in two large natural gas producing regions in the United States, the Hugoton Basin in southwest Kansas, and the Anadarko Basin in western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. These mature basins have continued to provide generally long-lived, predictable production volume. Our Mid-Continent assets are extensive systems that gather, compress and dehydrate low-pressure gas. The Mid-Continent Systems include fourteen natural gas processing facilities (Mocane, Beaver, Antelope Hills, Woodall, Wheeler, Sunray, Hemphill, Phoenix, Hamlin, Spearman, Red Deer, Lefors, Cargray and Gray) with an aggregate capacity of 885 MMcf/d and one natural gas treating facility with aggregate capacity of 20 MMcf/d.
We operate our Mid-Continent Systems at low pressures to maximize the total throughput volumes from the connected wells. Wellhead pressures are therefore adequate to allow for flow of natural gas into the gathering lines without the cost of wellhead compression.
We also own the Hugoton Gathering System that has 1,900 miles of pipeline extending over nine counties in Kansas and Oklahoma. This system is operated by a third party.
Eastern Region:
The Eastern Region assets are located in nine counties in Pennsylvania, three counties in Ohio, three counties in West Virginia, and gather natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica basins. Our Eastern Region assets include approximately 500 miles of natural gas gathering pipeline, natural gas trunklines, fresh-water pipelines, and nine gathering and processing systems. The fresh water pipeline system and Ohio gathering assets are held by jointly-owned entities.
We also own a 51% membership interest in Aqua – PVR, a joint venture that transports and supplies fresh water to natural gas producers drilling in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.
We and Traverse ORS LLC, a subsidiary of Traverse Midstream Partners LLC, own a 75% and 25% membership interest, respectively, in the ORS joint venture. On behalf of ORS, we operate its Ohio Utica River System (the “ORS System”), which consists of 47 miles of 36-inch and 13 miles of 30-inch gathering trunklines that delivers up to 2.1 Bcf/d to Rockies Express Pipeline (“REX”), Texas Eastern Transmission, and others.


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NGL and Refined Products Transportation and Services
The following details the assets in our NGL and refined products transportation and services segment:
Description of Assets
 
Miles of Liquids Pipeline (2)
 
Pipeline Throughput Capacity
(MBbls/d)
 
NGL Fractionation / Processing Capacity
(MBbls/d)
 
Working Storage Capacity
(MBbls)
Liquids Pipelines:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lone Star Express
 
535

 
507

 

 

West Texas Gateway Pipeline
 
512

 
240

 

 

Lone Star
 
1,617

 
120

 

 

Mariner East
 
300

 
70

 

 

Mariner South
 
67

 
200

 

 

Mariner West
 
395

 
50

 

 

Other NGL Pipelines
 
645

 
591

 

 

Liquids Fractionation and Services Facilities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mont Belvieu Facilities
 
163

 
42

 
520

 
50,000

Sea Robin Processing Plant1
 

 

 
26

 

Refinery Services1
 
103

 

 
25

 

Hattiesburg Storage Facilities
 

 

 

 
3,000

NGLs Terminals:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nederland
 

 

 

 
1,000

Marcus Hook Industrial Complex
 

 

 
90

 
5,000

Inkster
 

 

 

 
1,000

Refined Products Pipelines
 
2,200

 
800

 

 

Refined Products Terminals:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eagle Point
 

 

 

 
6,000

Marcus Hook Industrial Complex
 

 

 

 
1,000

Marcus Hook Tank Farm
 

 

 

 
2,000

Marketing Terminals
 

 

 

 
8,000

(1) 
Additionally, the Sea Robin Processing Plant and Refinery Services have residue capacities of 850 MMcf/d and 54 MMcf/d, respectively.
(2) 
Miles of pipeline as reported to PHMSA.
The following information describes our principal NGL and refined products transportation and services assets:
The Lone Star Express System is an interstate NGL pipeline consisting of 24-inch and 30-inch long-haul transportation pipeline that delivers mixed NGLs from processing plants in the Permian Basin, the Barnett Shale, and from East Texas to the Mont Belvieu NGL storage facility.
The West Texas Gateway Pipeline transports NGLs produced in the Permian and Delaware Basins and the Eagle Ford Shale to Mont Belvieu, Texas.
The Mariner East pipeline transports NGLs from the Marcellus and Utica Shales areas in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Eastern Ohio to destinations in Pennsylvania, including our Marcus Hook Industrial Complex on the Delaware River, where they are processed, stored and distributed to local, domestic and waterborne markets. The first phase of the project, referred to as Mariner East 1, consisted of interstate and intrastate propane and ethane service and commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2016, respectively. The second phase of the project, referred to as Mariner East 2, will expand the total takeaway capacity to 345 MBbls/d for interstate and intrastate propane, ethane and butane service, and is expected to commence operations in the second quarter of 2018.


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The Mariner South pipeline is part of a joint project with Lone Star to deliver export-grade propane and butane products from Lone Star’s Mont Belvieu, Texas storage and fractionation complex to our marine terminal in Nederland, Texas.
The Mariner West pipeline provides transportation of ethane from the Marcellus shale processing and fractionating areas in Houston, Pennsylvania to Marysville, Michigan and the Canadian border. Mariner West commenced operations in the fourth quarter of 2013, with capacity to transport approximately 50 MBbls/d.
Refined products pipelines include approximately 2,200 miles of refined products pipelines in several regions of the United States. The pipelines primarily provide transportation in the northeast, midwest, and southwest United States markets. These operations include our controlling financial interest in Inland Corporation (“Inland”). The mix of products delivered varies seasonally, with gasoline demand peaking during the summer months, and demand for heating oil and other distillate fuels peaking in the winter. In addition, weather conditions in the areas served by the refined products pipelines affect both the demand for, and the mix of, the refined products delivered through the pipelines, although historically, any overall impact on the total volume shipped has been short-term. The products transported in these pipelines include multiple grades of gasoline, and middle distillates, such as heating oil, diesel and jet fuel. Rates for shipments on these product pipelines are regulated by the FERC and other state regulatory agencies, as applicable.
Other NGL pipelines include the 127-mile Justice pipeline with capacity of 375 MBbls/d, the 45-mile Freedom pipeline with a capacity of 56 MBbls/d, the 20-mile Spirit pipeline with a capacity of 20 MBbls/d and a 50% interest in the 87-mile Liberty pipeline with a capacity of 140 MBbls/d.
Our Mont Belvieu storage facility is an integrated liquids storage facility with over 50 million Bbls of salt dome capacity providing 100% fee-based cash flows. The Mont Belvieu storage facility has access to multiple NGL and refined products pipelines, the Houston Ship Channel trading hub, and numerous chemical plants, refineries and fractionators.
Our Mont Belvieu fractionators handle NGLs delivered from several sources, including the Lone Star Express pipeline and the Justice pipeline. Fractionator V is currently under construction and is scheduled to be operational by the third quarter of 2018.
Sea Robin is a rich gas processing plant located on the Sea Robin Pipeline in southern Louisiana. The plant is connected to nine interstate and four intrastate residue pipelines, as well as various deep-water production fields.
Refinery Services consists of a refinery off-gas processing unit and an O-grade NGL fractionation / Refinery-Grade Propylene (“RGP”) splitting complex located along the Mississippi River refinery corridor in southern Louisiana.  The off-gas processing unit cryogenically processes refinery off-gas, and the fractionation / RGP splitting complex fractionates the streams into higher value components.  The O-grade fractionator and RGP splitting complex, located in Geismar, Louisiana, is connected by approximately 103 miles of pipeline to the Chalmette processing plant, which has a processing capacity of 54 MMcf/d.
The Hattiesburg storage facility is an integrated liquids storage facility with approximately 3 million Bbls of salt dome capacity, providing 100% fee-based cash flows.
The Nederland terminal, in addition to crude oil activities, also provides approximately 1 million Bbls of storage and distribution services for NGLs in connection with the Mariner South pipeline, which provides transportation of propane and butane products from the Mont Belvieu region to the Nederland terminal, where such products can be exported via ship.
The Marcus Hook Industrial Complex includes fractionation, terminalling and storage assets, with a capacity of approximately 2 million Bbls of NGL storage capacity in underground caverns, 3 million Bbls of above-ground refrigerated storage, and related commercial agreements. The terminal has a total active refined products storage capacity of approximately 1 million Bbls. The facility can receive NGLs and refined products via marine vessel, pipeline, truck and rail, and can deliver via marine vessel, pipeline and truck. In addition to providing NGLs storage and terminalling services to both affiliates and third-party customers, the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex currently serves as an off-take outlet for the Mariner East 1 pipeline, and will provide similar off-take capabilities for the Mariner East 2 pipeline when it commences operations.
The Inkster terminal, located near Detroit, Michigan, consists of multiple salt caverns with a total storage capacity of approximately 1 million Bbls of NGLs. We use the Inkster terminal’s storage in connection with the Toledo North pipeline system and for the storage of NGLs from local producers and a refinery in Western Ohio. The terminal can receive and ship by pipeline in both directions and has a truck loading and unloading rack.
We have approximately 40 refined products terminals with an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 8 million Bbls that facilitate the movement of refined products to or from storage or transportation systems, such as a pipeline, to other transportation systems, such as trucks or other pipelines. Each facility typically consists of multiple storage tanks and is equipped with automated truck loading equipment that is operational 24 hours a day.
In addition to crude oil service, the Eagle Point terminal can accommodate three marine vessels (ships or barges) to receive and deliver refined products to outbound ships and barges. The tank farm has a total active refined products storage capacity


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of approximately 6 million Bbls, and provides customers with access to the facility via ship, barge and pipeline. The terminal can deliver via ship, barge, truck or pipeline, providing customers with access to various markets. The terminal generates revenue primarily by charging fees based on throughput, blending services and storage.
The Marcus Hook Tank Farm has a total refined products storage capacity of approximately 2 million Bbls of refined products storage. The tank farm historically served Sunoco Inc.’s Marcus Hook refinery and generated revenue from the related throughput and storage. In 2012, the main processing units at the refinery were idled in connection with Sunoco Inc.’s exit from its refining business. The terminal continues to receive and deliver refined products via pipeline and now primarily provides terminalling services to support movements on our refined products pipelines.
The Eastern refined products pipelines consists of approximately 470 miles of 6-inch to 24-inch diameters refined product pipelines in Eastern, Central and North Central Pennsylvania, approximately 162 miles of 8-inch refined products pipeline in western New York and approximately 182 miles of various diameters refined products pipeline in New Jersey (including 80 miles of the 16-inch diameter Harbor Pipeline).
The Mid-Continent refined products pipelines primarily consists of approximately 212 miles of 3-inch to 12-inch refined products pipelines in Ohio, approximately 85 miles of 6-inch to 12-inch refined products pipeline in Western Pennsylvania and approximately 52 miles of 8-inch refined products pipeline in Michigan.
The Southwest refined products pipelines is located in Eastern Texas and consists primarily of approximately 300 miles of 8-inch diameter refined products pipeline. 
The Inland refined products pipeline, approximately 350 miles of pipeline in Ohio, consists of 72 miles of 12-inch diameter refined products pipeline in Northwest Ohio, 205 miles of 10-inch diameter refined products pipeline in vicinity of Columbus, Ohio, 53 miles of 8-inch diameter refined products pipeline in western Ohio and the remaining refined products pipeline primarily consists of 5-inch diameter pipeline in Northeast Ohio.
Crude Oil Transportation and Services
The following details our pipelines and terminals in the crude oil transportation and services segment:
Description of Assets
 
Miles of Crude Pipeline (1)
 
Working Storage Capacity
(MBbls)
Dakota Access Pipeline
 
1,172

 

Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline
 
743

 

Bayou Bridge Pipeline
 
49

 

Permian Express Pipelines
 
1,712

 

Other Crude Oil Pipelines
 
5,682

 

Nederland Terminal
 

 
26,000

Fort Mifflin Terminal
 

 
570

Eagle Point Terminal
 

 
1,000

Midland Terminal
 

 
2,000

Marcus Hook Industrial Complex
 

 
1,000

Patoka, Illinois Terminal
 

 
2,000

(1) 
Miles of pipeline as reported to PHMSA.
Our crude oil operations consist of an integrated set of pipeline, terminalling, and acquisition and marketing assets that service the movement of crude oil from producers to end-user markets. The following details our assets in the crude oil transportation and services segment:
Crude Oil Pipelines
Our crude oil pipelines consist of approximately 9,358 miles of crude oil trunk and gathering pipelines in the southwest and midwest United States, including our wholly-owned interests in West Texas Gulf, Permian Express Terminal LLC (“PET”), and Mid-Valley Pipeline Company (“Mid-Valley”). Additionally, we have equity ownership interests in two crude oil pipelines. Our crude oil pipelines provide access to several trading hubs, including the largest trading hub for crude oil in the United States located


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in Cushing, Oklahoma, and other trading hubs located in Midland, Colorado City and Longview, Texas. Our crude oil pipelines also deliver to and connect with other pipelines that deliver crude oil to a number of refineries.
Bakken Pipeline. Dakota Access and ETCO are collectively referred to as the “Bakken Pipeline.” The Bakken Pipeline is a 1,915 mile pipeline with an initial capacity of 470 MBbls/d, expandable to 570 MBbls/d, that transports domestically produced crude oil from the Bakken/Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to a storage and terminal hub outside of Patoka, Illinois, or to gulf coast connections including our crude terminal in Nederland Texas.
The pipeline transports light, sweet crude oil from North Dakota to major refining markets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions.
Dakota Access went into service on June 1, 2017 and consists of approximately 1,172 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline traversing North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Crude oil transported on the Dakota Access originates at six terminal locations in the North Dakota counties of Mountrail, Williams and McKenzie. The pipeline delivers the crude oil to a hub outside of Patoka, Illinois where it can be delivered to the ETCO Pipeline for delivery to the Gulf Coast, or can be transported via other pipelines to refining markets throughout the Midwest.
ETCO went into service on June 1, 2017 and consists of more than 743 miles consisting of 678 miles of mostly 30-inch converted natural gas pipeline and 65 miles of new 30-inch pipeline from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, where the crude oil can be refined or further transported to additional refining markets.
Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline is a joint venture between ETP and Phillips 66, in which ETP has a 60% ownership interest and serves as the operator of the pipeline. Phase I of the pipeline, which consists of a 30-inch pipeline from Nederland, Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana, went into service in April 2016. Phase II of the pipeline, which will consist of 24-inch pipe from Lake Charles, Louisiana to St. James, Louisiana, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.
When completed the Bayou Bridge Pipeline will have a capacity expandable to approximately 480 MBbls/d of light and heavy crude oil from different sources to the St. James crude oil hub, which is home to important refineries located in the Gulf Coast region.
Permian Express Pipelines. The Permian Express pipelines are part of the PEP joint venture and include Permian Express 1, Permian Express 2, Permian Longview and Louisiana Access pipelines, as well as the Longview to Louisiana and Pegasus pipelines contributed to this joint venture by ExxonMobil. These pipelines are comprised of crude oil trunk pipelines and crude oil gathering pipelines in Texas and Oklahoma and provide takeaway capacity from the Permian Basin, which origins in multiple locations in Western Texas.
Other Crude Oil pipelines include the Mid-Valley pipeline system which originates in Longview, Texas and passes through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio and terminates in Samaria, Michigan. This pipeline provides crude oil to a number of refineries, primarily in the Midwest United States.
In addition, we own a crude oil pipeline that runs from Marysville, Michigan to Toledo, Ohio, and a truck injection point for local production at Marysville. This pipeline receives crude oil from the Enbridge pipeline system for delivery to refineries located in Toledo, Ohio and to MPLX’s Samaria, Michigan tank farm, which supplies its Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s refinery in Detroit, Michigan.
We also own and operate crude oil pipeline and gathering systems in Oklahoma. We have the ability to deliver substantially all of the crude oil gathered on our Oklahoma system to Cushing. We are one of the largest purchasers of crude oil from producers in the state, and our crude oil acquisition and marketing activities business is the primary shipper on our Oklahoma crude oil system.
Crude Oil Terminals
Nederland. The Nederland terminal, located on the Sabine-Neches waterway between Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, is a large marine terminal providing storage and distribution services for refiners and other large transporters of crude oil and NGLs. The terminal receives, stores, and distributes crude oil, NGLs, feedstocks, lubricants, petrochemicals, and bunker oils (used for fueling ships and other marine vessels), and also blends lubricants. The terminal currently has a total storage capacity of approximately 26 million Bbls in approximately 150 above ground storage tanks with individual capacities of up to 660 MBbls.
The Nederland terminal can receive crude oil at four of its five ship docks and four barge berths. The four ship docks are capable of receiving over 2 million Bbls/d of crude oil. In addition to our crude oil pipelines, the terminal can also receive crude oil through a number of other pipelines, including the DOE. The DOE pipelines connect the terminal to the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s West Hackberry caverns at Hackberry, Louisiana and Big Hill caverns near Winnie, Texas, which have an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 395 million Bbls.


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The Nederland Terminal can deliver crude oil and other petroleum products via pipeline, barge and ship. The terminal has two ship docks and three barge berths that are capable of delivering crude oils for international transport. In total, the terminal is capable of delivering over 2 million Bbls/d of crude oil to our crude oil pipelines or a number of third-party pipelines including the DOE. The Nederland terminal generates crude oil revenues primarily by providing term or spot storage services and throughput capabilities to a number of customers.
Fort Mifflin. The Fort Mifflin terminal complex is located on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and includes the Fort Mifflin terminal, the Hog Island wharf, the Darby Creek tank farm and connecting pipelines. Revenues are generated from the Fort Mifflin terminal complex by charging fees based on throughput.
The Fort Mifflin terminal contains two ship docks with freshwater drafts and a total storage capacity of approximately 570 MBbls. Crude oil and some refined products enter the Fort Mifflin terminal primarily from marine vessels on the Delaware River. One Fort Mifflin dock is designed to handle crude oil from very large crude carrier-class tankers and smaller crude oil vessels. The other dock can accommodate only smaller crude oil vessels.
The Hog Island wharf is located next to the Fort Mifflin terminal on the Delaware River and receives crude oil via two ship docks, one of which can accommodate crude oil tankers and smaller crude oil vessels, and the other of which can accommodate some smaller crude oil vessels.
The Darby Creek tank farm is a primary crude oil storage terminal for the Philadelphia refinery, which is operated by PES under a joint venture with Sunoco, Inc. This facility has a total storage capacity of approximately 3 million Bbls. Darby Creek receives crude oil from the Fort Mifflin terminal and Hog Island wharf via our pipelines. The tank farm then stores the crude oil and transports it to the PES refinery via our pipelines.
Eagle Point. The Eagle Point terminal is located in Westville, New Jersey and consists of docks, truck loading facilities and a tank farm. The docks are located on the Delaware River and can accommodate three marine vessels (ships or barges) to receive and deliver crude oil, intermediate products and refined products to outbound ships and barges. The tank farm has a total active storage capacity of approximately 1 million Bbls and can receive crude oil via barge and rail and deliver via ship and barge, providing customers with access to various markets. The terminal generates revenue primarily by charging fees based on throughput, blending services and storage.
Midland. The Midland terminal is located in Midland, Texas and was acquired in November 2016 from Vitol. The facility includes approximately 2 million Bbls of crude oil storage, a combined 14 lanes of truck loading and unloading, and provides access to the Permian Express 2 transportation system.
Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. The Marcus Hook Industrial Complex can receive crude oil via marine vessel and can deliver via marine vessel and pipeline. The terminal has a total active crude oil storage capacity of approximately 1 million Bbls.
Patoka, Illinois Terminal. The Patoka, Illinois terminal is a tank farm and was contributed by ExxonMobil to the PEP joint venture and is located in Marion County, Illinois. The facility includes 234 acres of owned land and provides for approximately 2 million Bbls of crude oil storage.
Crude Oil Acquisition and Marketing
Our crude oil acquisition and marketing operations are conducted using our assets, which include approximately 370 crude oil transport trucks and approximately 150 crude oil truck unloading facilities, as well as third-party truck, rail and marine assets.
All Other
The following details our assets in the all other segment.
Equity Method Investments
Sunoco LP. We have an equity method investment in limited partnership units of Sunoco LP. As of December 31, 2017, our investment consisted of 43.5 million units, representing 43.6% of Sunoco LP’s total outstanding common units. Subsequent to Sunoco LP’s repurchase of a portion of its common units on February 7, 2018, our investment consists of 26.2 million units, representing 31.8% of Sunoco LP’s total outstanding common units.
PES. We have a non-controlling interest in PES, comprising 33% of PES’ outstanding common units. As discussed in “Segment Overview - All Other” above, PES Holdings and eight affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 21, 2018.


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Contract Services Operations
We own and operate a fleet of equipment used to provide treating services, such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide removal, natural gas cooling, dehydration and BTU management. Our contract treating services are primarily located in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Compression
We own all of the outstanding equity interests of CDM, which operates a natural gas compression equipment business with operations in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. As discussed in “Strategic Transactions,” in January 2018, we entered into an agreement to contribute CDM to USAC.
We own 100% of the membership interests of ETG, which owns all of the partnership interests of ETT. ETT provides compression services to customers engaged in the transportation of natural gas, including our other segments.
Natural Resources Operations
Our Natural Resources operations primarily involve the management and leasing of coal properties and the subsequent collection of royalties. We also earn revenues from other land management activities, such as selling standing timber, leasing fee-based coal-related infrastructure facilities to certain lessees and end-user industrial plants, collecting oil and gas royalties and from coal transportation, or wheelage fees. As of December 31, 2017, we owned or controlled approximately 766 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in central and northern Appalachia, properties in eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia, and in the Illinois Basin, properties in southern Illinois, Indiana, and western Kentucky and as the operator of end-user coal handling facilities.
Liquefaction Project
LCL, an entity whose parent is owned 60% by ETE and 40% by ETP, is in the process of developing a liquefaction project at the site of ETE’s existing regasification facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project development agreement previously entered into in September 2013 with BG Group plc (now "Shell") related to this project expired in February 2017. On June 28, 2017, LCL signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Gas Corporation and Shell to study the feasibility of a joint development of the Lake Charles liquefaction project. The project would utilize existing dock and storage facilities owned by ETE located on the Lake Charles site. The parties’ determination as to the feasibility of the project will be particularly dependent upon the prospects for securing long-term contractual arrangements for the off-take of LNG which in turn will be dependent upon supply and demand factors affecting the price of LNG in foreign markets. The financial viability of the project will also be dependent upon a number of other factors, including the expected cost to construct the liquefaction facility, the terms and conditions of the financing for the construction of the liquefaction facility, the cost of the natural gas supply, the costs to transport natural gas to the liquefaction facility, the costs to operate the liquefaction facility and the costs to transport LNG from the liquefaction facility to customers in foreign markets (particularly Europe and Asia).  Some of these costs fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including supply and demand factors affecting the price of natural gas in the United States, supply and demand factors affecting the costs for construction services for large infrastructure projects in the United States, and general economic conditions, there can be no assurance that the parties will determine to proceed to develop this project.
The liquefaction project is expected to consist of three LNG trains with a combined design nameplate outlet capacity of 16.45 metric tonnes per annum. Once completed, the liquefaction project will enable LCL to liquefy domestically produced natural gas and export it as LNG. By adding the new liquefaction facility and integrating with the existing LNG regasification/import facility, the enhanced facility would become a bi-directional facility capable of exporting and importing LNG. Shell is the sole customer for the existing regasification facility and is obligated to pay reservation fees for 100% of the regasification capacity regardless of whether it actually utilizes such capacity pursuant to a regasification services agreement that terminates in 2030. The liquefaction project would be constructed on 440 acres of land, of which 80 acres are owned by Lake Charles LNG and the remaining acres are to be leased by LCL under a long-term lease from the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District.
The export of LNG produced by the liquefaction project from the United States would be undertaken under long-term export authorizations issued by the DOE to LCL. In March 2013, LCL obtained a DOE authorization to export LNG to countries with which the United States has or will have Free Trade Agreements (“FTA”) for trade in natural gas (the “FTA Authorization”).  In July 2016, LCL also obtained a conditional DOE authorization to export LNG to countries that do not have an FTA for trade in natural gas (the “Non-FTA Authorization”).  The FTA Authorization and Non-FTA Authorization have 25- and 20-year terms, respectively. 
We have received our wetlands permits from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) to perform wetlands mitigation work and to perform modification and dredging work for the temporary and permanent dock facilities at the Lake Charles LNG facilities.


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Business Strategy
We have designed our business strategy with the goal of creating and maximizing value to our Unitholders. We believe we have engaged, and will continue to engage, in a well-balanced plan for growth through strategic acquisitions, internally generated expansion, measures aimed at increasing the profitability of our existing assets and executing cost control measures where appropriate to manage our operations.
We intend to continue to operate as a diversified, growth-oriented master limited partnership with a focus on increasing the amount of cash available for distribution on each Common Unit. We believe that by pursuing independent operating and growth strategies we will be best positioned to achieve our objectives. We balance our desire for growth with our goal of preserving a strong balance sheet, ample liquidity and investment grade credit metrics.
Following is a summary of the business strategies of our core businesses:
Growth through acquisitions.  We intend to continue to make strategic acquisitions that offer the opportunity for operational efficiencies and the potential for increased utilization and expansion of our existing assets while supporting our investment grade credit ratings.
Engage in construction and expansion opportunities.  We intend to leverage our existing infrastructure and customer relationships by constructing and expanding systems to meet new or increased demand for midstream and transportation services.
Increase cash flow from fee-based businesses.  We intend to increase the percentage of our business conducted with third parties under fee-based arrangements in order to provide for stable, consistent cash flows over long contract periods while reducing exposure to changes in commodity prices.
Enhance profitability of existing assets.  We intend to increase the profitability of our existing asset base by adding new volumes under long-term producer commitments, undertaking additional initiatives to enhance utilization and reducing costs by improving operations.
Competition
Natural Gas
The business of providing natural gas gathering, compression, treating, transportation, storage and marketing services is highly competitive. Since pipelines are generally the only practical mode of transportation for natural gas over land, the most significant competitors of our transportation and storage segment are other pipelines. Pipelines typically compete with each other based on location, capacity, price and reliability.
We face competition with respect to retaining and obtaining significant natural gas supplies under terms favorable to us for the gathering, treating and marketing portions of our business. Our competitors include major integrated oil companies, interstate and intrastate pipelines and other companies that gather, compress, treat, process, transport and market natural gas. Many of our competitors, such as major oil and gas and pipeline companies, have capital resources and control supplies of natural gas substantially greater than ours.
In marketing natural gas, we have numerous competitors, including marketing affiliates of interstate pipelines, major integrated oil companies, and local and national natural gas gatherers, brokers and marketers of widely varying sizes, financial resources and experience. Local utilities and distributors of natural gas are, in some cases, engaged directly, and through affiliates, in marketing activities that compete with our marketing operations.
NGL
In markets served by our NGL pipelines, we face competition with other pipeline companies, including those affiliated with major oil, petrochemical and natural gas companies, and barge, rail and truck fleet operations. In general, our NGL pipelines compete with these entities in terms of transportation fees, reliability and quality of customer service. We face competition with other storage facilities based on fees charged and the ability to receive and distribute the customer’s products. We compete with a number of NGL fractionators in Texas and Louisiana. Competition for such services is primarily based on the fractionation fee charged.
Crude Oil and Products
In markets served by our products and crude oil pipelines, we face competition from other pipelines as well as rail and truck transportation. Generally, pipelines are the lowest cost method for long-haul, overland movement of products and crude oil. Therefore, the most significant competitors for large volume shipments in the areas served by our pipelines are other pipelines.


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In addition, pipeline operations face competition from rail and trucks that deliver products in a number of areas that our pipeline operations serve. While their costs may not be competitive for longer hauls or large volume shipments, rail and trucks compete effectively for incremental and marginal volume in many areas served by our pipelines.
With respect to competition from other pipelines, the primary competitive factors consist of transportation charges, access to crude oil supply and market demand. Competitive factors in crude oil purchasing and marketing include price and contract flexibility, quantity and quality of services, and accessibility to end markets.
Our refined product terminals compete with other independent terminals with respect to price, versatility and services provided. The competition primarily comes from integrated petroleum companies, refining and marketing companies, independent terminal companies and distribution companies with marketing and trading operations.
Credit Risk and Customers
Credit risk refers to the risk that a counterparty may default on its contractual obligations resulting in a loss to the Partnership. Credit policies have been approved and implemented to govern the Partnership’s portfolio of counterparties with the objective of mitigating credit losses. These policies establish guidelines, controls and limits to manage credit risk within approved tolerances by mandating an appropriate evaluation of the financial condition of existing and potential counterparties, monitoring agency credit ratings, and by implementing credit practices that limit exposure according to the risk profiles of the counterparties. Furthermore, the Partnership may, at times, require collateral under certain circumstances to mitigate credit risk as necessary. The Partnership also uses industry standard commercial agreements which allow for the netting of exposures associated with transactions executed under a single commercial agreement. Additionally, we utilize master netting agreements to offset credit exposure across multiple commercial agreements with a single counterparty or affiliated group of counterparties.
The Partnership’s counterparties consist of a diverse portfolio of customers across the energy industry, including petrochemical companies, commercial and industrials, oil and gas producers, municipalities, gas and electric utilities, midstream companies and independent power generators. Our overall exposure may be affected positively or negatively by macroeconomic or regulatory changes that impact our counterparties to one extent or another. Currently, management does not anticipate a material adverse effect in our financial position or results of operations as a consequence of counterparty non-performance.
Our natural gas transportation and midstream revenues are derived significantly from companies that engage in exploration and production activities. The discovery and development of new shale formations across the United States has created an abundance of natural gas and crude oil resulting in a negative impact on prices in recent years for natural gas and crude oil. As a result, some of our exploration and production customers have been adversely impacted; however, we are monitoring these customers and mitigating credit risk as necessary.
During the year ended December 31, 2017, none of our customers individually accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated revenues.
Regulation of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines.  The FERC has broad regulatory authority over the business and operations of interstate natural gas pipelines. Under the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”), the FERC generally regulates the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce. For FERC regulatory purposes, “transportation” includes natural gas pipeline transmission (forwardhauls and backhauls), storage and other services. The Florida Gas Transmission, Transwestern, Panhandle Eastern, Trunkline Gas, Tiger, Fayetteville Express, Sea Robin, Gulf States and Midcontinent Express pipelines transport natural gas in interstate commerce and thus each qualifies as a “natural-gas company” under the NGA subject to the FERC’s regulatory jurisdiction. We also hold certain natural gas storage facilities that are subject to the FERC’s regulatory oversight under the NGA.
The FERC’s NGA authority includes the power to:
approve the siting, construction and operation of new facilities;
review and approve transportation rates;
determine the types of services our regulated assets are permitted to perform;
regulate the terms and conditions associated with these services;
permit the extension or abandonment of services and facilities;
require the maintenance of accounts and records; and
authorize the acquisition and disposition of facilities.


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Under the NGA, interstate natural gas companies must charge rates that are just and reasonable. In addition, the NGA prohibits natural gas companies from unduly preferring or unreasonably discriminating against any person with respect to pipeline rates or terms and conditions of service.
The maximum rates to be charged by NGA-jurisdictional natural gas companies and their terms and conditions for service are required to be on file with the FERC. Most natural gas companies are authorized to offer discounts from their FERC-approved maximum just and reasonable rates when competition warrants such discounts. Natural gas companies are also generally permitted to offer negotiated rates different from rates established in their tariff if, among other requirements, such companies’ tariffs offer a cost-based recourse rate to a prospective shipper as an alternative to the negotiated rate. Natural gas companies must make offers of rate discounts and negotiated rates on a basis that is not unduly discriminatory. Existing tariff rates may be challenged by complaint or on the FERC’s own motion, and if found unjust and unreasonable, may be altered on a prospective basis from no earlier than the date of the complaint or initiation of a proceeding by the FERC. The FERC must also approve all rate changes. We cannot guarantee that the FERC will allow us to charge rates that fully recover our costs or continue to pursue its approach of pro-competitive policies.
For two of our NGA-jurisdictional natural gas companies, Tiger and Fayetteville Express, the large majority of capacity in those pipelines is subscribed for lengthy terms under FERC-approved negotiated rates.  However, as indicated above, cost-based recourse rates are also offered under their respective tariffs.
Pursuant to the FERC’s rules promulgated under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, it is unlawful for any entity, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of electric energy or natural gas or the purchase or sale of transmission or transportation services subject to FERC jurisdiction: (i) to defraud using any device, scheme or artifice; (ii) to make any untrue statement of material fact or omit a material fact; or (iii) to engage in any act, practice or course of business that operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) also holds authority to monitor certain segments of the physical and futures energy commodities market pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”). With regard to our physical purchases and sales of natural gas, NGLs or other energy commodities; our gathering or transportation of these energy commodities; and any related hedging activities that we undertake, we are required to observe these anti-market manipulation laws and related regulations enforced by the FERC and/or the CFTC. These agencies hold substantial enforcement authority, including the ability to assess or seek civil penalties of up to approximately $1 million per day per violation, to order disgorgement of profits and to recommend criminal penalties. Should we violate the anti-market manipulation laws and regulations, we could also be subject to related third-party damage claims by, among others, sellers, royalty owners and taxing authorities.
Failure to comply with the NGA, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the CEA and the other federal laws and regulations governing our operations and business activities can result in the imposition of administrative, civil and criminal remedies.
Regulation of Intrastate Natural Gas and NGL Pipelines.  Intrastate transportation of natural gas and NGLs is largely regulated by the state in which such transportation takes place. To the extent that our intrastate natural gas transportation systems transport natural gas in interstate commerce, the rates and terms and conditions of such services are subject to FERC jurisdiction under Section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act (“NGPA”). The NGPA regulates, among other things, the provision of transportation services by an intrastate natural gas pipeline on behalf of a local distribution company or an interstate natural gas pipeline. The rates and terms and conditions of some transportation and storage services provided on the Oasis pipeline, HPL System, East Texas pipeline, ET Fuel System, Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail are subject to FERC regulation pursuant to Section 311 of the NGPA. Under Section 311, rates charged for intrastate transportation must be fair and equitable, and amounts collected in excess of fair and equitable rates are subject to refund with interest. The terms and conditions of service set forth in the intrastate facility’s statement of operating conditions are also subject to FERC review and approval. Should the FERC determine not to authorize rates equal to or greater than our currently approved Section 311 rates, our business may be adversely affected. Failure to observe the service limitations applicable to transportation and storage services under Section 311, failure to comply with the rates approved by the FERC for Section 311 service, and failure to comply with the terms and conditions of service established in the pipeline’s FERC-approved statement of operating conditions could result in an alteration of jurisdictional status, and/or the imposition of administrative, civil and criminal remedies.
Our intrastate natural gas operations are also subject to regulation by various agencies in Texas, principally the TRRC. Our intrastate pipeline and storage operations in Texas are also subject to the Texas Utilities Code, as implemented by the TRRC. Generally, the TRRC is vested with authority to ensure that rates, operations and services of gas utilities, including intrastate pipelines, are just and reasonable and not discriminatory. The rates we charge for transportation services are deemed just and reasonable under Texas law unless challenged in a customer or TRRC complaint. We cannot predict whether such a complaint will be filed against us or whether the TRRC will change its regulation of these rates. Failure to comply with the Texas Utilities Code can result in the imposition of administrative, civil and criminal remedies.


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Our NGL pipelines and operations may also be or become subject to state public utility or related jurisdiction which could impose additional safety and operational regulations relating to the design, siting, installation, testing, construction, operation, replacement and management of NGL gathering facilities. In addition, the rates, terms and conditions for shipments of NGLs on our pipelines are subject to regulation by FERC under the Interstate Commerce Act (“ICA”) and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (the “EPAct of 1992”) if the NGLs are transported in interstate or foreign commerce whether by our pipelines or other means of transportation. Since we do not control the entire transportation path of all NGLs shipped on our pipelines, FERC regulation could be triggered by our customers’ transportation decisions.
Regulation of Sales of Natural Gas and NGLs.  The price at which we buy and sell natural gas currently is not subject to federal regulation and, for the most part, is not subject to state regulation. The price at which we sell NGLs is not subject to federal or state regulation.
To the extent that we enter into transportation contracts with natural gas pipelines that are subject to FERC regulation, we are subject to FERC requirements related to the use of such capacity. Any failure on our part to comply with the FERC’s regulations and policies, or with an interstate pipeline’s tariff, could result in the imposition of civil and criminal penalties.
Our sales of natural gas are affected by the availability, terms and cost of pipeline transportation. As noted above, the price and terms of access to pipeline transportation are subject to extensive federal and state regulation. The FERC is continually proposing and implementing new rules and regulations affecting those segments of the natural gas industry. These initiatives also may affect the intrastate transportation of natural gas under certain circumstances. The stated purpose of many of these regulatory changes is to promote competition among the various sectors of the natural gas industry and these initiatives generally reflect more light-handed regulation. We cannot predict the ultimate impact of these regulatory changes to our natural gas marketing operations, and we note that some of the FERC’s regulatory changes may adversely affect the availability and reliability of interruptible transportation service on interstate pipelines. We do not believe that we will be affected by any such FERC action in a manner that is materially different from other natural gas marketers with whom we compete.
Regulation of Gathering Pipelines.  Section 1(b) of the NGA exempts natural gas gathering facilities from the jurisdiction of the FERC under the NGA. We own a number of natural gas pipelines in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia that we believe meet the traditional tests the FERC uses to establish a pipeline’s status as a gathering pipeline not subject to FERC jurisdiction. However, the distinction between FERC-regulated transmission services and federally unregulated gathering services has been the subject of substantial litigation and varying interpretations, so the classification and regulation of our gathering facilities could be subject to change based on future determinations by the FERC, the courts and Congress. State regulation of gathering facilities generally includes various safety, environmental and, in some circumstances, nondiscriminatory take requirements and complaint-based rate regulation.
In Texas, our gathering facilities are subject to regulation by the TRRC under the Texas Utilities Code in the same manner as described above for our intrastate pipeline facilities. Louisiana’s Pipeline Operations Section of the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation is generally responsible for regulating intrastate pipelines and gathering facilities in Louisiana and has authority to review and authorize natural gas transportation transactions and the construction, acquisition, abandonment and interconnection of physical facilities.
Historically, apart from pipeline safety, Louisiana has not acted to exercise this jurisdiction respecting gathering facilities. In Louisiana, our Chalkley System is regulated as an intrastate transporter, and the Louisiana Office of Conservation has determined that our Whiskey Bay System is a gathering system.
We are subject to state ratable take and common purchaser statutes in all of the states in which we operate. The ratable take statutes generally require gatherers to take, without undue discrimination, natural gas production that may be tendered to the gatherer for handling. Similarly, common purchaser statutes generally require gatherers to purchase without undue discrimination as to source of supply or producer. 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. These statutes have the effect of restricting the right of an owner of gathering facilities to decide with whom it contracts to purchase or transport natural gas.
Natural gas gathering may receive greater regulatory scrutiny at both the state and federal levels. For example, the TRRC has approved changes to its regulations governing transportation and gathering services performed by intrastate pipelines and gatherers, which prohibit such entities from unduly discriminating in favor of their affiliates. Many of the producing states have adopted some form of complaint-based regulation that generally allows natural gas producers and shippers to file complaints with state regulators in an effort to resolve grievances relating to natural gas gathering access and rate discrimination allegations. Our gathering operations could be adversely affected should they be subject in the future to the application of additional or different state or federal regulation of rates and services. Our gathering operations also may be or become subject to safety and operational regulations relating to the design, installation, testing, construction, operation, replacement and management of gathering facilities. Additional rules and legislation pertaining to these matters are considered or adopted from time to time. We cannot predict what effect, if any,


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such changes might have on our operations, but the industry could be required to incur additional capital expenditures and increased costs depending on future legislative and regulatory changes.
Regulation of Interstate Crude Oil, NGL and Products Pipelines. Interstate common carrier pipeline operations are subject to rate regulation by the FERC under the ICA, the EPAct of 1992, and related rules and orders. The ICA requires that tariff rates for petroleum pipelines be “just and reasonable” and not unduly discriminatory and that such rates and terms and conditions of service be filed with the FERC. This statute also permits interested persons to challenge proposed new or changed rates. The FERC is authorized to suspend the effectiveness of such rates for up to seven months, though rates are typically not suspended for the maximum allowable period. If the FERC finds that the new or changed rate is unlawful, it may require the carrier to pay refunds for the period that the rate was in effect. The FERC also may investigate, upon complaint or on its own motion, rates that are already in effect and may order a carrier to change its rates prospectively. Upon an appropriate showing, a shipper may obtain reparations for damages sustained for a period of up to two years prior to the filing of a complaint.
The FERC generally has not investigated interstate rates on its own initiative when those rates, like those we charge, have not been the subject of a protest or a complaint by a shipper. However, the FERC could investigate our rates at the urging of a third party if the third party is either a current shipper or has a substantial economic interest in the tariff rate level. Although no assurance can be given that the tariff rates charged by us ultimately will be upheld if challenged, management believes that the tariff rates now in effect for our pipelines are within the maximum rates allowed under current FERC policies and precedents.
For many locations served by our product and crude pipelines, we are able to establish negotiated rates. Otherwise, we are permitted to charge cost-based rates, or in many cases, grandfathered rates based on historical charges or settlements with our customers. To the extent we rely on cost-of-service ratemaking to establish or support our rates, the issue of the proper allowance for federal and state income taxes could arise. In 2005, FERC issued a policy statement stating that it would permit common carriers, among others, to include an income tax allowance in cost-of-service rates to reflect actual or potential tax liability attributable to a regulated entity’s operating income, regardless of the form of ownership. Under FERC’s policy, a tax pass-through entity seeking such an income tax allowance must establish that its partners or members have an actual or potential income tax liability on the regulated entity’s income. Whether a pipeline’s owners have such actual or potential income tax liability is subject to review by FERC on a case-by-case basis. Although this policy is generally favorable for common carriers that are organized as pass-through entities, it still entails rate risk due to the FERC’s case-by-case review approach. The application of this policy, as well as any decision by FERC regarding our cost of service, may also be subject to review in the courts. In December 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry Regarding the Commission’s Policy for Recovery of Income Tax Costs. FERC requested comments regarding how to address any double recovery resulting from the Commission’s current income tax allowance and rate of return policies. The comment period with respect to the notice of inquiry ended on April 7, 2017. The outcome of the inquiry is still pending.
Effective January 2018, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed several provisions of the federal tax code, including a reduction in the maximum corporate tax rate. With the lower tax rate, the maximum tariff rates allowed by FERC under its rate base methodology for master limited partnerships may be impacted by a lower income tax allowance component. Many of our interstate pipelines, such as Tiger, MEP and FEP, have negotiated market rates that were agreed to by customers in connection with long-term contracts entered into to support the construction of the pipelines. Other systems, such as FGT, Transwestern and PEPL, have a mix of tariff rate, discount rate, and negotiated rate agreements. In addition, several of these pipelines are covered by approved settlements, where rate filings will be made in the future. As such, the timing and impact of these systems of any tax change is unknown at this time.
EPAct of 1992 required FERC to establish a simplified and generally applicable methodology to adjust tariff rates for inflation for interstate petroleum pipelines. As a result, FERC adopted an indexing rate methodology which, as currently in effect, allows common carriers to change their rates within prescribed ceiling levels that are tied to changes in the Producer Price Index for Finished Goods, or PPIFG. FERC’s indexing methodology is subject to review every five years. During the five-year period commencing July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2016, common carriers charging indexed rates are permitted to adjust their indexed ceilings annually by PPIFG plus 2.65%. Beginning July 1, 2016, the indexing method provided for annual changes equal to the change in PPIFG plus 1.23%. The indexing methodology is applicable to existing rates, including grandfathered rates, with the exclusion of market-based rates. A pipeline is not required to raise its rates up to the index ceiling, but it is permitted to do so and rate increases made under the index are presumed to be just and reasonable unless a protesting party can demonstrate that the portion of the rate increase resulting from application of the index is substantially in excess of the pipeline’s increase in costs. Under the indexing rate methodology, in any year in which the index is negative, pipelines must file to lower their rates if those rates would otherwise be above the rate ceiling. In October 2016, FERC issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a number of proposals, including: (1) whether the Commission should deny any increase in a rate ceiling or annual index-based rate increase if a pipeline’s revenues exceed total costs by 15% for the prior two years; (2) a new percentage comparison test that would deny a proposed increase to a pipeline’s rate or ceiling level greater than 5% above the barrel-mile cost changes; and (3) a requirement that all pipelines file indexed ceiling levels annually, with the ceiling levels subject to challenge


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and restricting the pipeline’s ability to carry forward the full indexed increase to a future period. The comment period with respect to the proposed rules ended on March 17, 2017. FERC has taken no further action on the proposed rule to date.
Finally, in November 2017 FERC responded to a petition for declaratory order and issued an order that may have significant impacts on the way a marketer of crude oil or petroleum products that is affiliated with an interstate pipeline can price its services if those services include transportation on an affiliate’s interstate pipeline.  In particular, FERC’s November 2017 order prohibits buy/sell arrangements by a marketing affiliate if: (i) the transportation differential applicable to its affiliate’s interstate pipeline transportation service is at a discount to the affiliated pipeline’s filed rate for that service; and (ii) the pipeline affiliate subsidizes the loss.  Several parties have requested that FERC clarify its November 2017 order or, in the alternative, grant rehearing of the November 2017 order.  We are unable to predict how FERC will respond to such requests.  Depending on how FERC responds, it could have an impact on the rates we are permitted to charge.
Regulation of Intrastate Crude Oil, NGL and Products Pipelines. Some of our crude oil, NGL and products pipelines are subject to regulation by the TRRC, the PA PUC, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The operations of our joint venture interests are also subject to regulation in the states in which they operate. The applicable state statutes require that pipeline rates be nondiscriminatory and provide no more than a fair return on the aggregate value of the pipeline property used to render services. State commissions generally have not initiated an investigation of rates or practices of petroleum pipelines in the absence of shipper complaints. Complaints to state agencies have been infrequent and are usually resolved informally. Although management cannot be certain that our intrastate rates ultimately would be upheld if challenged, we believe that, given this history, the tariffs now in effect are not likely to be challenged or, if challenged, are not likely to be ordered to be reduced.
In addition, as noted above, the rates, terms and conditions for shipments of crude oil, NGLs or products on our pipelines could be subject to regulation by FERC under the ICA and the EPAct of 1992 if the crude oil, NGLs or products are transported in interstate or foreign commerce whether by our pipelines or other means of transportation. Since we do not control the entire transportation path of all crude oil, NGLs or products shipped on our pipelines, FERC regulation could be triggered by our customers’ transportation decisions.
Regulation of Pipeline Safety.  Our pipeline operations are subject to regulation by the DOT, through the PHMSA, pursuant to the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968, as amended (“NGPSA”), with respect to natural gas and the Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Safety Act of 1979, as amended (“HLPSA”), with respect to crude oil, NGLs and condensates. The NGPSA and HLPSA, as amended, govern the design, installation, testing, construction, operation, replacement and management of natural gas as well as crude oil, NGL and condensate pipeline facilities. Pursuant to these acts, PHMSA has promulgated regulations governing pipeline wall thickness, design pressures, maximum operating pressures, pipeline patrols and leak surveys, minimum depth requirements, and emergency procedures, as well as other matters intended to ensure adequate protection for the public and to prevent accidents and failures. Additionally, PHMSA has established a series of rules 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 (“HCAs”), which are areas where a release could have the most significant adverse consequences, including high population areas, certain drinking water sources and unusually sensitive ecological areas. Failure to comply with the pipeline safety laws and regulations may result in the assessment of sanctions, including administrative, civil or criminal penalties, the imposition of investigatory, remedial or corrective action obligations, the occurrence of delays in permitting or the performance of projects, or the issuance of injunctions limiting or prohibiting some or all of our operations in the affected area.
The HLPSA and NGPSA have been amended by the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 (“2011 Pipeline Safety Act”) and the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (“2016 Pipeline Safety Act”). The 2011 Pipeline Safety Act increased the penalties for safety violations, established additional safety requirements for newly constructed pipelines and required studies of safety issues that could result in the adoption of new regulatory requirements by PHMSA for existing pipelines. The 2011 Pipeline Safety Act doubled the maximum administrative fines for safety violations from $100,000 to $200,000 for a single violation and from $1 million to $2 million for a related series of violations, but provided that these maximum penalty caps do not apply to certain civil enforcement actions. Effective April 27, 2017, to account for inflation, those maximum civil penalties were increased to $209,002 per day, with a maximum of $2,090,022 for a series of violations. The 2016 Pipeline Safety Act extended PHMSA’s statutory mandate through 2019 and, among other things, requiring PHMSA to complete certain of its outstanding mandates under the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act and developing new safety standards for natural gas storage facilities by June 22, 2018. The 2016 Pipeline Safety Act also empowers PHMSA to address imminent hazards by imposing emergency restrictions, prohibitions and safety measures on owners and operators of hazardous liquid or natural gas pipeline facilities without prior notice or an opportunity for a hearing. PHMSA issued interim regulations in October 2016 to implement the agency’s expanded authority to address unsafe pipeline conditions or practices that pose an imminent hazard to life, property, or the environment.


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In addition, states have adopted regulations, similar to existing PHMSA regulations, for intrastate gathering and transmission lines. The states in which we conduct operations typically have developed regulatory programs that parallel the federal regulatory scheme and are applicable to intrastate pipelines. Under such state regulatory programs, states have the authority to conduct pipeline inspections, to investigate accidents and to oversee compliance and enforcement, safety programs and record maintenance and reporting. Congress, PHMSA and individual states may pass or implement additional safety requirements that could result in increased compliance costs for us and other companies in our industry. For example, federal construction, maintenance and inspection standards under the NGPSA that apply to pipelines in relatively populated areas may not apply to gathering lines running through rural regions. This “rural gathering exemption” under the NGPSA presently exempts substantial portions of our gathering facilities located outside of cities, towns or any area designated as residential or commercial from jurisdiction under the NGPSA, but does not apply to our intrastate natural gas pipelines. In recent years, the PHMSA has considered changes to this rural gathering exemption, including publishing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking relating to gas pipelines in 2011, in which the agency sought public comment on possible changes to the definition of “high consequence areas” and “gathering lines” and the strengthening of pipeline integrity management requirements. In April 2016, pursuant to one of the requirements of the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act, PHMSA published a proposed rulemaking that, among other things, would expand certain of PHMSA’s current regulatory safety programs for natural gas pipelines in newly defined “moderate consequence areas” that contain as few as 5 dwellings within a potential impact area; require natural gas pipelines installed before 1970 and thus excluded from certain pressure testing obligations to be tested to determine their maximum allowable operating pressures (“MAOP”); and require certain onshore and offshore gathering lines in Class I areas to comply with damage prevention, corrosion control, public education, MAOP limits, line markers and emergency planning standards. Additional requirements proposed by this proposed rulemaking would increase PHMSA’s integrity management requirements for natural gas pipelines and also require consideration of seismicity in evaluating threats to pipelines. PHMSA has not yet finalized the March 2016 proposed rulemaking.
In January 2017, PHMSA issued a final rule amending federal safety standards for hazardous liquid pipelines. The final rule is the latest step in a lengthy rulemaking process that began in 2010 with a request for comments and continued with publication of a rulemaking proposal in October 2015. The general effective date of this final rule is six months from publication in the Federal Register, but it is currently subject to further administrative review in connection with the transition of Presidential administrations and thus, implementation of this final rule remains uncertain. The final rule addresses several areas including reporting requirements for gravity and unregulated gathering lines, inspections after weather or climatic events, leak detection system requirements, revisions to repair criteria and other integrity management revisions. In addition, PHMSA issued regulations on January 23, 2017, on operator qualification, cost recovery, accident and incident notification and other pipeline safety changes that are now effective. These regulations are also subject, however, to potential further review in connection with the transition of Presidential administrations. Historically, our pipeline safety costs have not had a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations but there is no assurance that such costs will not be material in the future, whether due to elimination of the rural gathering exemption or otherwise due to changes in pipeline safety laws and regulations.
In another example of how future legal requirements could result in increased compliance costs, notwithstanding the applicability of the federal OSHA’s Process Safety Management (“PSM”) regulations and the EPA’s Risk Management Planning (“RMP”) requirements at regulated facilities, PHMSA and one or more state regulators, including the Texas Railroad Commission, have in recent years, expanded the scope of their regulatory inspections to include certain in-plant equipment and pipelines found within NGL fractionation facilities and associated storage facilities, in order to assess compliance of such equipment and pipelines with hazardous liquid pipeline safety requirements. To the extent that these actions are pursued by PHMSA, midstream operators of NGL fractionation facilities and associated storage facilities subject to such inspection may be required to make operational changes or modifications at their facilities to meet standards beyond current PSM and RMP requirements, which changes or modifications may result in additional capital costs, possible operational delays and increased costs of operation that, in some instances, may be significant.
Environmental Matters
General. Our operation of processing plants, pipelines and associated facilities, including compression, in connection with the gathering, processing, storage and transmission of natural gas and the storage and transportation of NGLs, crude oil and refined products is subject to stringent federal, tribal, state and local laws and regulations, including those governing, among other things, air emissions, wastewater discharges, the use, management and disposal of hazardous and nonhazardous materials and wastes, and the cleanup of contamination. Noncompliance with such laws and regulations, or incidents resulting in environmental releases, could cause us to incur substantial costs, penalties, fines and criminal sanctions, third-party claims for personal injury or property damage, capital expenditures to retrofit or upgrade our facilities and programs, or curtailment or cancellation of permits on operations. As with the industry generally, compliance with existing and anticipated environmental laws and regulations increases our overall cost of doing business, including our cost of planning, permitting, constructing and operating our plants, pipelines and other facilities. As a result of these laws and regulations, our construction and operation costs include capital, operating and maintenance cost items necessary to maintain or upgrade our equipment and facilities.


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We have implemented procedures designed to ensure that governmental environmental approvals for both existing operations and those under construction are updated as circumstances require. Historically, our environmental compliance costs have not had a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition; however, there can be no assurance that such costs will not be material in the future. For example, we cannot be certain, however, that identification of presently unidentified conditions, more rigorous enforcement by regulatory agencies, enactment of more stringent environmental laws and regulations or unanticipated events will not arise in the future and give rise to environmental liabilities that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Hazardous Substances and Waste Materials. To a large extent, the environmental laws and regulations affecting our operations relate to the release of hazardous substances and waste materials into soils, groundwater and surface water and include measures to prevent, minimize or remediate contamination of the environment. These laws and regulations generally regulate the generation, storage, treatment, transportation and disposal of hazardous substances and waste materials and may require investigatory and remedial actions at sites where such material has been released or disposed. For example, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, as amended, (“CERCLA”), also known as the “Superfund” law, and comparable state laws, impose liability without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct on certain classes of persons that contributed to a release of a “hazardous substance” into the environment. These persons include the owner and operator of the site where a release occurred and companies that disposed or arranged for the disposal of the hazardous substance that has been released into the environment. Under CERCLA, these persons may be subject to strict, joint and several liability, without regard to fault, for, among other things, the costs of investigating and remediating the hazardous substances that have been released into the environment, for damages to natural resources and for the costs of certain health studies. CERCLA and comparable state law also authorize the federal EPA, its state counterparts, and, in some instances, third parties to take actions in response to threats to the public health or the environment and to seek to recover from the responsible classes of persons the costs they incur. It is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties to file claims for personal injury and property damage allegedly caused by hazardous substances or other pollutants released into the environment. Although “petroleum” as well as natural gas and NGLs are excluded from CERCLA’s definition of a “hazardous substance,” in the course of our ordinary operations we generate wastes that may fall within that definition or that may be subject to other waste disposal laws and regulations. We may be responsible under CERCLA or state laws for all or part of the costs required to clean up sites at which such substances or wastes have been disposed.
We also generate both hazardous and nonhazardous wastes that are subject to requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, (“RCRA”) and comparable state statutes. We are not currently required to comply with a substantial portion of the RCRA hazardous waste requirements at many of our facilities because the minimal quantities of hazardous wastes generated there make us subject to less stringent non-hazardous management standards. From time to time, the EPA has considered or third parties have petitioned the agency on the adoption of stricter handling, storage and disposal standards for nonhazardous wastes, including certain wastes associated with the exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. For example, following the filing of a lawsuit by several non-governmental environmental groups against the EPA for the agency’s failure to timely assess its RCRA Subtitle D criteria regulations for oil and gas wastes, EPA and the environmental groups entered into an agreement that was finalized in a consent decree issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on December 28, 2016. Under the decree, the EPA is required to propose no later than March 15, 2019, a rulemaking for revision of certain Subtitle D criteria regulations pertaining to oil and gas wastes or sign a determination that revision of the regulations is not necessary. If EPA proposes a rulemaking for revised oil and gas waste regulations, the Consent Decree requires that the EPA take final action following notice and comment rulemaking no later than July 15, 2021. It is possible that some wastes generated by us that are currently classified as nonhazardous may in the future be designated as “hazardous wastes,” resulting in the wastes being subject to more rigorous and costly disposal requirements, or that the full complement of RCRA standards could be applied to facilities that generate lesser amounts of hazardous waste. Changes such as these examples in applicable regulations may result in a material increase in our capital expenditures or plant operating and maintenance expense and, in the case of our oil and natural gas exploration and production customers, could result in increased operating costs for those customers and a corresponding decrease in demand for our processing, transportation and storage services.
We currently own or lease sites that have been used over the years by prior owners and lessees and by us for various activities related to gathering, processing, storage and transmission of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil and products. Waste disposal practices within the oil and gas industry have improved over the years with the passage and implementation of various environmental laws and regulations. Nevertheless, some hydrocarbons and wastes have been disposed of or otherwise released on or under various sites during the operating history of those facilities that are now owned or leased by us. Notwithstanding the possibility that these releases may have occurred during the ownership or operation of these assets by others, these sites may be subject to CERCLA, RCRA and comparable state laws. Under these laws, we could be required to remove or remediate previously disposed wastes (including wastes disposed of or released by prior owners or operators) or contamination (including soil and groundwater contamination) or to prevent the migration of contamination.


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As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, accruals of $350 million and $309 million, respectively, were recorded in our consolidated balance sheets as accrued and other current liabilities and other non-current liabilities to cover estimated material environmental liabilities including, for example, certain matters assumed in connection with our acquisition of the HPL System, our acquisition of Transwestern, potential environmental liabilities for three sites that were formerly owned by Titan Energy Partners, L.P. or its predecessors, and the predecessor owner’s share of certain environmental liabilities of ETC OLP.
The Partnership is subject to extensive and frequently changing federal, tribal, state and local laws and regulations, including those relating to the discharge of materials into the environment or that otherwise relate to the protection of the environment, waste management and the characteristics and composition of fuels. These laws and regulations require environmental assessment and remediation efforts at many of Sunoco, Inc.’s facilities and at formerly owned or third-party sites. Accruals for these environmental remediation activities amounted to $284 million and $289 million at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively, which is included in the total accruals above. These legacy sites that are subject to environmental assessments include formerly owned terminals and other logistics assets, retail sites that are no longer operated by Sunoco, Inc., closed and/or sold refineries and other formerly owned sites. In December 2013, a wholly-owned captive insurance company was established for these legacy sites that are no longer operating. The premiums paid to the captive insurance company include estimates for environmental claims that have been incurred but not reported, based on an actuarially determined fully developed claims expense estimate. In such cases, we accrue losses attributable to unasserted claims based on the discounted estimates that are used to develop the premiums paid to the captive insurance company. As of December 31, 2017 the captive insurance company held $207 million of cash and investments.
The Partnership’s accrual for environmental remediation activities reflects anticipated work at identified sites where an assessment has indicated that cleanup costs are probable and reasonably estimable. The accrual for known claims is undiscounted and is based on currently available information, estimated timing of remedial actions and related inflation assumptions, existing technology and presently enacted laws and regulations. It is often extremely difficult to develop reasonable estimates of future site remediation costs due to changing regulations, changing technologies and their associated costs, and changes in the economic environment. Engineering studies, historical experience and other factors are used to identify and evaluate remediation alternatives and their related costs in determining the estimated accruals for environmental remediation activities.
Under various environmental laws, including the RCRA, the Partnership has initiated corrective remedial action at certain of its facilities, formerly owned facilities and at certain third-party sites. At the Partnership’s major manufacturing facilities, we have typically assumed continued industrial use and a containment/remediation strategy focused on eliminating unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. The remediation accruals for these sites reflect that strategy. Accruals include amounts designed to prevent or mitigate off-site migration and to contain the impact on the facility property, as well as to address known, discrete areas requiring remediation within the plants. Remedial activities include, for example, closure of RCRA waste management units, recovery of hydrocarbons, handling of impacted soil, mitigation of surface water impacts and prevention or mitigation of off-site migration. A change in this approach as a result of changing the intended use of a property or a sale to a third party could result in a comparatively higher cost remediation strategy in the future.
In general, a remediation site or issue is typically evaluated on an individual basis based upon information available for the site or issue and no pooling or statistical analysis is used to evaluate an aggregate risk for a group of similar items (for example, service station sites) in determining the amount of probable loss accrual to be recorded. The estimates of environmental remediation costs also frequently involve evaluation of a range of estimates. In many cases, it is difficult to determine that one point in the range of loss estimates is more likely than any other. In these situations, existing accounting guidance allows us the minimum amount of the range to accrue. Accordingly, the low end of the range often represents the amount of loss which has been recorded.
In addition to the probable and estimable losses which have been recorded, management believes it is reasonably possible (that is, it is less than probable but greater than remote) that additional environmental remediation losses will be incurred. At December 31, 2017, the aggregate of such additional estimated maximum reasonably possible losses, which relate to numerous individual sites, totaled approximately $5 million, which amount is in excess of the $350 million in environmental accruals recorded on December 31, 2017. This estimate of reasonably possible losses comprises estimates for remediation activities at current logistics and retail assets, and in many cases, reflects the upper end of the loss ranges which are described above. Such estimates include potentially higher contractor costs for expected remediation activities, the potential need to use more costly or comprehensive remediation methods and longer operating and monitoring periods, among other things.
In summary, total future costs for environmental remediation activities will depend upon, among other things, the identification of any additional sites, the determination of the extent of the contamination at each site, the timing and nature of required remedial actions, the nature of operations at each site, the technology available and needed to meet the various existing legal requirements, the nature and terms of cost-sharing arrangements with other potentially responsible parties, the availability of insurance coverage, the nature and extent of future environmental laws and regulations, inflation rates, terms of consent agreements or remediation permits with regulatory agencies and the determination of the Partnership’s liability at the sites, if any, in light of the number, participation level and financial viability of the other parties. The recognition of additional losses, if and when they were to occur,


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would likely extend over many years, but management can provide no assurance that it would be over many years. If changes in environmental laws or regulations occur or the assumptions used to estimate losses at multiple sites are adjusted, such changes could materially and adversely impact multiple facilities, formerly owned facilities and third-party sites at the same time.  As a result, from time to time, significant charges against income for environmental remediation may occur. And while management does not believe that any such charges would have a material adverse impact on the Partnership’s consolidated financial position, it can provide no assurance.
Transwestern conducts soil and groundwater remediation at a number of its facilities. Some of the cleanup activities include remediation of several compressor sites on the Transwestern system for contamination by PCBs, and the costs of this work are not eligible for recovery in rates. The total accrued future estimated cost of remediation activities expected to continue through 2025 is $5 million, which is included in the total environmental accruals mentioned above. Transwestern received FERC approval for rate recovery of projected soil and groundwater remediation costs not related to PCBs effective April 1, 2007. Transwestern, as part of ongoing arrangements with customers, continues to incur costs associated with containing and removing potential PCB contamination. Future costs cannot be reasonably estimated because remediation activities are undertaken as potential claims are made by customers and former customers. Such future costs are not expected to have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows, but management can provide no assurance.
Air Emissions. Our operations are subject to the federal Clean Air Act, as amended, and comparable state laws and regulations. These laws and regulations regulate emissions of air pollutants from various industrial sources, including our processing plants, and also impose various monitoring and reporting requirements. Such laws and regulations may require that we obtain pre-approval for the construction or modification of certain projects or facilities, such as our processing plants and compression facilities, expected to produce air emissions or to result in the increase of existing air emissions, that we obtain and strictly comply with air permits containing various emissions and operational limitations, or that we utilize specific emission control technologies to limit emissions. We will incur capital expenditures in the future for air pollution control equipment in connection with obtaining and maintaining operating permits and approvals for air emissions. In addition, our processing plants, pipelines and compression facilities are subject to increasingly stringent regulations, including regulations that require the installation of control technology or the implementation of work practices to control hazardous air pollutants. Moreover, the Clean Air Act requires an operating permit for major sources of emissions and this requirement applies to some of our facilities. Historically, our costs for compliance with existing Clean Air Act and comparable state law requirements have not had a material adverse effect on our results of operations; however, there can be no assurance that such costs will not be material in the future. The EPA and state agencies are often considering, proposing or finalizing new regulations that could impact our existing operations and the costs and timing of new infrastructure development. For example, in October 2015, the EPA published a final rule under the Clean Air Act, lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“NAAQS”) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion for the 8-hour primary and secondary ozone standards. The EPA published a final rule in November 2017 that issued area designations with respect to ground-level ozone for approximately 85% of the United States counties as either “attainment/unclassifiable” or “unclassifiable” and is expected to issue non-attainment designations for the remaining areas of the United States not addressed under the November 2017 final rule in the first half of 2018. Reclassification of areas or imposition of more stringent standards may make it more difficult to construct new or modified sources of air pollution in newly designated non-attainment areas. Also, states are expected to implement more stringent requirements as a result of this new final rule, which could apply to our customers’ operations. Compliance with this or other new regulations could, among other things, require installation of new emission controls on some of our equipment, result in longer permitting timelines, and significantly increase our capital expenditures and operating costs, which could adversely impact our business.
Clean Water Act. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, as amended, (“Clean Water Act”) and comparable state laws impose restrictions and strict controls regarding the discharge of pollutants, including hydrocarbon-bearing wastes, into state waters and waters of the United States. Pursuant to the Clean Water Act and similar state laws, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or state permit, or both, must be obtained to discharge pollutants into federal and state waters. In addition, the Clean Water Act and comparable state laws require that individual permits or coverage under general permits be obtained by subject facilities for discharges of storm water runoff. The Clean Water Act also prohibits the discharge of dredge and fill material in regulated waters, including wetlands, unless authorized by permit. In May 2015, the EPA issued a final rule that attempts to clarify the federal jurisdictional reach over waters of the United States but this rule has been stayed nationwide by the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals as that appellate court and numerous district courts ponder lawsuits opposing implementation of the rule. In June 2015, the EPA and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps”) published a final rule attempting to clarify the federal jurisdictional reach over waters of the United States, but legal challenges to this rule followed. The 2015 rule was stayed nationwide to determine whether federal district or appellate courts had jurisdiction to hear cases in the matter and, in January 2017, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. The EPA and Corps proposed a rulemaking in June 2017 to repeal the June 2015 rule, announced their intent to issue a new rule defining the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction, and published a proposed rule in November 2017 specifying that the contested May 2015 rule would not take effect until two years after the November 2017 proposed rule was finalized and published in the Federal Register. Recently, on January 22, 2018, the


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United States Supreme Court issued a decision finding that jurisdiction resides with the federal district courts; consequently, while implementation of the 2015 rule currently remains stayed, the previously-filed district court cases will be allowed to proceed. On January 31, 2018, the EPA and Corps finalized a rule that would delay applicability of the rule to two years from the rule’s publication in the Federal Register. As a result of these recent developments, future implementation of the June 2015 rule is uncertain at this time but to the extent any rule expands the scope of the Clean Water Act’s jurisdiction, our operations as well as our exploration and production customers’ drilling programs could incur increased costs and delays with respect to obtaining permits for dredge and fill activities in wetland areas.
Spills. Our operations can result in the discharge of regulated substances, including NGLs, crude oil or other products. The Clean Water Act, as amended by the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended, (“OPA”), and comparable state laws impose restrictions and strict controls regarding the discharge of regulated substances into state waters or waters of the United States. The Clean Water Act and comparable state laws can impose substantial administrative, civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance including spills and other non-authorized discharges. The OPA subjects owners of covered facilities to strict joint and potentially unlimited liability for removal costs and other consequences of a release of oil, where the release is into navigable waters, along shorelines or in the exclusive economic zone of the United States. Spill prevention control and countermeasure requirements of the Clean Water Act and some state laws require that containment dikes and similar structures be installed to help prevent the impact on navigable waters in the event of a release of oil. The PHMSA, the EPA, or various state regulatory agencies, has approved our oil spill emergency response plans that are to be used in the event of a spill incident.
In addition, some states maintain groundwater protection programs that require permits for discharges or operations that may impact groundwater conditions. Our management believes that compliance with existing permits and compliance with foreseeable new permit requirements will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position or expected cash flows.
Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act, as amended, restricts activities that may affect endangered or threatened species or their habitat. Similar protections are offered to migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. We may operate in areas that are currently designated as a habitat for endangered or threatened species or where the discovery of previously unidentified endangered species, or the designation of additional species as endangered or threatened may occur in which event such one or more developments could cause us to incur additional costs, to develop habitat conservation plans, to become subject to expansion or operating restrictions, or bans in the affected areas. Moreover, such designation of previously unprotected species as threatened or endangered in areas where our oil and natural gas exploration and production customers operate could cause our customers to incur increased costs arising from species protection measures and could result in delays or limitations in our customers’ performance of operations, which could reduce demand for our services.
Climate Change. Climate change continues to attract considerable public, governmental and scientific attention. As a result, numerous proposals have been made and are likely to continue to be made at the international, national, regional and state levels of government to monitor and limit emissions of GHGs. These efforts have included consideration of cap-and-trade programs, carbon taxes and GHG reporting and tracking programs, and regulations that directly limit GHG emissions from certain sources. At the federal level, no comprehensive climate change legislation has been implemented to date. The EPA has, however, adopted rules under authority of the Clean Air Act that, among other things, establish Potential for Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) construction and Title V operating permit reviews for GHG emissions from certain large stationary sources that are also potential major sources of certain principal, or criteria, pollutant emissions, which reviews could require securing PSD permits at covered facilities emitting GHGs and meeting “best available control technology” standards for those GHG emissions. In addition, the EPA has adopted rules requiring the monitoring and annual reporting of GHG emissions from certain petroleum and natural gas system sources in the United States, including, among others, onshore processing, transmission, storage and distribution facilities. In October 2015, the EPA amended and expanded the GHG reporting requirements to all segments of the oil and natural gas industry, including gathering and boosting facilities and blowdowns of natural gas transmission pipelines.
Federal agencies also have begun directly regulating emissions of methane, a GHG, from oil and natural gas operations. In June 2016, the EPA published New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”), known as Subpart OOOOa, that require certain new, modified or reconstructed facilities in the oil and natural gas sector to reduce these methane gas and volatile organic compound emissions. These Subpart OOOOa standards will expand previously issued NSPS published by the EPA in 2012 and known as Subpart OOOO, by using certain equipment-specific emissions control practices, requiring additional controls for pneumatic controllers and pumps as well as compressors, and imposing leak detection and repair requirements for natural gas compressor and booster stations. However, the Subpart OOOOa standards have been subject to attempts by the EPA to stay portions of those standards, and the agency proposed rulemaking in June 2017 to stay the requirements for a period of two years and revisit implementation of Subpart OOOOa in its entirety. The EPA has not yet published a final rule and, as a result, the June 2016 rule remains in effect but future implementation of the 2016 standards is uncertain at this time. This rule, should it remain in effect, and any other new methane emission standards imposed on the oil and gas sector could result in increased costs to our operations as well as result in delays or curtailment in such operations, which costs, delays or curtailment could adversely affect our business.


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Additionally, in December 2015, the United States joined the international community at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France preparing an agreement requiring member countries to review and “represent a progression” in their intended nationally determined contributions, which set GHG emission reduction goals every five years beginning in 2020. This “Paris Agreement” was signed by the United States in April 2016 and entered into force in November 2016; however, this agreement does not create any binding obligations for nations to limit their GHG emissions, but rather includes pledges to voluntarily limit or reduce future emissions. In August 2017, the United States State Department informed the United Nations of the intent of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement provides for a four-year exit process beginning when it took effect in November 2016, which would result in an effective exit date of November 2020. The United States’ adherence to the exit process and/or the terms on which the United States may re-enter the Paris Agreement or a separately negotiated agreement are unclear at this time.
The adoption and implementation of any international, federal or state legislation or regulations that require reporting of GHGs or otherwise restrict emissions of GHGs could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, demand for our services, results of operations, and cash flows. Recently, activists concerned about the potential effects of climate change have directed their attention at sources of funding for fossil-fuel energy companies, which has resulted in certain financial institutions, funds and other sources of capital restricting or eliminating their investment in oil and natural gas activities. Ultimately, this could make it more difficult to secure funding for exploration and production or midstream activities. Notwithstanding potential risks related to climate change, the International Energy Agency estimates that global energy demand will continue to rise and will not peak until after 2040 and that oil and natural gas will continue to represent a substantial percentage of global energy use over that time. Finally, some scientists have concluded that increasing concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere may produce climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, droughts, and floods and other climate events that could have an adverse effect on our assets.
Some have suggested that one consequence of climate change could be increased severity of extreme weather, such as increased hurricanes and floods. If such effects were to occur, our operations could be adversely affected in various ways, including damages to our facilities from powerful winds or rising waters, or increased costs for insurance. Another possible consequence of climate change is increased volatility in seasonal temperatures. The market for our NGLs and natural gas is generally improved by periods of colder weather and impaired by periods of warmer weather, so any changes in climate could affect the market for the fuels that we produce. Despite the use of the term “global warming” as a shorthand for climate change, some studies indicate that climate change could cause some areas to experience temperatures substantially colder than their historical averages. As a result, it is difficult to predict how the market for our products could be affected by increased temperature volatility, although if there is an overall trend of warmer temperatures, it would be expected to have an adverse effect on our business.
Employee Health and Safety. We are subject to the requirements of the federal OSHA and comparable state laws that regulate the protection of the health and safety of workers. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s hazard communication standard requires that information be maintained about hazardous materials used or produced in operations and that this information be provided to employees, state and local government authorities and citizens. Historically, our costs for OSHA required activities, including general industry standards, recordkeeping requirements, and monitoring of occupational exposure to regulated substances, have not had a material adverse effect on our results of operations but there is no assurance that such costs will not be material in the future.
Employees
As of December 31, 2017, we employed 8,494 persons, 1,225 of which are represented by labor unions. We believe that our relations with our employees are satisfactory.
SEC Reporting
We file or furnish annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any related amendments and supplements thereto with the SEC. From time to time, we may also file registration and related statements pertaining to equity or debt offerings. You may read and copy any materials we file or furnish with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may obtain information regarding the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-732-0330. In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet website at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
We provide electronic access, free of charge, to our periodic and current reports, and amendments to these reports, on our internet website located at http://www.energytransfer.com. These reports are available on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such materials with the SEC. Information contained on our website is not part of this report.


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ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS
In addition to risks and uncertainties in the ordinary course of business that are common to all businesses, important factors that are specific to our structure as a limited partnership, our industry and our company could materially impact our future performance and results of operations. We have provided below a list of these risk factors that should be reviewed when considering an investment in our securities. Panhandle files Annual Reports on Form 10-K that include risk factors that can be reviewed for further information. The risk factors set forth below, and those included in Panhandle’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, are not all the risks we face and other factors currently considered immaterial or unknown to us may impact our future operations.
Risks Inherent in an Investment in Us
Cash distributions are not guaranteed and may fluctuate with our performance and other external factors.
The amount of cash we can distribute to holders of our Common Units or other partnership securities depends upon the amount of cash we generate from our operations. The amount of cash we generate from our operations will fluctuate from quarter to quarter and will depend upon, among other things:
the amount of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil and refined products transported in our pipelines and gathering systems;
the level of throughput in our processing and treating operations;
the fees we charge and the margins we realize for our services;
the price of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil and refined products;
the relationship between natural gas, NGL and crude oil prices;
the amount of cash distributions we receive with respect to the Sunoco LP common units that our subsidiaries own;
the weather in our operating areas;
the level of competition from other midstream, transportation and storage and other energy providers;
the level of our operating costs;
prevailing economic conditions; and
the level and results of our derivative activities.
In addition, the actual amount of cash we will have available for distribution will also depend on other factors, such as:
the level of capital expenditures we make;
the level of costs related to litigation and regulatory compliance matters;
the cost of acquisitions, if any;
the levels of any margin calls that result from changes in commodity prices;
our debt service requirements;
fluctuations in our working capital needs;
our ability to borrow under our revolving credit facility;
our ability to access capital markets;
restrictions on distributions contained in our debt agreements; and
the amount of cash reserves established by our General Partner in its discretion for the proper conduct of our business.
Because of all these factors, we cannot guarantee that we will have sufficient available cash to pay a specific level of cash distributions to our Unitholders.
Furthermore, Unitholders should be aware that the amount of cash we have available for distribution depends primarily upon our cash flow and is not solely a function of profitability, which is affected by non-cash items. As a result, we may declare and/or pay cash distributions during periods when we record net losses.


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We may sell additional limited partner interests or other classes of equity, diluting existing interests of Unitholders.
Our partnership agreement allows us to issue an unlimited number of additional limited partner interests, including securities senior to the Common Units, without the approval of our Unitholders. The issuance of additional Common Units or other equity securities will have the following effects:
the current proportionate ownership interest of our Unitholders in us will decrease;
the amount of cash available for distribution on each Common Unit or partnership security 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 or partnership securities may decline.
Sunoco LP may issue additional common units, which may increase the risk that Sunoco LP will not have sufficient available cash to maintain or increase its per unit distribution level.
Sunoco LP’s partnership agreement allows the issuance of an unlimited number of additional limited partner interests. The issuance of additional common units or other equity securities by Sunoco LP will have the following effects:
Unitholders’ current proportionate ownership interest in Sunoco LP will decrease;
the amount of cash available for distribution on each common unit or partnership security 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 Sunoco LP common units may decline.
The payment of distributions on any additional units issued by Sunoco LP may increase the risk that it may not have sufficient cash available to maintain or increase its per unit distribution level, which in turn may impact the available cash that we have to meet our obligations.
Future sales of our units or other limited partner interests in the public market could reduce the market price of Unitholders’ limited partner interests.
As of January 31, 2018, ETE owned 27.5 million ETP Common Units. If ETE were to sell and/or distribute its Common Units to the holders of its equity interests in the future, those holders may dispose of some or all of these units. The sale or disposition of a substantial portion of these units in the public markets could reduce the market price of our outstanding Common Units.
Unitholders may not have limited liability if a court finds that Unitholder actions constitute control of our business.
Under Delaware law, a Unitholder could be held liable for our obligations to the same extent as a general partner if a court determined that the right of Unitholders to remove our general partner or to take other action under our partnership agreement constituted participation in the “control” of our business.
Our general partner generally has unlimited liability for our obligations, such as our debts and environmental liabilities, except for those contractual obligations that are expressly made without recourse to our general partner. Our partnership agreement allows the general partner to incur obligations on our behalf that are expressly non-recourse to the general partner. The general partner has entered into such limited recourse obligations in most instances involving payment liability and intends to do so in the future.
In addition, Section 17-607 of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act provides that under some circumstances, a Unitholder may be liable to us for the amount of a distribution for a period of three years from the date of the distribution.
Our debt level and debt agreements may limit our ability to make distributions to Unitholders and may limit our future financial and operating flexibility.
As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $33.09 billion of consolidated debt, excluding the debt of our joint ventures. Our level of indebtedness affects our operations in several ways, including, among other things:
a significant portion of our and our subsidiaries’ cash flow from operations will be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on outstanding debt and will not be available for other purposes, including payment of distributions;
covenants contained in our and our subsidiaries’ existing debt agreements require us and them, as applicable, to meet financial tests that may adversely affect our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in our business;


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our and our subsidiaries’ ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and general partnership, corporate or limited liability company purposes, as applicable, may be limited;
we may be at a competitive disadvantage relative to similar companies that have less debt;
we may be more vulnerable to adverse economic and industry conditions as a result of our significant debt level; and
failure by us or our subsidiaries to comply with the various restrictive covenants of our respective debt agreements could negatively impact our ability to incur additional debt, including our ability to utilize the available capacity under our revolving credit facility, and our ability to pay our distributions.
Capital projects will require significant amounts of debt and equity financing, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.
We plan to fund our growth capital expenditures, including any new pipeline construction projects and improvements or repairs to existing facilities that we may undertake, with proceeds from sales of our debt and equity securities and borrowings under our revolving credit facility; however, we cannot be certain that we will be able to issue our debt and equity securities on terms satisfactory to us, or at all. If we are unable to finance our expansion projects as expected, we could be required to seek alternative financing, the terms of which may not be attractive to us, or to revise or cancel our expansion plans.
A significant increase in our indebtedness that is proportionately greater than our issuance of equity could negatively impact our and our subsidiaries’ credit ratings or our ability to remain in compliance with the financial covenants under our revolving credit agreement, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Increases in interest rates could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
In addition to our exposure to commodity prices, we have exposure to changes in interest rates. Approximately $5.11 billion of our consolidated debt as of December 31, 2017 bears interest at variable interest rates and the remainder bears interest at fixed rates. To the extent that we have debt with floating interest rates, our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition could be materially adversely affected by increases in interest rates. We manage a portion of our interest rate exposures by utilizing interest rate swaps.
An increase in interest rates may also cause a corresponding decline in demand for equity investments, in general, and in particular for yield-based equity investments such as our Common Units. Any such reduction in demand for our Common Units resulting from other more attractive investment opportunities may cause the trading price of our Common Units to decline.
The credit and risk profile of our General Partner and its owners could adversely affect our credit ratings and profile.
The credit and business risk profiles of our General Partner, and of ETE as the indirect owner of our General Partner, may be factors in credit evaluations of us as a publicly traded limited partnership due to the significant influence of our General Partner and ETE over our business activities, including our cash distributions, acquisition strategy and business risk profile. Another factor that may be considered is the financial condition of our General Partner and its owners, including the degree of their financial leverage and their dependence on cash flow from the Partnership to service their indebtedness.
ETE has significant indebtedness outstanding and is dependent principally on the cash distributions from its general and limited partner equity interests in us to service such indebtedness. Any distributions by us to ETE will be made only after satisfying our then current obligations to our creditors. Although we have taken certain steps in our organizational structure, financial reporting and contractual relationships to reflect the separateness of us, ETP GP and ETP LLC from the entities that control ETP GP (ETE and its general partner), our credit ratings and business risk profile could be adversely affected if the ratings and risk profiles of such entities were viewed as substantially lower or riskier than ours.
Unitholders have limited voting rights and are not entitled to elect the General Partner or its directors. In addition, even if Unitholders are dissatisfied, they cannot easily remove the General Partner.
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 our General Partner and will have no right to elect our General Partner on an annual or other continuing basis. Although our General Partner has a contractually-limited fiduciary duty to our Unitholders, the directors of our General Partner and its general partner have a fiduciary duty to manage the General Partner and its general partner in a manner beneficial to the owners of those entities.
Furthermore, if the Unitholders are dissatisfied with the performance of our General Partner, they may be unable to remove our General Partner. The General Partner generally may not be removed except upon the vote of the holders of 66 2/3% of the outstanding units voting together as a single class, including units owned by the General Partner and its affiliates. As of December 31, 2017,


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ETE and its affiliates held approximately 2.4% of our outstanding Common Units and our officers and directors held less than 1% of our outstanding Common Units.
Furthermore, Unitholders’ voting rights are further restricted by the partnership agreement provision providing that any units held by a person that owns 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, other than the General Partner and its affiliates, cannot be voted on any matter.
Our General Partner may, in its sole discretion, approve the issuance of partnership securities and specify the terms of such partnership securities.
Pursuant to our partnership agreement, our General Partner has the ability, in its sole discretion and without the approval of the Unitholders, to approve the issuance of securities by the Partnership at any time and to specify the terms and conditions of such securities. The securities authorized to be issued may be issued in one or more classes or series, with such designations, preferences, rights, powers and duties (which may be senior to existing classes and series of partnership securities), as shall be determined by our General Partner, including:
the right to share in the Partnership’s profits and losses;
the right to share in the Partnership’s distributions;
the rights upon dissolution and liquidation of the Partnership;
whether, and the terms upon which, the Partnership may redeem the securities;
whether the securities will be issued, evidenced by certificates and assigned or transferred; and
the right, if any, of the security to vote on matters relating to the Partnership, including matters relating to the relative rights, preferences and privileges of such security.
Please see “We may sell additional limited partner interests, diluting existing interests of Unitholders.” above.
The control of our General Partner may be transferred to a third party without Unitholder consent.
The General Partner may transfer its general partner interest to a third party without the consent of the Unitholders. Furthermore, the general partner of our General Partner may transfer its general partner interest in our General Partner to a third party without the consent of the Unitholders. Any new owner of the General Partner or the general partner of the General Partner would be in a position to replace the officers of the General Partner with its own choices and to control the decisions taken by such officers.
Unitholders may be required to sell their units to the General Partner at an undesirable time or price.
If at any time less than 20% of the outstanding units of any class are held by persons other than the General Partner and its affiliates, the General Partner will have the right to acquire all, but not less than all, of those units at a price no less than their then-current market price. As a consequence, a Unitholder may be required to sell their Common Units at an undesirable time or price. The General Partner may assign this purchase right to any of its affiliates or to us.
The interruption of distributions to us from our operating subsidiaries and equity investees may affect our ability to satisfy our obligations and to make distributions to our partners.
We are a holding company with no business operations other than that of our operating subsidiaries. Our only significant assets are the equity interests we own in our operating subsidiaries and equity investees. As a result, we depend upon the earnings and cash flow of our operating subsidiaries and equity investees and any interruption of distributions to us may affect our ability to meet our obligations, including any obligations under our debt agreements, and to make distributions to our partners.
Cost reimbursements due to our General Partner may be substantial and may reduce our ability to pay the distributions to Unitholders.
Prior to making any distributions to our Unitholders, we will reimburse our General Partner for all expenses it has incurred on our behalf. In addition, our General Partner and its affiliates may provide us with services for which we will be charged reasonable fees as determined by the General Partner. The reimbursement of these expenses and the payment of these fees could adversely affect our ability to make distributions to the Unitholders. Our General Partner has sole discretion to determine the amount of these expenses and fees.


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Unitholders may have liability to repay distributions.
Under certain circumstances, Unitholders may have to repay us amounts wrongfully distributed to them. Under Delaware law, we may not make a distribution to Unitholders if the distribution causes our liabilities to exceed the fair value of our assets. Liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and non-recourse liabilities are not counted for purposes of determining whether a distribution is permitted. Delaware law provides that a limited partner who receives such a distribution and knew at the time of the distribution that the distribution violated Delaware law, will be liable to the limited partnership for the distribution amount for three years from the distribution date. Under Delaware law, an assignee who becomes a substituted limited partner of a limited partnership is liable for the obligations of the assignor to make contributions to the partnership. However, such an assignee is not obligated for liabilities unknown to him at the time he or she became a limited partner if the liabilities could not be determined from the partnership agreement.
We have a holding company structure in which our subsidiaries conduct our operations and own our operating assets.
We are a holding company, and our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations and own all of our operating assets. We do not have significant assets other than the partnership interests and the equity in our subsidiaries. As a result, our ability to pay distributions to our Unitholders and to service our debt depends on the performance of our subsidiaries and their ability to distribute funds to us. The ability of our subsidiaries to make distributions to us may be restricted by, among other things, credit facilities and applicable state partnership laws and other laws and regulations. If we are unable to obtain funds from our subsidiaries we may not be able to pay distributions to our Unitholders or to pay interest or principal on our debt when due.
We do not have the same flexibility as other types of organizations to accumulate cash, which may limit cash available to service our debt or to repay debt at maturity.
Unlike a corporation, our partnership agreement requires us to distribute, on a quarterly basis, 100% of our Available Cash (as defined in our partnership agreement) to our Unitholders of record and our General Partner. Available Cash is generally all of our cash on hand as of the end of a quarter, adjusted for cash distributions and net changes to reserves. Our General Partner will determine the amount and timing of such distributions and has broad discretion to establish and make additions to our reserves or the reserves of our operating subsidiaries in amounts it determines in its reasonable discretion to be necessary or appropriate:
to provide for the proper conduct of our business and the businesses of our operating subsidiaries (including reserves for future capital expenditures and for our anticipated future credit needs);
to provide funds for distributions to our Unitholders and our General Partner for any one or more of the next four calendar quarters; or
to comply with applicable law or any of our loan or other agreements.
A downgrade of our credit ratings could impact our and our subsidiaries’ liquidity, access to capital and costs of doing business, and maintaining credit ratings is under the control of independent third parties.
A downgrade of our credit ratings might increase our and our subsidiaries’ cost of borrowing and could require us to post collateral with third parties, negatively impacting our available liquidity. Our and our subsidiaries’ ability to access capital markets could also be limited by a downgrade of our credit ratings and other disruptions. Such disruptions could include:
economic downturns;
deteriorating capital market conditions;
declining market prices for natural gas, NGLs and other commodities;
terrorist attacks or threatened attacks on our facilities or those of other energy companies; and
the overall health of the energy industry, including the bankruptcy or insolvency of other companies.
Credit rating agencies perform independent analysis when assigning credit ratings. The analysis includes a number of criteria including, but not limited to, business composition, market and operational risks, as well as various financial tests. Credit rating agencies continue to review the criteria for industry sectors and various debt ratings and may make changes to those criteria from time to time. Credit ratings are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold investments in the rated entity. Ratings are subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the rating agencies, and we cannot assure you that we will maintain our current credit ratings.


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Risks Related to Conflicts of Interest
Our partnership agreement limits our General Partner’s fiduciary duties to our Unitholders and restricts the remedies available to Unitholders for actions taken by our General Partner that might otherwise constitute breaches of fiduciary duty.
Our partnership agreement contains provisions that waive or consent to conduct by our General Partner and its affiliates and reduce the obligations to which our General Partner would otherwise be held by state-law fiduciary duty standards. The following is a summary of the material restrictions contained in our partnership agreement on the duties owed by our General Partner, and our officers and directors, to the limited partners. Our partnership agreement:
eliminates all standards of care and duties other than those set forth in our partnership agreement, including fiduciary duties, to the fullest extent permitted by law;
permits our General Partner to make a number of decisions in its “sole discretion,” which standard entitles our General Partner to consider only the interests and factors that it desires, and it has no duty or obligation to give any consideration to any interest of, or factors affecting, us, our affiliates or any limited partner;
provides that our General Partner is entitled to make other decisions in its “reasonable discretion;”
generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest must 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 interests of all parties involved, including its own;
provides that unless our General Partner has acted in bad faith, the action taken by our General Partner shall not constitute a breach of its fiduciary duty;
provides that our General Partner may resolve any conflicts of interest involving us and our General Partner and its affiliates, and any resolution of a conflict of interest by our General Partner that is “fair and reasonable” to us will be deemed approved by all partners, including the Unitholders, and will not constitute a breach of the partnership agreement;
provides that our General Partner may, but is not required, in connection with its resolution of a conflict of interest, to seek “special approval” of such resolution by appointing a conflicts committee of the General Partner’s board of directors composed of two or more independent directors to consider such conflicts of interest and to recommend action to the board of directors, and any resolution of the conflict of interest by the conflicts committee shall be conclusively deemed “fair and reasonable” to us;
provides that our General Partner may consult with consultants and advisors and, subject to certain restrictions, is conclusively deemed to have acted in good faith when it acts in reliance on the opinion of such consultants and advisors; 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 errors of judgment or for any acts or omissions if our General Partner and those other persons acted in good faith.
In order to become a limited partner of our partnership, a Unitholder is required to agree to be bound by the provisions in our partnership agreement, including the provisions discussed above.
Some of our executive officers and directors face potential conflicts of interest in managing our business.
Certain of our executive officers and directors are also officers and/or directors of ETE. These relationships may create conflicts of interest regarding corporate opportunities and other matters. The resolution of any such conflicts may not always be in our or our Unitholders’ best interests. In addition, these overlapping executive officers and directors allocate their time among us and ETE. These officers and directors face potential conflicts regarding the allocation of their time, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The General Partner’s absolute discretion in determining the level of cash reserves may adversely affect our ability to make cash distributions to our Unitholders.
Our partnership agreement requires the General Partner to deduct from operating surplus cash reserves that in its reasonable discretion are necessary to fund our future operating expenditures. In addition, our partnership agreement permits the General Partner to reduce available cash by establishing cash reserves for the proper conduct of our business, to comply with applicable law or agreements to which we are a party or to provide funds for future distributions to partners. These cash reserves will affect the amount of cash available for distribution to Unitholders.


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Our General Partner has conflicts of interest and limited fiduciary responsibilities that may permit our General Partner to favor its own interests to the detriment of Unitholders.
ETE indirectly owns our General Partner and as a result controls us. The directors and officers of our General Partner and its affiliates have fiduciary duties to manage our General Partner in a manner that is beneficial to ETE, the sole owner of our General Partner. At the same time, our General Partner has contractually-limited fiduciary duties to our Unitholders. Therefore, our General Partner’s duties to us may conflict with the duties of its officers and directors to ETE as its sole owner. As a result of these conflicts of interest, our General Partner may favor its own interest or those of ETE or their owners or affiliates over the interest of our Unitholders.
Such conflicts may arise from, among others, the following:
Our partnership agreement limits the liability and reduces the fiduciary duties of our General Partner while also restricting the remedies available to our Unitholders for actions that, without these limitations, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty. Unitholders are deemed to have consented to some actions and conflicts of interest that might otherwise be deemed a breach of fiduciary or other duties under applicable state law. Our General Partner is allowed to take into account the interests of parties in addition to us in resolving conflicts of interest, thereby limiting its fiduciary duties to us.
Our General Partner is allowed to take into account the interests of parties in addition to us, including ETE, in resolving conflicts of interest, thereby limiting its fiduciary duties to us.
Our General Partner’s affiliates, including ETE, are not prohibited from engaging in other businesses or activities, including those in direct competition with us.
Our General Partner determines the amount and timing of our asset purchases and sales, capital expenditures, borrowings, repayments of debt, issuances of equity and debt securities and cash reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is distributed to Unitholders and to ETE.
Neither our partnership agreement nor any other agreement requires ETE or its affiliates to pursue a business strategy that favors us. The directors and officers of the general partners of ETE have a fiduciary duty to make decisions in the best interest of their members, limited partners and Unitholders, which may be contrary to our best interests.
Some of the directors and officers of ETE who provide advice to us also may devote significant time to the businesses of ETE and will be compensated by them for their services.
Our General Partner determines which costs, including allocated overhead costs, are reimbursable by us.
Our General Partner is allowed to resolve any conflicts of interest involving us and our General Partner and its affiliates, and any resolution of a conflict of interest by our General Partner that is fair and reasonable to us will be deemed approved by all partners and will not constitute a breach of the partnership agreement.
Our General Partner controls the enforcement of obligations owed to us by it.
Our General Partner decides whether to retain separate counsel, accountants or others to perform services for us.
Our General Partner is not restricted from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered on terms that are fair and reasonable to us or entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf.
Our General Partner intends to limit its liability regarding our contractual and other obligations and, in some circumstances, may be entitled to be indemnified by us.
In some instances, our General Partner may cause us to borrow funds in order to permit the payment of distributions, even if the purpose or effect of the borrowing is to make incentive distributions.
Affiliates of our General Partner may compete with us.
Except as provided in our partnership agreement, affiliates and related parties of our General Partner are not prohibited from engaging in other businesses or activities, including those that might be in direct competition with us.
Risks Related to Our Business
We do not control, and therefore may not be able to cause or prevent certain actions by, certain of our joint ventures.
Certain of our joint ventures have their own governing boards, and we may not control all of the decisions of those boards. Consequently, it may be difficult or impossible for us to cause the joint venture entity to take actions that we believe would be in our or the joint venture’s best interests. Likewise, we may be unable to prevent actions of the joint venture.


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We are exposed to the credit risk of our customers and derivative counterparties, and an increase in the nonpayment and nonperformance by our customers or derivative counterparties could reduce our ability to make distributions to our Unitholders.
The risks of nonpayment and nonperformance by our customers are a major concern in our business. Participants in the energy industry have been subjected to heightened scrutiny from the financial markets in light of past collapses and failures of other energy companies. We are subject to risks of loss resulting from nonpayment or nonperformance by our customers. The current commodity price volatility and the tightening of credit in the financial markets may make it more difficult for customers to obtain financing and, depending on the degree to which this occurs, there may be a material increase in the nonpayment and nonperformance by our customers. To the extent one or more of our customers is in financial distress or commences bankruptcy proceedings, contracts with these customers may be subject to renegotiation or rejection under applicable provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code. In addition, our risk management activities are subject to the risks that a counterparty may not perform its obligation under the applicable derivative instrument, the terms of the derivative instruments are imperfect, and our risk management policies and procedures are not properly followed. Any material nonpayment or nonperformance by our customers or our derivative counterparties could reduce our ability to make distributions to our Unitholders. Any substantial increase in the nonpayment and nonperformance by our customers could have a material effect on our results of operations and operating cash flows.
Income from our midstream, transportation, terminalling and storage operations is exposed to risks due to fluctuations in the demand for and price of natural gas, NGLs and oil that are beyond our control.
The prices for natural gas, NGLs and oil (including refined petroleum products) reflect market demand that fluctuates with changes in global and United States economic conditions and other factors, including:
the level of domestic natural gas, NGL, and oil production;
the level of natural gas, NGL, and oil imports and exports, including liquefied natural gas;
actions taken by natural gas and oil producing nations;
instability or other events affecting natural gas and oil producing nations;
the impact of weather and other events of nature on the demand for natural gas, NGLs and oil;
the availability of storage, terminal and transportation systems, and refining, processing and treating facilities;
the price, availability and marketing of competitive fuels;
the demand for electricity;
activities by non-governmental organizations to limit certain sources of funding for the energy sector or restrict the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas;
the cost of capital needed to maintain or increase production levels and to construct and expand facilities
the impact of energy conservation and fuel efficiency efforts; and
the extent of governmental regulation, taxation, fees and duties.
In the past, the prices of natural gas, NGLs and oil have been extremely volatile, and we expect this volatility to continue.
Any loss of business from existing customers or our inability to attract new customers due to a decline in demand for natural gas, NGLs, or oil could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations. In addition, significant price fluctuations for natural gas, NGL and oil commodities could materially affect our profitability.
We are affected by competition from other midstream, transportation, terminalling and storage companies.
We experience competition in all of our business segments. With respect to our midstream operations, we compete for both natural gas supplies and customers for our services. Our competitors include major integrated oil companies, interstate and intrastate pipelines and companies that gather, compress, treat, process, transport, store and market natural gas.
Our natural gas and NGL transportation pipelines and storage facilities compete with other interstate and intrastate pipeline companies and storage providers in the transportation and storage of natural gas and NGLs. The principal elements of competition among pipelines are rates, terms of service, access to sources of supply and the flexibility and reliability of service. Natural gas and NGLs also competes with other forms of energy, including electricity, coal, fuel oils and renewable or alternative energy. Competition among fuels and energy supplies is primarily based on price; however, non-price factors, including governmental regulation, environmental impacts, efficiency, ease of use and handling, and the availability of subsidies and tax benefits also affects competitive outcomes.


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In markets served by our NGL pipelines, we compete with other pipeline companies and barge, rail and truck fleet operations. We also face competition with other storage and fractionation facilities based on fees charged and the ability to receive, distribute and/or fractionate the customer’s products.
Our crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines face significant competition from other pipelines for large volume shipments. These operations also face competition from trucks for incremental and marginal volumes in the areas we serve. Further, our crude and refined product terminals compete with terminals owned by integrated petroleum companies, refining and marketing companies, independent terminal companies and distribution companies with marketing and trading operations.
We may be unable to retain or replace existing midstream, transportation, terminalling and storage customers or volumes due to declining demand or increased competition in oil, natural gas and NGL markets, which would reduce our revenues and limit our future profitability.
The retention or replacement of existing customers and the volume of services that we provide at rates sufficient to maintain or increase current revenues and cash flows depends on a number of factors beyond our control, including the price of and demand for oil, natural gas, and NGLs in the markets we serve and competition from other service providers.
A significant portion of our sales of natural gas are to industrial customers and utilities. As a consequence of the volatility of natural gas prices and increased competition in the industry and other factors, industrial customers, utilities and other gas customers are increasingly reluctant to enter into long-term purchase contracts. Many customers purchase natural gas from more than one supplier and have the ability to change suppliers at any time. Some of these customers also have the ability to switch between gas and alternate fuels in response to relative price fluctuations in the market. Because there are many companies of greatly varying size and financial capacity that compete with us in the marketing of natural gas, we often compete in natural gas sales markets primarily on the basis of price.
We also receive a substantial portion of our revenues by providing natural gas gathering, processing, treating, transportation and storage services. While a substantial portion of our services are sold under long-term contracts for reserved service, we also provide service on an unreserved or short-term basis. Demand for our services may be substantially reduced due to changing market prices. Declining prices may result in lower rates of natural gas production resulting in less use of services, while rising prices may diminish consumer demand and also limit the use of services. In addition, our competitors may attract our customers’ business. If demand declines or competition increases, we may not be able to sustain existing levels of unreserved service or renew or extend long-term contracts as they expire or we may reduce our rates to meet competitive pressures.
Revenue from our NGL transportation systems and refined products storage is also exposed to risks due to fluctuations in demand for transportation and storage service as a result of unfavorable commodity prices, competition from nearby pipelines, and other factors. We receive substantially all of our transportation revenues through dedicated contracts under which the customer agrees to deliver the total output from particular processing plants that are connected only to our transportation system. Reduction in demand for natural gas or NGLs due to unfavorable prices or other factors, however, may result lower rates of production under dedicated contracts and lower demand for our services. In addition, our refined products storage revenues are primarily derived from fixed capacity arrangements between us and our customers, a portion of our revenue is derived from fungible storage and throughput arrangements, under which our revenue is more dependent upon demand for storage from our customers.
The volume of crude oil and products transported through our oil pipelines and terminal facilities depends on the availability of attractively priced crude oil and refined products in the areas serviced by our assets. A period of sustained price reductions for crude oil or refined products could lead to a decline in drilling activity, production and refining of crude oil, or import levels in these areas. A period of sustained increases in the price of crude oil or products supplied from or delivered to any of these areas could materially reduce demand for crude oil or refined in these areas. In either case, the volumes of crude oil or products transported in our oil pipelines and terminal facilities could decline.
The loss of existing customers by our midstream, transportation, terminalling and storage facilities or a reduction in the volume of the services our customers purchase from us, or our inability to attract new customers and service volumes would negatively affect our revenues, be detrimental to our growth, and adversely affect our results of operations.
Our midstream facilities and transportation pipelines are attached to basins with naturally declining production, which we may not be able to replace with new sources of supply.
In order to maintain or increase throughput levels on our gathering systems and transportation pipeline systems and asset utilization rates at our treating and processing plants, we must continually contract for new natural gas supplies and natural gas transportation services.


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A substantial portion of our assets, including our gathering systems and our processing and treating plants, are connected to natural gas reserves and wells that experience declining production over time. Our gas transportation pipelines are also dependent upon natural gas production in areas served by our gathering systems or in areas served by other gathering systems or transportation pipelines that connect with our transportation pipelines. We may not be able to obtain additional contracts for natural gas supplies for our natural gas gathering systems, and we may be unable to maintain or increase the levels of natural gas throughput on our transportation pipelines. The primary factors affecting our ability to connect new supplies of natural gas to our gathering systems include our success in contracting for existing natural gas supplies that are not committed to other systems and the level of drilling activity and production of natural gas near our gathering systems or in areas that provide access to our transportation pipelines or markets to which our systems connect. We have no control over the level of drilling activity in our areas of operation, the amount of reserves underlying the wells and the rate at which production from a well will decline. In addition, we have no control over producers or their production and contracting decisions.
While a substantial portion of our services are provided under long-term contracts for reserved service, we also provide service on an unreserved basis. The reserves available through the supply basins connected to our gathering, processing, treating, transportation and storage facilities may decline and may not be replaced by other sources of supply. A decrease in development or production activity could cause a decrease in the volume of unreserved services we provide and a decrease in the number and volume of our contracts for reserved transportation service over the long run, which in each case would adversely affect our revenues and results of operations.
If we are unable to replace any significant volume declines with additional volumes from other sources, our results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
The profitability of certain activities in our natural gas gathering, processing, transportation and storage operations are largely dependent upon natural gas commodity prices, price spreads between two or more physical locations and market demand for natural gas and NGLs.
For a portion of the natural gas gathered on our systems, we purchase natural gas from producers at the wellhead and then gather and deliver the natural gas to pipelines where we typically resell the natural gas under various arrangements, including sales at index prices. Generally, the gross margins we realize under these arrangements decrease in periods of low natural gas prices.
We also enter into percent-of-proceeds arrangements, keep-whole arrangements, and processing fee agreements pursuant to which we agree to gather and process natural gas received from the producers.
Under percent-of-proceeds arrangements, we generally sell the residue gas and NGLs at market prices and remit to the producers an agreed upon percentage of the proceeds based on an index price. In other cases, instead of remitting cash payments to the producer, we deliver an agreed upon percentage of the residue gas and NGL volumes to the producer and sell the volumes we keep to third parties at market prices. Under these arrangements, our revenues and gross margins decline when natural gas prices and NGL prices decrease. Accordingly, a decrease in the price of natural gas or NGLs could have an adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations.
Under keep-whole arrangements, we generally sell the NGLs produced from our gathering and processing operations at market prices. Because the extraction of the NGLs from the natural gas during processing reduces the Btu content of the natural gas, we must either purchase natural gas at market prices for return to producers or make a cash payment to producers equal to the value of this natural gas. Under these arrangements, our gross margins generally decrease when the price of natural gas increases relative to the price of NGLs.
When we process the gas for a fee under processing fee agreements, we may guarantee recoveries to the producer. If recoveries are less than those guaranteed to the producer, we may suffer a loss by having to supply liquids or its cash equivalent to keep the producer whole.
We also receive fees and retain gas in kind from our natural gas transportation and storage customers. Our fuel retention fees and the value of gas that we retain in kind are directly affected by changes in natural gas prices. Decreases in natural gas prices tend to decrease our fuel retention fees and the value of retained gas.
In addition, we receive revenue from our off-gas processing and fractionating system in south Louisiana primarily through customer agreements that are a combination of keep-whole and percent-of-proceeds arrangements, as well as from transportation and fractionation fees. Consequently, a large portion of our off-gas processing and fractionation revenue is exposed to risks due to fluctuations in commodity prices. In addition, a decline in NGL prices could cause a decrease in demand for our off-gas processing and fractionation services and could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.


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For our midstream segment, we generally analyze gross margin based on fee-based margin (which includes revenues from processing fee arrangements) and non-fee based margin (which includes gross margin earned on percent-of-proceeds and keep-whole arrangements). For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, gross margin from our midstream segment totaled $2.18 billion, $1.80 billion and $1.79 billion, respectively, of which fee-based revenues constituted 78%, 86% and 88%, respectively, and non-fee based margin constituted 22%, 14% and 12%, respectively. The amount of gross margin earned by our midstream segment from fee-based and non-fee based arrangements (individually and as a percentage of total revenues) will be impacted by the volumes associated with both types of arrangements, as well as commodity prices; therefore, the dollar amounts and the relative magnitude of gross margin from fee-based and non-fee based arrangements in future periods may be significantly different from results reported in previous periods.
A material decrease in demand or distribution of crude oil available for transport through our pipelines or terminal facilities could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, or cash flows.
The volume of crude oil transported through our crude oil pipelines and terminal facilities depends on the availability of attractively priced crude oil produced or received in the areas serviced by our assets. A period of sustained crude oil price declines could lead to a decline in drilling activity, production and import levels in these areas. Similarly, a period of sustained increases in the price of crude oil supplied from any of these areas, as compared to alternative sources of crude oil available to our customers, could materially reduce demand for crude oil in these areas. In either case, the volumes of crude oil transported in our crude oil pipelines and terminal facilities could decline, and it could likely be difficult to secure alternative sources of attractively priced crude oil supply in a timely fashion or at all. If we are unable to replace any significant volume declines with additional volumes from other sources, our results of operations, financial position, or cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
An interruption of supply of crude oil to our facilities could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and revenues.
While we are well positioned to transport and receive crude oil by pipeline, marine transport and trucks, rail transportation also serves as a critical link in the supply of domestic crude oil production to United States refiners, especially for crude oil from regions such as the Bakken that are not sourced near pipelines or waterways that connect to all of the major United States refining centers. Federal regulators have issued a safety advisory warning that Bakken crude oil may be more volatile than many other North American crude oils and reinforcing the requirement to properly test, characterize, classify, and, if applicable, sufficiently degasify hazardous materials prior to and during transportation. The domestic crude oil received by our facilities, especially from the Bakken region, may be transported by railroad. If the ability to transport crude oil by rail is disrupted because of accidents, weather interruptions, governmental regulation, congestion on rail lines, terrorism, other third-party action or casualty or other events, then we could experience an interruption of supply or delivery or an increased cost of receiving crude oil, and could experience a decline in volumes received. Recent railcar accidents in Quebec, Alabama, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Virginia, in each case involving trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region, have led to increased legislative and regulatory scrutiny over the safety of transporting crude oil by rail. In 2015, the DOT, through the PHMSA, issued a rule implementing new rail car standards and railroad operating procedures. Changing operating practices, as well as new regulations on tank car standards and shipper classifications, could increase the time required to move crude oil from production areas of facilities, increase the cost of rail transportation, and decrease the efficiency of transportation of crude oil by rail, any of which could materially reduce the volume of crude oil received by rail and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The use of derivative financial instruments could result in material financial losses by us.
From time to time, we have sought to reduce our exposure to fluctuations in commodity prices and interest rates by using derivative financial instruments and other risk management mechanisms and by our trading, marketing and/or system optimization activities. To the extent that we hedge our commodity price and interest rate exposures, we forgo the benefits we would otherwise experience if commodity prices or interest rates were to change in our favor.
The accounting standards regarding hedge accounting are very complex, and even when we engage in hedging transactions that are effective economically (whether to mitigate our exposure to fluctuations in commodity prices, or to balance our exposure to fixed and variable interest rates), these transactions may not be considered effective for accounting purposes. Accordingly, our consolidated financial statements may reflect some volatility due to these hedges, even when there is no underlying economic impact at that point. It is also not always possible for us to engage in a hedging transaction that completely mitigates our exposure to commodity prices. Our consolidated financial statements may reflect a gain or loss arising from an exposure to commodity prices for which we are unable to enter into a completely effective hedge.
In addition, our derivatives activities can result in losses. Such losses could occur under various circumstances, including if a counterparty does not perform its obligations under the derivative arrangement, the hedge is imperfect, commodity prices move unfavorably related to our physical or financial positions or hedging policies and procedures are not followed.


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Our revenues depend on our customers’ ability to use our pipelines and third-party pipelines over which we have no control.
Our natural gas transportation, storage and NGL businesses depend, in part, on our customers’ ability to obtain access to pipelines to deliver gas to us and receive gas from us. Many of these pipelines are owned by parties not affiliated with us. Any interruption of service on our pipelines or third-party pipelines due to testing, line repair, reduced operating pressures, or other causes or adverse change in terms and conditions of service could have a material adverse effect on our ability, and the ability of our customers, to transport natural gas to and from our pipelines and facilities and a corresponding material adverse effect on our transportation and storage revenues. In addition, the rates charged by interconnected pipelines for transportation to and from our facilities affect the utilization and value of our storage services. Significant changes in the rates charged by those pipelines or the rates charged by other pipelines with which the interconnected pipelines compete could also have a material adverse effect on our storage revenues.
Shippers using our oil pipelines and terminals are also dependent upon our pipelines and connections to third-party pipelines to receive and deliver crude oil and products. Any interruptions or reduction in the capabilities of these pipelines due to testing, line repair, reduced operating pressures, or other causes could result in reduced volumes transported in our pipelines or through our terminals. Similarly, if additional shippers begin transporting volume over interconnecting oil pipelines, the allocations of pipeline capacity to our existing shippers on these interconnecting pipelines could be reduced, which also could reduce volumes transported in its pipelines or through our terminals. Allocation reductions of this nature are not infrequent and are beyond our control. Any such interruptions or allocation reductions that, individually or in the aggregate, are material or continue for a sustained period of time could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, or cash flows.
The inability to continue to access lands owned by third parties could adversely affect our ability to operate and our financial results.
Our ability to operate our pipeline systems on certain lands owned by third parties, will depend on our success in maintaining existing rights-of-way and obtaining new rights-of-way on those lands. We are parties to rights-of-way agreements, permits and licenses authorizing land use with numerous parties, including, private land owners, governmental entities, Native American tribes, rail carriers, public utilities and others. Our ability to secure extensions of existing agreements, permits and licenses is essential to our continuing business operations, and securing additional rights-of-way will be critical to our ability to pursue expansion projects. We cannot provide any assurance that we will be able to maintain access to existing rights-of-way upon the expiration of the current grants, that all of the rights-of-way will be obtained in a timely fashion or that we will acquire new rights-of-way as needed.
Further, whether we have the power of eminent domain for our pipelines varies from state to state, depending upon the type of pipeline and the laws of the particular state and the ownership of the land to which we seek access. When we exercise eminent down rights or negotiate private agreements cases, we must compensate landowners for the use of their property and, in eminent domain actions, such compensation may be determined by a court. The inability to exercise the power of eminent domain could negatively affect our business if we were to lose the right to use or occupy the property on which our pipelines are located. For example, following a recent decision issued in May 2017 by the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, tribal ownership of even a very small fractional interest in an allotted land, that is, tribal land owned or at one time owned by an individual Indian landowner, bars condemnation of any interest in the allotment. Consequently, the inability to condemn such allotted lands under circumstances where an existing pipeline rights-of-way may soon lapse or terminate serves as an additional impediment for pipeline operators. Any loss of rights with respect to our real property, through our inability to renew right-of-way contracts or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions to you.
We may not be able to fully execute our growth strategy if we encounter increased competition for qualified assets.
Our strategy contemplates growth through the development and acquisition of a wide range of midstream, transportation, storage and other energy infrastructure assets while maintaining a strong balance sheet. This strategy includes constructing and acquiring additional assets and businesses to enhance our ability to compete effectively and diversify our asset portfolio, thereby providing more stable cash flow. We regularly consider and enter into discussions regarding the acquisition of additional assets and businesses, stand-alone development projects or other transactions that we believe will present opportunities to realize synergies and increase our cash flow.
Consistent with our strategy, we may, from time to time, engage in discussions with potential sellers regarding the possible acquisition of additional assets or businesses. Such acquisition efforts may involve our participation in processes that involve a number of potential buyers, commonly referred to as “auction” processes, as well as situations in which we believe we are the only party or one of a very limited number of potential buyers in negotiations with the potential seller. We cannot give assurance that our acquisition efforts will be successful or that any acquisition will be completed on terms considered favorable to us.
In addition, we are experiencing increased competition for the assets we purchase or contemplate purchasing. Increased competition for a limited pool of assets could result in us losing to other bidders more often or acquiring assets at higher prices, both of which


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would limit our ability to fully execute our growth strategy. Inability to execute our growth strategy may materially adversely impact our results of operations.
An impairment of goodwill and intangible assets could reduce our earnings.
As of December 31, 2017, our consolidated balance sheet reflected $3.12 billion of goodwill and $5.31 billion of intangible assets. Goodwill is recorded when the purchase price of a business exceeds the fair value of the tangible and separately measurable intangible net assets. Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States require us to test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis or when events or circumstances occur, indicating that goodwill might be impaired. Long-lived assets such as intangible assets with finite useful lives are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. If we determine that any of our goodwill or intangible assets were impaired, we would be required to take an immediate charge to earnings with a correlative effect on partners’ capital and balance sheet leverage as measured by debt to total capitalization.
During the fourth quarter of 2017, the Partnership performed goodwill impairment tests on our reporting units and recognized goodwill impairments of $262 million in the interstate transportation and storage segment, $79 million in the NGL and refined products transportation and services segment and $452 million in the all other segment primarily due to changes in assumptions related to projected future revenues and cash flows from the dates the goodwill was originally recorded.
During the fourth quarter of 2016, we performed goodwill impairment tests on our reporting units and recognized goodwill impairments of $638 million in the interstate transportation and storage segment and $32 million in the midstream segment. These goodwill impairments were primarily due to decreases in projected future revenues and cash flows driven by declines in commodity prices and changes in the markets that these assets serve. In 2015, we recorded goodwill impairments of $99 million related to Transwestern due primarily to the market declines in current and expected future commodity prices in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $106 million related to Lone Star Refinery Services due primarily to changes in assumptions related to potential future revenues as well as the market declines in current and expected future commodity prices, as well as $24 million of intangible asset impairments related to Lone Star NGL Refinery Services primarily due to the economic obsolescence identified as a result of expected decrease in future cash flows.
If we do not make acquisitions on economically acceptable terms, our future growth could be limited.
Our results of operations and our ability to grow and to increase distributions to Unitholders will depend in part on our ability to make acquisitions that are accretive to our distributable cash flow per unit.
We may be unable to make accretive acquisitions for any of the following reasons, among others:
because we are unable to identify attractive acquisition candidates or negotiate acceptable purchase contracts with them;
because we are unable to raise financing for such acquisitions on economically acceptable terms; or
because we are outbid by competitors, some of which are substantially larger than us and have greater financial resources and lower costs of capital then we do.
Furthermore, even if we consummate acquisitions that we believe will be accretive, those acquisitions may in fact adversely affect our results of operations or result in a decrease in distributable cash flow per unit. Any acquisition involves potential risks, including the risk that we may:
fail to realize anticipated benefits, such as new customer relationships, cost-savings or cash flow enhancements;
decrease our liquidity by using a significant portion of our available cash or borrowing capacity to finance acquisitions;
significantly increase our interest expense or financial leverage if we incur additional debt to finance acquisitions;
encounter difficulties operating in new geographic areas or new lines of business;
incur or assume unanticipated liabilities, losses or costs associated with the business or assets acquired for which we are not indemnified or for which the indemnity is inadequate;
be unable to hire, train or retrain qualified personnel to manage and operate our growing business and assets;
less effectively manage our historical assets, due to the diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns; or
incur other significant charges, such as impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets, asset devaluation or restructuring charges.


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If we consummate future acquisitions, our capitalization and results of operations may change significantly. As we determine the application of our funds and other resources, Unitholders will not have an opportunity to evaluate the economic, financial and other relevant information that we will consider.
Integration of assets acquired in past acquisitions or future acquisitions with our existing business will be a complex and time-consuming process. A failure to successfully integrate the acquired assets with our existing business in a timely manner may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash available for distribution to our unitholders.
The difficulties of integrating past and future acquisitions with our business include, among other things:
operating a larger combined organization in new geographic areas and new lines of business;
hiring, training or retaining qualified personnel to manage and operate our growing business and assets;
integrating management teams and employees into existing operations and establishing effective communication and information exchange with such management teams and employees;
diversion of management’s attention from our existing business;
assimilation of acquired assets and operations, including additional regulatory programs;
loss of customers or key employees;
maintaining an effective system of internal controls in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as well as other regulatory compliance and corporate governance matters; and
integrating new technology systems for financial reporting.
If any of these risks or other unanticipated liabilities or costs were to materialize, then desired benefits from past acquisitions and future acquisitions resulting in a negative impact to our future results of operations. In addition, acquired assets may perform at levels below the forecasts used to evaluate their acquisition, due to factors beyond our control. If the acquired assets perform at levels below the forecasts, then our future results of operations could be negatively impacted.
Also, our reviews of proposed business or asset acquisitions are inherently imperfect because it is generally not feasible to perform an in-depth review of each such proposal given time constraints imposed by sellers. Even if performed, a detailed review of assets and businesses may not reveal existing or potential problems, and may not provide sufficient familiarity with such business or assets to fully assess their deficiencies and potential. Inspections may not be performed on every asset, and environmental problems, may not be observable even when an inspection is undertaken.
If we do not continue to construct new pipelines, our future growth could be limited.
Our results of operations and ability to grow and to increase distributable cash flow per unit will depend, in part, on our ability to construct pipelines that are accretive to our distributable cash flow. We may be unable to construct pipelines that are accretive to distributable cash flow for any of the following reasons, among others:
we are unable to identify pipeline construction opportunities with favorable projected financial returns;
we are unable to obtain necessary governmental approvals and contracts with qualified contractors and vendors on acceptable terms;
we are unable to raise financing for our identified pipeline construction opportunities; or
we are unable to secure sufficient transportation commitments from potential customers due to competition from other pipeline construction projects or for other reasons.
Furthermore, even if we construct a pipeline that we believe will be accretive, the pipeline may in fact adversely affect our results of operations or results from those projected prior to commencement of construction and other factors.
Expanding our business by constructing new pipelines and related facilities subjects us to risks.
One of the ways that we have grown our business is through the construction of additions to our existing gathering, compression, treating, processing and transportation systems. The construction of new pipelines and related facilities (or the improvement and repair of existing facilities) involves numerous regulatory, environmental, political and legal uncertainties beyond our control and requires the expenditure of significant amounts of capital that we will be required to finance through borrowings, the issuance of additional equity or from operating cash flow. If we undertake these projects, they may not be completed on schedule, at all, or at the budgeted cost. A variety of factors outside our control, such as weather, natural disasters and difficulties in obtaining permits


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and rights-of-way or other regulatory approvals, as well as the performance by third-party contractors, may result in increased costs or delays in construction. Cost overruns or delays in completing a project could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. Moreover, our revenues may not increase immediately following the completion of a particular project. For instance, if we build a new pipeline, the construction will occur over an extended period of time, but we may not materially increase our revenues until long after the project’s completion. In addition, the success of a pipeline construction project will likely depend upon the level of oil and natural gas exploration and development drilling activity and the demand for pipeline transportation in the areas proposed to be serviced by the project as well as our ability to obtain commitments from producers in the area to utilize the newly constructed pipelines. In this regard, we may construct facilities to capture anticipated future growth in oil or natural gas production in a region in which such growth does not materialize. As a result, new facilities may be unable to attract enough throughput or contracted capacity reservation commitments to achieve our expected investment return, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We depend on certain key producers for our supply of natural gas and the loss of any of these key producers could adversely affect our financial results.
Certain producers who are connected to our systems represent a material source of our supply of natural gas. We are not the only option available to these producers for disposition of the natural gas they produce. To the extent that these and other producers may reduce the volumes of natural gas that they supply us, we would be adversely affected unless we were able to acquire comparable supplies of natural gas from other producers.
Our intrastate transportation and storage and interstate transportation and storage operations depend on key customers to transport natural gas through our pipelines and the pipelines of our joint ventures.
During 2017, Trafigura US Inc., KMI, and Calpine Energy Services L.P. collectively accounted for approximately 36% of our intrastate transportation and storage revenues. During 2017, Chesapeake Energy Marketing, Inc., EnCana Marketing (USA), Inc. and Shell Energy North America (US), L.P., collectively accounted for 19% of our interstate transportation and storage revenues.
Our joint ventures, FEP and Citrus, also depend on key customers for the transport of natural gas through their pipelines. FEP has a small number of major shippers with one shipper accounting for approximately 64% of its revenues in 2017 while Citrus has long-term agreements with its top two customers which accounted for 61% of its 2017 revenue. For Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail, CFE International LLC is the sole shipper.
The failure of the major shippers on our and our joint ventures’ intrastate and interstate transportation and storage pipelines to fulfill their contractual obligations could have a material adverse effect on our cash flow and results of operations if we or our joint ventures were unable to replace these customers under arrangements that provide similar economic benefits as these existing contracts.
Our interstate natural gas pipelines are subject to laws, regulations and policies governing the rates they are allowed to charge for their services, which may prevent us from fully recovering our costs.
Laws, regulations and policies governing interstate natural gas pipeline rates could affect the ability of our interstate pipelines to establish rates, to charge rates that would cover future increases in its costs, or to continue to collect rates that cover current costs.
We are required to file tariff rates (also known as recourse rates) with the FERC that shippers may pay for interstate natural gas transportation services. We may also agree to discount these rates on a not unduly discriminatory basis or negotiate rates with shippers who elect not to pay the recourse rates. The FERC must approve or accept all rate filings for us to be allowed to charge such rates.
The FERC may review existing tariff rates on its own initiative or upon receipt of a complaint filed by a third party. The FERC may, on a prospective basis, order refunds of amounts collected if it finds the rates to have been shown not to be just and reasonable or to have been unduly discriminatory. The FERC has recently exercised this authority with respect to several other pipeline companies. If the FERC were to initiate a proceeding against us and find that our rates were not just and reasonable or unduly discriminatory, the maximum rates we are permitted to charge may be reduced and the reduction could have an adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations.
The costs of our interstate pipeline operations may increase and we may not be able to recover all of those costs due to FERC regulation of our rates. If we propose to change our tariff rates, our proposed rates may be challenged by the FERC or third parties, and the FERC may deny, modify or limit our proposed changes if we are unable to persuade the FERC that changes would result in just and reasonable rates that are not unduly discriminatory. We also may be limited by the terms of rate case settlement agreements or negotiated rate agreements with individual customers from seeking future rate increases, or we may be constrained by competitive factors from charging our tariff rates.


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To the extent our costs increase in an amount greater than our revenues increase, or there is a lag between our cost increases and our ability to file for and obtain rate increases, our operating results would be negatively affected. Even if a rate increase is permitted by the FERC to become effective, the rate increase may not be adequate. We cannot guarantee that our interstate pipelines will be able to recover all of our costs through existing or future rates.
The ability of interstate pipelines held in tax-pass-through entities, like us, to include an allowance for income taxes as a cost-of-service element in their regulated rates has been subject to extensive litigation before the FERC and the courts for a number of years. It is currently the FERC’s policy to permit pipelines to include in cost-of-service a tax allowance to reflect actual or potential income tax liability on their public utility income attributable to all partnership or limited liability company interests, to the extent that the ultimate owners have an actual or potential income tax liability on such income. Whether a pipeline’s owners have such actual or potential income tax liability will be reviewed by the FERC on a case-by-case basis. Under the FERC’s policy, we thus remain eligible to include an income tax allowance in the tariff rates we charge for interstate natural gas transportation. On December 15, 2016, FERC issued a Notice of Inquiry requesting energy industry input on how FERC should address income tax allowances in cost-based rates proposed by pipeline companies organized as part of a master limited partnership. FERC issued the Notice of Inquiry in response to a remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in United Airlines v. FERC, in which the court determined that FERC had not justified its conclusion that an oil pipeline organized as a partnership would not “double recover” its taxes under the current policy by both including a tax allowance in its cost-based rates and earning a return on equity calculated on a pre-tax basis. FERC requested comments regarding how to address any double recovery resulting from the Commission’s current income tax allowance and rate of return policies. The comment period with respect to the notice of inquiry ended on April 7, 2017. The outcome of the inquiry is still pending. We cannot predict whether FERC will successfully justify its conclusion that there is no double recovery of taxes under these circumstances or whether FERC will modify its current policy on either income tax allowances or return on equity calculations for pipeline companies organized as part of a master limited partnership. However, any modification that reduces or eliminates an income tax allowance for pipeline companies organized as part of a master limited partnership or decreases the return on equity for such pipelines could result in an adverse impact on our revenues associated with the transportation and storage services we provide pursuant to cost-based rates.
Effective January 2018, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed several provisions of the federal tax code, including a reduction in the maximum corporate tax rate. Following the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act being signed into law, filings have been made at FERC requesting that FERC require pipelines to lower their transportation rates to account for lower taxes. Following the effective date of the law, the FERC orders granting certificates to construct proposed pipeline facilities have directed pipelines proposing new rates for service on those facilities to re-file such rates so that the rates reflect the reduction in the corporate tax rate, and FERC has issued data requests in pending certificate proceedings for proposed pipeline facilities requesting pipelines to explain the impacts of the reduction in the corporate tax rate on the rate proposals in those proceedings and to provide re-calculated initial rates for service on the proposed pipeline facilities. FERC may enact other regulations or issue further requests to pipelines regarding the impact of the corporate tax rate change on the rates. The FERC’s establishment of a just and reasonable rate is based on many components, and the reduction in the corporate tax rate may impact two of such components: the allowance for income taxes and the amount for accumulated deferred income taxes. Because our existing jurisdictional rates were established based on a higher corporate tax rate, FERC or our shippers may challenge these rates in the future, and the resulting new rate may be lower than the rates we currently charge.
Our interstate natural gas pipelines are subject to laws, regulations and policies governing terms and conditions of service, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
In addition to rate oversight, the FERC’s regulatory authority extends to many other aspects of the business and operations of our interstate natural gas pipelines, including:
terms and conditions of service;
the types of services interstate pipelines may or must offer their customers;
construction of new facilities;
acquisition, extension or abandonment of services or facilities;
reporting and information posting requirements;
accounts and records; and
relationships with affiliated companies involved in all aspects of the natural gas and energy businesses.
Compliance with these requirements can be costly and burdensome. In addition, we cannot guarantee that the FERC will authorize tariff changes and other activities we might propose and to undertake in a timely manner and free from potentially burdensome conditions. Future changes to laws, regulations, policies and interpretations thereof may impair our access to capital markets or


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may impair the ability of our interstate pipelines to compete for business, may impair their ability to recover costs or may increase the cost and burden of operation.
The current FERC Chairman announced in December 2017 that FERC will review its policies on certification of natural gas pipelines, including an examination of its long-standing Policy Statement on Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Facilities, issued in 1999, that is used to determine whether to grant certificates for new pipeline projects. We are unable to predict what, if any, changes may be proposed that will affect our natural gas pipeline business or when such proposals, if any, might become effective. We do not expect that any change in this policy would affect us in a materially different manner than any other similarly sized natural gas pipeline company operating in the United States.
Rate regulation or market conditions may not allow us to recover the full amount of increases in the costs of our crude oil, NGL and products pipeline operations.
Transportation provided on our common carrier interstate crude oil, NGL and products pipelines is subject to rate regulation by the FERC, which requires that tariff rates for transportation on these oil pipelines be just and reasonable and not unduly discriminatory. If we propose new or changed rates, the FERC or interested persons may challenge those rates and the FERC is authorized to suspend the effectiveness of such rates for up to seven months and to investigate such rates. If, upon completion of an investigation, the FERC finds that the proposed rate is unjust or unreasonable, it is authorized to require the carrier to refund revenues in excess of the prior tariff during the term of the investigation. The FERC also may investigate, upon complaint or on its own motion, rates that are already in effect and may order a carrier to change its rates prospectively. Upon an appropriate showing, a shipper may obtain reparations for damages sustained for a period of up to two years prior to the filing of a complaint.
The primary ratemaking methodology used by the FERC to authorize increases in the tariff rates of petroleum pipelines is price indexing. The FERC’s ratemaking methodologies may limit our ability to set rates based on our costs or may delay the use of rates that reflect increased costs. In October 2016, FERC issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a number of proposals, including: (1) whether the Commission should deny any increase in a rate ceiling or annual index-based rate increase if a pipeline’s revenues exceed total costs by 15% for the prior two years; (2) a new percentage comparison test that would deny a proposed increase to a pipeline’s rate or ceiling level greater than 5% above the barrel-mile cost changes; and (3) a requirement that all pipelines file indexed ceiling levels annually, with the ceiling levels subject to challenge and restricting the pipeline’s ability to carry forward the full indexed increase to a future period. The comment period with respect to the proposed rules ended March 17, 2017. FERC has not yet taken any further action on the proposed rule. If the FERC’s indexing methodology changes, the new methodology could materially and adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Under the EPAct of 1992, certain interstate pipeline rates were deemed just and reasonable or “grandfathered.” Revenues are derived from such grandfathered rates on most of our FERC-regulated pipelines. A person challenging a grandfathered rate must, as a threshold matter, establish a substantial change since the date of enactment of the Energy Policy Act, in either the economic circumstances or the nature of the service that formed the basis for the rate. If the FERC were to find a substantial change in circumstances, then the existing rates could be subject to detailed review and there is a risk that some rates could be found to be in excess of levels justified by the pipeline’s costs. In such event, the FERC could order us to reduce pipeline rates prospectively and to pay refunds to shippers.
If the FERC’s petroleum pipeline ratemaking methodologies procedures changes, the new methodology or procedures could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
State regulatory measures could adversely affect the business and operations of our midstream and intrastate pipeline and storage assets.
Our midstream and intrastate transportation and storage operations are generally exempt from FERC regulation under the NGA, but FERC regulation still significantly affects our business and the market for our products. The rates, terms and conditions of service for the interstate services we provide in our intrastate gas pipelines and gas storage are subject to FERC regulation under Section 311 of the NGPA. Our HPL System, East Texas pipeline, Oasis pipeline and ET Fuel System provide such services. Under Section 311, rates charged for transportation and storage must be fair and equitable. Amounts collected in excess of fair and equitable rates are subject to refund with interest, and the terms and conditions of service, set forth in the pipeline’s statement of operating conditions, are subject to FERC review and approval. Should the FERC determine not to authorize rates equal to or greater than our costs of service, our cash flow would be negatively affected.
Our midstream and intrastate gas and oil transportation pipelines and our intrastate gas storage operations are subject to state regulation. All of the states in which we operate midstream assets, intrastate pipelines or intrastate storage facilities have adopted some form of complaint-based regulation, which allow producers and shippers to file complaints with state regulators in an effort to resolve grievances relating to the fairness of rates and terms of access. The states in which we operate have ratable take statutes, which generally require gatherers to take, without undue discrimination, production that may be tendered to the gatherer for


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handling. Similarly, common purchaser statutes generally require gatherers to purchase 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. Should a complaint be filed in any of these states or should regulation become more active, our business may be adversely affected.
Our intrastate transportation operations located in Texas are also subject to regulation as gas utilities by the TRRC. Texas gas utilities must publish the rates they charge for transportation and storage services in tariffs filed with the TRRC, although such rates are deemed just and reasonable under Texas law unless challenged in a complaint.
We are subject to other forms of state regulation, including requirements to obtain operating permits, reporting requirements, and safety rules (see description of federal and state pipeline safety regulation below). Violations of state laws, regulations, orders and permit conditions can result in the modification, cancellation or suspension of a permit, civil penalties and other relief.
Certain of our assets may become subject to regulation.
The distinction between federally unregulated gathering facilities and FERC-regulated transmission pipelines under the NGA has been the subject of extensive litigation and may be determined by the FERC on a case-by-case basis, although the FERC has made no determinations as to the status of our facilities. Consequently, the classification and regulation of our gathering facilities could change based on future determinations by the FERC, the courts or Congress. If our gas 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 our gathering agreements with our customers.
Intrastate transportation of NGLs is largely regulated by the state in which such transportation takes place. Lone Star’s NGL Pipeline transports NGLs within the state of Texas and is subject to regulation by the TRRC. This NGLs transportation system offers services pursuant to an intrastate transportation tariff on file with the TRRC. In 2013, Lone Star’s NGL pipeline also commenced the interstate transportation of NGLs, which is subject to FERC’s jurisdiction under the Interstate Commerce Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Both intrastate and interstate NGL transportation services must be provided in a manner that is just, reasonable, and non-discriminatory. The tariff rates established for interstate services were based on a negotiated agreement; however, if FERC’s ratemaking methodologies were imposed, they may, among other things, delay the use of rates that reflect increased costs and subject us to potentially burdensome and expensive operational, reporting and other requirements. In addition, the rates, terms and conditions for shipments of crude oil, petroleum products and NGLs on our pipelines are subject to regulation by FERC if the NGLs are transported in interstate or foreign commerce, whether by our pipelines or other means of transportation. Since we do not control the entire transportation path of all crude oil, petroleum products and NGLs on our pipelines, FERC regulation could be triggered by our customers’ transportation decisions.
In addition, if any of our pipelines were found to have provided services or otherwise operated in violation of the NGA, NGPA, or ICA, this could result in the imposition of administrative and criminal remedies and civil penalties, as well as a requirement to disgorge charges collected for such services in excess of the rate established by the FERC. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect revenues and cash flow related to these assets.
We may incur significant costs and liabilities resulting from performance of pipeline integrity programs and related repairs.
Pursuant to authority under the NGPSA and HLPSA, PHMSA has established a series of rules requiring pipeline operators to develop and implement integrity management programs for natural gas transmission and hazardous liquid pipelines that, in the event of a pipeline leak or rupture, could affect HCAs which are areas where a release could have the most significant adverse consequences, including high population areas, certain drinking water sources, and unusually sensitive ecological areas. These regulations require operators of covered pipelines to:
perform ongoing assessments of pipeline integrity;
identify and characterize applicable threats to pipeline segments that could impact a high consequence area;
improve data collection, integration and analysis;
repair and remediate the pipeline as necessary; and
implement preventive and mitigating actions.
In addition, states have adopted regulations similar to existing PHMSA regulations for intrastate gathering and transmission lines. At this time, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of compliance with applicable pipeline integrity management regulations, as the cost will vary significantly depending on the number and extent of any repairs found to be necessary as a result of the pipeline integrity testing. We will continue our pipeline integrity testing programs to assess and maintain the integrity of our pipelines. The results of these tests could cause us to incur significant and unanticipated capital and operating expenditures for repairs or upgrades


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deemed necessary to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of our pipelines. Any changes to pipeline safety laws by Congress and regulations by PHMSA that result in more stringent or costly safety standards could have a significant adverse effect on us and similarly situated midstream operators. For example, in January 2017, PHMSA issued a final rule for hazardous liquid pipelines that significantly expands the reach of certain PHMSA integrity management requirements, such as, for example, periodic assessments, leak detection and repairs, regardless of the pipeline’s proximity to a HCA. The final rule also imposes new reporting requirements for certain unregulated pipelines, including all hazardous liquid gathering lines. However, the date of implementation of this final rule by publication in the Federal Register is uncertain given the recent change in Presidential Administrations. In a second example, in April 2016, PHMSA published a proposed rulemaking that would impose new or more stringent requirements for certain natural gas lines and gathering lines including, among other things, expanding certain of PHMSA’s current regulatory safety programs for natural gas pipelines in newly defined “moderate consequence areas” that contain as few as 5 dwellings within a potential impact area; requiring gas pipelines installed before 1970 and thus excluded from certain pressure testing obligations to be tested to determine their maximum allowable operating pressure (“MAOP”); and requiring certain onshore and offshore gathering lines in Class I areas to comply with damage prevention, corrosion control, public education, MAOP limits, line markers and emergency planning standards. Additional requirements proposed by this proposed rulemaking would increase PHMSA’s integrity management requirements and also require consideration of seismicity in evaluating threats to pipelines. The changes adopted or proposed by these rulemakings or made in future legal requirements could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and costs of transportation services.
Federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to pipeline safety that require the use of new or more stringent safety controls or result in more stringent enforcement of applicable legal requirements could subject us to increased capital costs, operational delays and costs of operation.
The NGPSA and HLPSA were amended by the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act. Among other things, the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act increased the penalties for safety violations and directed the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate rules or standards relating to expanded integrity management requirements, automatic or remote-controlled valve use, excess flow valve use, leak detection system installation, testing to confirm that the material strength of certain pipelines are above 30% of specified minimum yield strength, and operator verification of records confirming the MAOP of certain interstate natural gas transmission pipelines. Effective April 27, 2017, maximum administrative fines for safety violations were increased to account for inflation, with maximum civil penalties set at $209,002 per day, with a maximum of $2,090,022 for a series of violations. In June 2016, the 2016 Pipeline Safety Act was passed, extending PHMSA’s statutory mandate through 2019 and, among other things, requiring PHMSA to complete certain of its outstanding mandates under the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act and developing new safety standards for natural gas storage facilities by June 22, 2018. The 2016 Pipeline Safety Act also empowers PHMSA to address imminent hazards by imposing emergency restrictions, prohibitions and safety measures on owners and operators of natural gas or hazardous liquid pipeline facilities without prior notice or an opportunity for a hearing. PHMSA issued interim regulations in October 2016 to implement the agency’s expanded authority to address unsafe pipeline conditions or practices that pose an imminent hazard to life, property, or the environment. The safety enhancement requirements and other provisions of the 2011 Pipeline Safety Act as further amended by the 2016 Pipeline Safety Act as well as any implementation of PHMSA rules 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 be significant and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
Our business involves the generation, handling and disposal of hazardous substances, hydrocarbons and wastes which activities are subject to environmental and worker health and safety laws and regulations that may cause us to incur significant costs and liabilities.
Our business is subject to stringent federal, tribal state, and local laws and regulations governing the discharge of materials into the environment, worker health and safety and protection of the environment. These laws and regulations may require the acquisition of permits for the construction and operation of our pipelines, plants and facilities, result in capital expenditures to manage, limit or prevent emissions, discharges or releases of various materials from our pipelines, plants and facilities, impose specific health and safety standards addressing worker protection, and impose substantial liabilities for pollution resulting from our construction and operations activities. Several governmental authorities, such as the EPA and analogous state agencies have the power to enforce compliance with these laws and regulations and the permits issued under them and frequently mandate difficult and costly remediation measures and other actions. Failure to comply with these laws, regulations and permits may result in the assessment of significant administrative, civil and criminal penalties, the imposition of investigatory remedial and corrective action obligations, the occurrence of delays in permitting and completion of projects, and the issuance of injunctive relief. Certain environmental laws impose strict, joint and several liability for costs required to clean up and restore sites where hazardous substances, hydrocarbons or wastes have been disposed or released, even under circumstances where the substances, hydrocarbons or wastes have been released by a predecessor operator. Moreover, it is not uncommon for neighboring landowners and other third parties


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to file claims for personal injury and property and natural resource damage allegedly caused by noise, odor or the release of hazardous substances, hydrocarbons or wastes into the environment.
We may incur substantial environmental costs and liabilities because of the underlying risk arising out of our operations. Although we have established financial reserves for our estimated environmental remediation liabilities, additional contamination or conditions may be discovered, resulting in increased remediation costs, liabilities or natural resource damages that could substantially increase our costs for site remediation projects. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that our current reserves are adequate to cover all future liabilities, even for currently known contamination.
Changes in environmental laws and regulations occur frequently, and any such changes that result in more stringent and costly waste handling, emission standards, or storage, transport, disposal or remediation requirements could have a material adverse effect on our operations or financial position. For example, in October 2015, the EPA published a final rule under the 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 published a final rule in November 2017 that issued area designations with respect to ground-level ozone for approximately 85% of the United States counties as either “attainment/unclassifiable” or “unclassifiable” and is expected to issue non-attainment designations for the remaining areas of the United States not addressed under the November 2017 final rule in the first half of 2018. Reclassification of areas or imposition of more stringent standards may make it more difficult to construct new or modified sources of air pollution in newly designated non-attainment areas. Also, states are expected to implement more stringent requirements as a result of this new final rule, which could apply to our customers’ operations. Compliance with this final rule or any other new regulations could, among other things, require installation of new emission controls on some of our equipment, result in longer permitting timelines or new restrictions or prohibitions with respect to permits or projects, and significantly increase our capital expenditures and operating costs, which could adversely impact our business. Historically, we have been able to satisfy the more stringent nitrogen oxide emission reduction requirements that affect our compressor units in ozone non-attainment areas at reasonable cost, but there is no assurance that we will not incur material costs in the future to meet the new, more stringent ozone standard.
Product liability claims and litigation could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Product liability is a significant commercial risk. Substantial damage awards have been made in certain jurisdictions against manufacturers and resellers based upon claims for injuries caused by the use of or exposure to various products. There can be no assurance that product liability claims against us would not have a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations.
Along with other refiners, manufacturers and sellers of gasoline, Sunoco, Inc. is a defendant in numerous lawsuits that allege MTBE contamination in groundwater. Plaintiffs, who include water purveyors and municipalities responsible for supplying drinking water and private well owners, are seeking compensatory damages (and in some cases injunctive relief, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees) for claims relating to the alleged manufacture and distribution of a defective product (MTBE-containing gasoline) that contaminates groundwater, and general allegations of product liability, nuisance, trespass, negligence, violation of environmental laws and deceptive business practices. There has been insufficient information developed about the plaintiffs’ legal theories or the facts that would be relevant to an analysis of the ultimate liability to Sunoco, Inc. An adverse determination of liability related to these allegations or other product liability claims against Sunoco, Inc. could have a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations.
Climate change legislation or regulations restricting emissions of “greenhouse gases” could result in increased operating costs and reduced demand for the services we provide.
Climate change continues to attract considerable public, governmental and scientific attention. As a result, numerous proposals have been made and are likely to continue to be made at the international, national, regional and state levels of government to monitor and limit emissions of GHGs. These efforts have included consideration of cap-and-trade programs, carbon taxes and GHG reporting and tracking programs, and regulations that directly limit GHG emissions from certain sources. At the federal level, no comprehensive climate change legislation has been implemented to date. The EPA has, however, adopted rules under authority of the Clean Air Act that, among other things, establish PSD construction and Title V operating permit reviews for GHG emissions from certain large stationary sources that are also potential major sources of certain principal, or criteria, pollutant emissions, which reviews could require securing PSD permits at covered facilities emitting GHGs and meeting “best available control technology” standards for those GHG emissions. In addition, the EPA has adopted rules requiring the monitoring and annual reporting of GHG emissions from certain petroleum and natural gas system sources in the United States, including, among others, onshore processing, transmission, storage and distribution facilities. In October 2015, the EPA amended and expanded the GHG reporting requirements to all segments of the oil and natural gas industry, including gathering and boosting facilities and blowdowns of natural gas transmission pipelines.
Federal agencies also have begun directly regulating emissions of methane, a GHG, from oil and natural gas operations. In June 2016, the EPA published New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”), known as Subpart OOOOa, that require certain new,


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modified or reconstructed facilities in the oil and natural gas sector to reduce these methane gas and volatile organic compound emissions. These Subpart OOOOa standards will expand previously issued NSPS published by the EPA in 2012 and known as Subpart OOOO, by using certain equipment-specific emissions control practices, requiring additional controls for pneumatic controllers and pumps as well as compressors, and imposing leak detection and repair requirements for natural gas compressor and booster stations. However, the Subpart OOOOa standards have been subject to attempts by the EPA to stay portions of those standards, and the agency proposed rulemaking in June 2017 to stay the requirements for a period of two years and revisit implementation of Subpart OOOOa in its entirety. The EPA has not yet published a final rule and, as a result, the June 2016 rule remains in effect but future implementation of the 2016 standards is uncertain at this time. This rule, should it remain in effect, and any other new methane emission standards imposed on the oil and gas sector could result in increased costs to our operations as well as result in delays or curtailment in such operations, which costs, delays or curtailment could adversely affect our business. Additionally, in December 2015, the United States joined the international community at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France preparing an agreement requiring member countries to review and “represent a progression” in their intended nationally determined contributions, which set GHG emission reduction goals every five years beginning in 2020. This “Paris Agreement” was signed by the United States in April 2016 and entered into force in November 2016; however, this agreement does not create any binding obligations for nations to limit their GHG emissions, but rather includes pledges to voluntarily limit or reduce future emissions. In August 2017, the United States State Department informed the United Nations of the intent of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement provides for a four-year exit process beginning when it took effect in November 2016, which would result in an effective exit date of November 2020. The United States’ adherence to the exit process and/or the terms on which the United States may re-enter the Paris Agreement or a separately negotiated agreement are unclear at this time.
The adoption and implementation of any international, federal or state legislation or regulations that require reporting of GHGs or otherwise restrict emissions of GHGs could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, demand for our services, results of operations, and cash flows. Recently, activists concerned about the potential effects of climate change have directed their attention at sources of funding for fossil-fuel energy companies, which has resulted in certain financial institutions, funds and other sources of capital restricting or eliminating their investment in oil and natural gas activities. Ultimately, this could make it more difficult to secure funding for exploration and production or midstream activities. Notwithstanding potential risks related to climate change, the International Energy Agency estimates that global energy demand will continue to rise and will not peak until after 2040 and that oil and natural gas will continue to represent a substantial percentage of global energy use over that time. Finally, some scientists have concluded that increasing concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere may produce climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, droughts, and floods and other climate events that could have an adverse effect on our assets.
The swaps regulatory provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the rules adopted thereunder could have an adverse effect on our ability to use derivative instruments to mitigate the risks of changes in commodity prices and interest rates and other risks associated with our business.
Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) and rules adopted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), the SEC and other prudential regulators establish federal regulation of the physical and financial derivatives, including over-the-counter derivatives market and entities, such as us, participating in that market. While most of these regulations are already in effect, the implementation process is still ongoing and the CFTC continues to review and refine its initial rulemakings through additional interpretations and supplemental rulemakings. As a result, any new regulations or modifications to existing regulations could significantly increase the cost of derivative contracts, materially alter the terms of derivative contracts, reduce the availability and/or liquidity of derivatives to protect against risks we encounter, reduce our ability to monetize or restructure our existing derivative contracts, and increase our exposure to less creditworthy counterparties. Any of these consequences could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash available for distribution to our unitholders.
The CFTC has re-proposed speculative position limits for certain futures and option contracts in the major energy markets and for swaps that are their economic equivalents, although certain bona fide hedging transactions would be exempt from these position limits provided that various conditions are satisfied. The CFTC has also finalized a related aggregation rule that requires market participants to aggregate their positions with certain other persons under common ownership and control, unless an exemption applies, for purposes of determining whether the position limits have been exceeded. If adopted, the revised position limits rule and its finalized companion rule on aggregation may create additional implementation or operational exposure. In addition to the CFTC federal speculative position limit regime, designated contract markets (“DCMs”) also maintain speculative position limit and accountability regimes with respect to contracts listed on their platform as well as aggregation requirements similar to the CFTC’s final aggregation rule. Any speculative position limit regime, whether imposed at the federal-level or at the DCM-level may impose added operating costs to monitor compliance with such position limit levels, addressing accountability level concerns and maintaining appropriate exemptions, if applicable.


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The Dodd-Frank Act requires that certain classes of swaps be cleared on a derivatives clearing organization and traded on a DCM or other regulated exchange, unless exempt from such clearing and trading requirements, which could result in the application of certain margin requirements imposed by derivatives clearing organizations and their members. The CFTC and prudential regulators have also adopted mandatory margin requirements for uncleared swaps entered into between swap dealers and certain other counterparties. We currently qualify for and rely upon an end-user exception from such clearing and margin requirements for the swaps we enter into to hedge our commercial risks. However, the application of the mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements and the uncleared swaps margin requirements to other market participants, such as swap dealers, may adversely affect the cost and availability of the swaps that we use for hedging.
In addition to the Dodd-Frank Act, the European Union and other foreign regulators have adopted and are implementing local reforms generally comparable with the reforms under the Dodd-Frank Act. Implementation and enforcement of these regulatory provisions may reduce our ability to hedge our market risks with non-U.S. counterparties and may make transactions involving cross-border swaps more expensive and burdensome. Additionally, the lack of regulatory equivalency across jurisdictions may increase compliance costs and make it more difficult to satisfy our regulatory obligations.
The NYSE does not require a publicly traded partnership like us to comply with certain corporate governance requirements.
Because we are a publicly traded partnership, the NYSE does not require us to have a majority of independent directors on our general partner’s board of directors or to establish a compensation committee or a nominating and corporate governance committee. Accordingly, unitholders do not have the same protections afforded to stockholders of corporations that are subject to all of the corporate governance requirements of the applicable stock exchange.
A natural disaster, catastrophe or other event could result in severe personal injury, property damage and environmental damage, which could curtail our operations and otherwise materially adversely affect our cash flow and, accordingly, affect the market price of our Common Units.
Some of our operations involve risks of personal injury, property damage and environmental damage, which could curtail our operations and otherwise materially adversely affect our cash flow. For example, natural gas pipeline and other facilities operate at high pressures, sometimes in excess of 1,100 pounds per square inch. Virtually all of our operations are exposed to potential natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, floods and/or earthquakes.
If one or more facilities that are owned by us, or that deliver natural gas or other products to us, are damaged by severe weather or any other disaster, accident, catastrophe or event, our operations could be significantly interrupted. Similar interruptions could result from damage to production or other facilities that supply our facilities or other stoppages arising from factors beyond our control. These interruptions might involve significant damage to people, property or the environment, and repairs might take from a week or less for a minor incident to six months or more for a major interruption. Any event that interrupts the revenues generated by our operations, or which causes us to make significant expenditures not covered by insurance, could reduce our cash available for paying distributions to our Unitholders and, accordingly, adversely affect the market price of our Common Units.
As a result of market conditions, premiums and deductibles for certain insurance policies can increase substantially, and in some instances, certain insurance may become unavailable or available only for reduced amounts of coverage. As a result, we may not be able to renew existing insurance policies or procure other desirable insurance on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. If we were to incur a significant liability for which we were not fully insured, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations. In addition, the proceeds of any such insurance may not be paid in a timely manner and may be insufficient if such an event were to occur.
Terrorist attacks aimed at our facilities could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
The United States government has issued warnings that energy assets, including our nation’s pipeline infrastructure, may be the future target of terrorist organizations. Some of our facilities are subject to standards and procedures required by the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards. We believe we are in compliance with all material requirements; however, such compliance may not prevent a terrorist attack from causing material damage to our facilities or pipelines. Any such terrorist attack on our facilities or pipelines, those of our customers, or in some cases, those of other pipelines could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Additional deepwater drilling laws and regulations, delays in the processing and approval of drilling permits and exploration, development, oil spill-response and decommissioning plans, and other related developments may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”), each agencies of the United States Department of the Interior, have imposed more stringent permitting procedures and regulatory safety and performance requirements for new wells to be drilled in federal waters. Compliance with these more stringent regulatory requirements and with existing environmental and oil spill regulations, together with any uncertainties or inconsistencies in decisions and rulings by governmental agencies, delays in the processing and approval of drilling permits or exploration, development, oil spill-response and decommissioning plans, and possible additional regulatory initiatives could result in difficult and more costly actions and adversely affect or delay new drilling and ongoing development efforts.
In addition, new regulatory initiatives may be adopted or enforced by the BOEM or the BSEE in the future that could result in additional costs, delays, restrictions, or obligations with respect to oil and natural gas exploration and production operations conducted offshore by certain of our customers. For example, in April 2016, the BOEM published a proposed rule that would update existing air-emissions requirements relating to offshore oil and natural-gas activity on federal Outer Continental Shelf waters. However, in May 2017, Order 3350 was issued by the Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, directing the BOEM to reconsider a number of regulatory initiatives governing oil and gas exploration in offshore waters, including, among other things, a cessation of all activities to promulgate the April 2016 proposed rulemaking (“Order 3350”). In an unrelated legal initiative, BOEM issued a Notice to Lessees and Operators (“NTL #2016-N01”) that became effective in September 2016 and imposes more stringent requirements relating to the provision of financial assurance to satisfy decommissioning obligations. Together with a recent re-assessment by BSEE in 2016 in how it determines the amount of financial assurance required, the revised BOEM-administered offshore financial assurance program that is currently being implemented is expected to result in increased amounts of financial assurance being required of operators on the OCS, which amounts may be significant. However, as directed under Order 3350, the BOEM has delayed implementation of NTL #2016-N01 so that it may reconsider this regulatory initiative and, currently, this NTL’s implementation timeline has been extended indefinitely beyond June 30, 2017, except in certain circumstances where there is a substantial risk of nonperformance of the interest holder’s decommissioning liabilities. The April 2016 proposed rule and NTL #2016-N01, should they be finalized and/or implemented, as well as any new rules, regulations, or legal initiatives could delay or disrupt our customers operations, increase the risk of expired leases due to the time required to develop new technology, result in increased supplemental bonding and costs, limit activities in certain areas, or cause our customers’ to incur penalties, or shut-in production or lease cancellation. Also, if material spill events were to occur in the future, the United States or other countries could elect to issue directives to temporarily cease drilling activities offshore and, in any event, may from time to time issue further safety and environmental laws and regulations regarding offshore oil and gas exploration and development. The overall costs imposed on our customers to implement and complete any such spill response activities or any decommissioning obligations could exceed estimated accruals, insurance limits, or supplemental bonding amounts, which could result in the incurrence of additional costs to complete. We cannot predict with any certainty the full impact of any new laws or regulations on our customers’ drilling operations or on the cost or availability of insurance to cover some or all of the risks associated with such operations. The occurrence of any one or more of these developments could result in decreased demand for our services, which could have a material adverse effect on our business as well as our financial position, results of operation and liquidity.
Our business is subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations that govern the product quality specifications of the petroleum products that we store and transport.
The petroleum products that we store and transport are sold by our customers for consumption into the public market. Various federal, state and local agencies have the authority to prescribe specific product quality specifications to commodities sold into the public market. Changes in product quality specifications could reduce our throughput volume, require us to incur additional handling costs or require the expenditure of significant capital. In addition, different product specifications for different markets impact the fungibility of products transported and stored in our pipeline systems and terminal facilities and could require the construction of additional storage to segregate products with different specifications. We may be unable to recover these costs through increased revenues.
In addition, our patented butane blending services are reliant upon gasoline vapor pressure specifications. Significant changes in such specifications could reduce butane blending opportunities, which would affect our ability to market our butane blending service licenses and which would ultimately affect our ability to recover the costs incurred to acquire and integrate our butane blending assets.
Our business could be affected adversely by union disputes and strikes or work stoppages by unionized employees.
As of December 31, 2017, approximately 14% of our workforce is covered by a number of collective bargaining agreements with various terms and dates of expiration. There can be no assurances that we will not experience a work stoppage in the future as a


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result of labor disagreements. Any work stoppage could, depending on the affected operations and the length of the work stoppage, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Our operations could be disrupted if our information systems fail, causing increased expenses and loss of sales.
Our business is highly dependent on financial, accounting and other data processing systems and other communications and information systems, including our enterprise resource planning tools. We process a large number of transactions on a daily basis and rely upon the proper functioning of computer systems. If a key system was to fail or experience unscheduled downtime for any reason, even if only for a short period, our operations and financial results could be affected adversely. Our systems could be damaged or interrupted by a security breach, fire, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure or similar event. We have a formal disaster recovery plan in place, but this plan may not entirely prevent delays or other complications that could arise from an information systems failure. Our business interruption insurance may not compensate us adequately for losses that may occur.
Cybersecurity breaches and other disruptions could compromise our information and operations, and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.
In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including intellectual property, our proprietary business information and that of our customers, suppliers and business partners, and personally identifiable information of our employees, in our data centers and on our networks. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Despite our security measures, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Any such breach could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties for divulging shipper information, disruption of our operations, damage to our reputation, and loss of confidence in our products and services, which could adversely affect our business.
Our information technology infrastructure is critical to the efficient operation of our business and essential to our ability to perform day-today operations. Breaches in our information technology infrastructure or physical facilities, or other disruptions, could result in damage to our assets, safety incidents, damage to the environment, potential liability or the loss of contracts, and have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial position and results of operations.
The costs of providing pension and other postretirement health care benefits and related funding requirements are subject to changes in pension fund values, changing demographics and fluctuating actuarial assumptions and may have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
Certain of our subsidiaries provide pension plan and other postretirement healthcare benefits to certain of their employees. The costs of providing pension and other postretirement health care benefits and related funding requirements are subject to changes in pension and other postretirement fund values, changing demographics and fluctuating actuarial assumptions that may have a material adverse effect on the Partnership’s future consolidated financial results. While certain of the costs incurred in providing such pension and other postretirement healthcare benefits are recovered through the rates charged by the Partnership’s regulated businesses, the Partnership’s subsidiaries may not recover all of the costs and those rates are generally not immediately responsive to current market conditions or funding requirements. Additionally, if the current cost recovery mechanisms are changed or eliminated, the impact of these benefits on operating results could significantly increase.
Our contract compression operations depend on particular suppliers and are vulnerable to parts and equipment shortages and price increases, which could have a negative impact on results of operations.
The principal manufacturers of components for our natural gas compression equipment include Caterpillar, Inc. for engines, Air-X-Changers for coolers and Ariel Corporation for compressors and frames. Our reliance on these suppliers involves several risks, including price increases and a potential inability to obtain an adequate supply of required components in a timely manner. We also rely primarily on two vendors, Spitzer Industries Corp. and Standard Equipment Corp., to package and assemble our compression units. We do not have long-term contracts with these suppliers or packagers, and a partial or complete loss of certain of these sources could have a negative impact on our results of operations and could damage our customer relationships.
Mergers among customers and competitors could result in lower volumes being shipped on our pipelines or products stored in or distributed through our terminals, or reduced crude oil marketing margins or volumes.
Mergers between existing customers could provide strong economic incentives for the combined entities to utilize their existing systems instead of our systems in those markets where the systems compete. As a result, we could lose some or all of the volumes and associated revenues from these customers and could experience difficulty in replacing those lost volumes and revenues, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial position, or cash flows.


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Fraudulent activity or misuse of proprietary data involving its outsourcing partners could expose us to additional liability.
We utilize both affiliated entities and third parties in the processing of our information and data. Breaches of security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information, or sensitive or confidential data about us or our customers, including the potential loss or disclosure of such information or data as a result of fraud or other forms of deception, could expose us to a risk of loss, or misuse of this information, result in litigation and potential liability, lead to reputational damage, increase our compliance costs, or otherwise harm its business.
The liquefaction project is dependent upon securing long-term contractual arrangements for the off-take of LNG on terms sufficient to support the financial viability of the project
LCL, an entity whose parent is owned 60% by ETE and 40% by ETP, is in the process of developing a liquefaction project at the site of ETE’s existing regasification facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The project development agreement previously entered into in September 2013 with BG Group plc (now "Shell") related to this project expired in February 2017. On June 28, 2017, LCL signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Gas Corporation and Shell to study the feasibility of a joint development of the Lake Charles liquefaction project. The project would utilize existing dock and storage facilities owned by ETE located on the Lake Charles site. The parties’ determination as to the feasibility of the project will be particularly dependent upon the prospects for securing long-term contractual arrangements for the off-take of LNG which in turn will be dependent upon supply and demand factors affecting the price of LNG in foreign markets. The financial viability of the project will also be dependent upon a number of other factors, including the expected cost to construct the liquefaction facility, the terms and conditions of the financing for the construction of the liquefaction facility, the cost of the natural gas supply, the costs to transport natural gas to the liquefaction facility, the costs to operate the liquefaction facility and the costs to transport LNG from the liquefaction facility to customers in foreign markets (particularly Europe and Asia).  Some of these costs fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including supply and demand factors affecting the price of natural gas in the United States, supply and demand factors affecting the costs for construction services for large infrastructure projects in the United States, and general economic conditions, there can be no assurance that the parties will determine to proceed to develop this project.
The construction of the liquefaction project remains subject to further approvals and some approvals may be subject to further conditions, review and/or revocation.
While LCL has received authorization from the DOE to export LNG to non-FTA countries, the non-FTA authorization is subject to review, and the DOE may impose additional approval and permit requirements in the future or revoke the non-FTA authorization should the DOE conclude that such export authorization is inconsistent with the public interest.  The failure by LCL to timely maintain the approvals necessary to complete and operate the liquefaction project could have a material adverse effect on its operations and financial condition.
Legal actions related to the Dakota Access Pipeline could cause an interruption to operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
On July 25, 2016, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) issued permits to Dakota Access consistent with environmental and historic preservation statutes for the pipeline to make two crossings of the Missouri River in North Dakota, including a crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. The USACE also issued easements to allow the pipeline to cross land owned by the USACE adjacent to the Missouri River in two locations. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (“SRST”) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (the “Court”) against the USACE that challenged the legality of the permits issued for the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and claimed violations of the National Historic Preservation Act (“NHPA”). Dakota Access intervened in the case.
In February 2017, the Department of the Army delivered an easement to Dakota Access allowing the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe. The SRST and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (“CRST”) (which had intervened in the lawsuit brought by SRST), amended their complaints to incorporate religious freedom and other claims related to treaties and use of government property. The Oglala and Yankton Sioux tribes, and various individual members, filed related lawsuits in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline. These lawsuits have been consolidated into the action initiated by the SRST.
On June 14, 2017, the Court ruled that the USACE substantially complied with all relevant statutes in connection with the issuance of the permits and easement, but remanded to the USACE three discrete issues for further analysis and explanation of its prior determination under certain of these statutes. On October 11, 2017, the Court ruled that the pipeline could continue to transport crude oil during the pendency of the remand, but requested briefing from the parties as to whether any conditions on the continued operation of the pipeline during this period. On December 4, 2017, the Court determined to impose three conditions on continued operation of the pipeline during the remand process. First, Dakota Access must retain an independent auditor to review its compliance with the conditions and regulations governing its easements and to assess integrity threats to the pipeline. Second, the Court directed Dakota Access to continue its work with the tribes and the USACE to revise and finalize its response planning


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for the section of the pipeline crossing Lake Oahe. Third, the Court directed Dakota Access to submit bi-monthly reports during the remand period disclosing certain inspection and maintenance information recommended by PHMSA.
While we believe that the pending lawsuits are unlikely to adversely affect the continued operation of the pipeline, we cannot assure this outcome. At this time, we cannot determine when or how these lawsuits will be resolved or the impact they may have on the Dakota Access project.
In addition, lawsuits of this nature could result in interruptions to construction or operations of future projects, delays in completing those projects and/or increased project costs, all of which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Tax Risks to Unitholders
Our tax treatment depends on our status as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, as well as our not being subject to a material amount of entity-level taxation by individual states. If the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) were to treat us as a corporation for federal income tax purposes or if we become subject to a material amount of entity-level taxation for state tax purposes, then our cash available for distribution 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 federal income tax purposes. We have not requested, and do not plan to request, a ruling from the IRS, with respect to our classification as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. Despite the fact that we are a limited partnership under Delaware law, we would be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes unless we satisfy a “qualifying income” requirement. Based upon our current operations, we believe we satisfy the qualifying income requirement. Failing to meet the qualifying income requirement or a change in current law could cause us to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes or otherwise subject us to taxation as an entity.
If we were treated as a corporation, we would pay federal income tax at the corporate tax rate, and we would likely pay additional state income taxes at varying rates. Distributions to Unitholders would generally be taxed again as corporate distributions, and none of our income, gains, losses or deductions would flow through to Unitholders. Because a tax would then be imposed upon us as a corporation, our cash available for distribution to 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 the Unitholders, likely causing a substantial reduction in the value of our Common Units.
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. 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.
The tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships or an investment in our units could be subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative changes or differing interpretations, possibly applied on a retroactive basis.
The present United States 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. From time to time, members of Congress propose and consider substantive changes to the existing United States federal income tax laws that affect publicly traded partnerships. Although there is no current legislative proposal, a prior legislative proposal would have eliminated 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 United States federal income tax purposes.
In addition, on January 24, 2017, final regulations regarding which activities give rise to qualifying income within the meaning of Section 7704 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Final Regulations”) were published in the Federal Register. The Final Regulations are effective as of January 19, 2017, and apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 19, 2017. We do not believe the Final Regulations affect our ability to be treated as a partnership for United States federal income tax purposes.
However, any modification to the United States 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 United States federal income tax purposes. We are unable to predict whether any of these changes or other proposals will ultimately be enacted. Any similar or future legislative changes could negatively impact the value of an investment in our common units. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor with respect to the status of regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on your investment in our common units.


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If the IRS contests the federal income tax positions we take, the market for our Common Units may be adversely affected and the costs of any such contest will reduce cash available for distributions to our Unitholders.
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 some or all of the positions we take. Any contest with the IRS may materially and adversely impact the market for our Common Units and the prices at which they trade. In addition, the costs of any contest with the IRS will be borne by us reducing the cash available for distribution to our Unitholders.
If the IRS makes audit adjustments to our income tax returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, it (and some states) may assess and collect any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustment directly from us, in which case our cash available for distribution to our Unitholders might be substantially reduced.
Pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, if the IRS makes audit adjustments to our income tax returns, it (and some states) may assess and collect any taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) resulting from such audit adjustment directly from us. To the extent possible under the new rules, our general partner may elect to either pay the taxes (including any applicable penalties and interest) directly to the IRS or, if we are eligible, issue a revised information statement to each Unitholder and former Unitholder with respect to an audited and adjusted return. Although our general partner may elect to have our Unitholders and former Unitholders take such audit adjustment into account and pay any resulting taxes (including applicable penalties or interest) in accordance with their interests in us during the tax year under audit, there can be no assurance that such election will be practical, permissible or effective in all circumstances. As a result, our current Unitholders may bear some or all of the tax liability resulting from such audit adjustment, even if such Unitholders did not own units in us during the tax year under audit. If, as a result of any such audit adjustment, we are required to make payments of taxes, penalties and interest, our cash available for distribution to our Unitholders might be substantially reduced. These rules are not applicable for tax years beginning on or prior to December 31, 2017.
Unitholders may be required to pay taxes on their share of our income even if they do not receive any cash distributions from us.
Because our unitholders will be treated as partners to whom we will allocate taxable income which will be different in amount than the cash we distribute, our unitholders will be required to pay any federal income taxes and, in some cases, state and local income taxes on their share of our taxable income even if they receive no cash distributions from us. Our unitholders may not receive cash distributions from us equal to their share of our taxable income or even equal to the actual tax liability that result from that income.
Tax gain or loss on disposition of our Common Units could be more or less than expected.
If our unitholders sell their common units, they will recognize a gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and their tax basis in those common units. Prior distributions to our unitholders in excess of the total net taxable income the unitholder was allocated for a unit, which decreased their tax basis in that unit, will, in effect, become taxable income to our unitholders if the common unit is sold at a price greater than their tax basis in that common unit, even if the price they receive is less than their original cost. A substantial portion of the amount realized, whether or not representing gain, may be ordinary income. In addition, if our unitholders sell their units, they may incur a tax liability in excess of the amount of cash received from the sale.
Tax-exempt entities face unique tax issues from owning our units that may result in adverse tax consequences to them.
Investment in our units by tax-exempt entities, including employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts (known as IRAs) raises issues unique to them. For example, virtually all of our income allocated to Unitholders who are organizations exempt from federal income tax, including IRAs and other retirement plans, will be “unrelated business taxable income” and will be taxable to them. Further, with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, a tax-exempt entity with more than one unrelated trade or business (including by attribution from investment in a partnership such as ours that is engaged in one or more unrelated trade or business) is required to compute the unrelated business taxable income of such tax-exempt entity separately with respect to each such trade or business (including for purposes of determining any net operating loss deduction). As a result, for years beginning after December 31, 2017, it may not be possible for tax-exempt entities to utilize losses from an investment in our partnership to offset unrelated business taxable income from another unrelated trade or business and vice versa. Tax-exempt entities should consult a tax advisor before investing in our units.


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Non-United States Unitholders will be subject to United States taxes and withholding with respect to their income and gain from owning our units.
Non-United States unitholders are generally taxed and subject to income tax filing requirements by the United States on income effectively connected with a United States trade or business (“effectively connected income”). Income allocated to our unitholders and any gain from the sale of our units will generally be considered to be “effectively connected” with a United States trade or business.  As a result, distributions to a Non-United States unitholder will be subject to withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate and a Non-United States unitholder who sells or otherwise disposes of a unit will also be subject to United States federal income tax on the gain realized from the sale or disposition of that unit. 
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposes a withholding obligation of 10% of the amount realized upon a Non-United States unitholder’s sale or exchange of an interest in a partnership that is engaged in a United States trade or business. However, due to challenges of administering a withholding obligation applicable to open market trading and other complications, the IRS has temporarily suspended the application of this withholding rule to open market transfers of interests in publicly traded partnerships pending promulgation of regulations or other guidance that resolves the challenges.  It is not clear if or when such regulations or other guidance will be issued.  Non-United States unitholders should consult a tax advisor before investing in our units.
We have subsidiaries that will be treated as corporations for federal income tax purposes and subject to corporate-level income taxes.
Even though we (as a partnership for United States federal income tax purposes) are not subject to United States federal income tax, some of our operations are currently conducted through subsidiaries that are organized as corporations for United States federal income tax purposes. The taxable income, if any, of subsidiaries that are treated as corporations for United States federal income tax purposes, is subject to corporate-level United States federal income taxes, which may reduce the cash available for distribution to us and, in turn, to our Unitholders. If the IRS or other state or local jurisdictions were to successfully assert that these corporations have more tax liability than we anticipate or legislation was enacted that increased the corporate tax rate, the cash available for distribution could be further reduced. The income tax return filings positions taken by these corporate subsidiaries require significant judgment, use of estimates, and the interpretation and application of complex tax laws. Significant judgment is also required in assessing the timing and amounts of deductible and taxable items. Despite our belief that the income tax return positions taken by these subsidiaries are fully supportable, certain positions may be successfully challenged by the IRS, state or local jurisdictions.
We treat each purchaser of Common Units as having the same tax benefits without regard to the actual Common Units purchased. The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could result in a Unitholder owing more tax and may adversely affect the value of the Common Units.
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of Common Units and because of other reasons, we have adopted 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 our Unitholders. It also could affect the timing of these tax benefits or the amount of gain from the sale of Common Units and could have a negative impact on the value of our Common Units or result in audit adjustments to tax returns of our Unitholders. Moreover, because we have subsidiaries that are organized as C corporations for federal income tax purposes which own units in us, a successful IRS challenge could result in this subsidiary having more tax liability than we anticipate and, therefore, reduce the cash available for distribution to our partnership and, in turn, to our Unitholders.
We 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 business day of each month, instead of on the basis of the date a particular unit is transferred. The IRS may challenge aspects of our proration method, and, if successful, we would be required to 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 business day of each month (the “Allocation Date”), instead of on the basis of the date a particular unit is transferred. Similarly, we generally allocate certain deductions for depreciation of capital additions, gain or loss realized on a sale or other disposition of our assets and, in the discretion of the general partner, any other extraordinary item of income, gain, loss or deduction based upon ownership on the Allocation Date. Treasury Regulations allow a similar monthly simplifying convention, but such regulations do not specifically authorize all aspects of the proration method we have adopted. If the IRS were to challenge our proration method, we may be required to change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss and deduction among our Unitholders.


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A Unitholder whose units are the subject of a securities loan (e.g. a loan to a “short seller”) to cover a short sale of units may be considered as having disposed of those units. If so, the Unitholder would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss from the disposition.
Because there are no specific rules governing the federal income tax consequences of loaning a partnership interest, a Unitholder whose units are the subject of a securities loan may be considered as having disposed of the loaned units. In that case, the Unitholder may no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those units during the period of the loan and 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 units may not be reportable by the Unitholder and any cash distributions received by the Unitholder as to those 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 of their units are urged to consult a tax advisor to determine whether it is advisable to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from borrowing their units.
We have adopted certain valuation methodologies in determining Unitholder’s allocations of income, gain, loss and deduction. The IRS may challenge these methods or the resulting allocations, and such a challenge could adversely affect the value of our common units.
When we issue additional units or engage in certain other transactions, we determine the fair market value of our assets and allocate any unrealized gain or loss attributable to such assets to the capital accounts of our unitholders and our general partner. Although we may from time to time consult with professional appraisers regarding valuation matters, including the valuation of our assets, we make many of the fair market value estimates of our assets ourselves using a methodology based on the market value of our common units as a means to measure the fair market value of our assets. Our methodology may be viewed as understating the value of our assets. In that case, there may be a shift of income, gain, loss and deduction between certain unitholders and our general partner, which may be unfavorable to such unitholders. Moreover, under our current valuation methods, subsequent purchasers of our common units may have a greater portion of their Internal Revenue Code Section 743(b) adjustment allocated to our tangible assets and a lesser portion allocated to our intangible assets. The IRS may challenge our valuation methods, or our allocation of Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to our tangible and intangible assets, and allocations of income, gain, loss and deduction between our general partner and certain of our unitholders.
A successful IRS challenge to these methods or allocations could adversely affect the amount of taxable income or loss being allocated to our unitholders. It also could affect the amount of gain on the sale of common units by our unitholders and could have a negative impact on the value of our common units or result in audit adjustments to the tax returns of our unitholders without the benefit of additional deductions.
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 units.
In addition to federal income taxes, the Unitholders may be subject to other taxes, including state and local taxes, unincorporated business taxes and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we conduct business or own property now or in the future, even if they do not live in any of those jurisdictions. Unitholders may be required to file state and local income tax returns and pay state and local income taxes in some or all of the jurisdictions. We currently own property or conduct business in many states, most of which impose an income tax on individuals, corporations and other entities. As we make acquisitions or expand our business, we may control assets or conduct business in additional states that impose a personal or corporate income tax. Further, Unitholders may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. It is the responsibility of each Unitholder to file all federal, state and local tax returns.
Unitholders may be subject to limitation on their ability to deduct interest expense incurred by us.
In general, our unitholders are entitled to a deduction for the interest we have paid or accrued on indebtedness properly allocable to our trade or business during our taxable year. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, our deduction for “business interest” is limited to the sum of our business interest income and 30% of our “adjusted taxable income.” For the purposes of this limitation, adjusted taxable income is computed without regard to any business interest expense or business interest income, and in the case of taxable years beginning before January 1, 2022, any deduction allowable for depreciation, amortization, or depletion. Although the interest limitation does not apply to certain regulated pipeline businesses, application of the interest limitation to tiered businesses like ours that hold interests in regulated and unregulated businesses is not clear. Pending further guidance specific to this issue, we have not yet determined the impact the limitation could have on our unitholders’ ability to deduct our interest expense, but it is possible that our unitholders’ interest expense deduction will be limited.


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Treatment of distributions on our Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units as guaranteed payments for the use of capital creates a different tax treatment for the holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units than the holders of our common units and such distributions may not be eligible for the 20% deduction for qualified publicly traded partnership income.
The tax treatment of distributions on our Series A Preferred Units and our Series B Preferred Units is uncertain.  We will treat each of the holders of the Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units as partners for tax purposes and will treat distributions on the Series A Preferred Units and the Series B Preferred Units as guaranteed payments for the use of capital that will generally be taxable to each of the holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units as ordinary income.  Holders of our Series A Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units will recognize taxable income from the accrual of such a guaranteed payment (even in the absence of a contemporaneous cash distribution).  Otherwise, except in the case of our liquidation, the holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units are generally not anticipated to share in our items of income, gain, loss or deduction, nor will we allocate any share of our nonrecourse liabilities to the holders of Series A Preferred Units and the Series B Preferred Units.  If the Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units were treated as indebtedness for tax purposes, rather than as guaranteed payments for the use of capital, distributions likely would be treated as payments of interest by us to each of the holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units. 
Although we expect that much of the income we earn is generally eligible for the 20% deduction for qualified publicly traded partnership income, it is uncertain whether a guaranteed payment for the use of capital may constitute an allocable or distributive share of such income.  As a result the guaranteed payment for use of capital received by our Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units may not be eligible for the 20% deduction for qualified publicly traded partnership income. 
A holder of Series A Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units will be required to recognize gain or loss on a sale of Series A
Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units, as applicable, equal to the difference between the amount realized by such holder and such holder’s tax basis in the Series A Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units, as applicable, sold. The amount realized generally will equal the sum of the cash and the fair market value of other property such holder receives in exchange for such Series A Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units, as applicable. Subject to general rules requiring a blended basis among multiple partnership interests, the tax basis of a Series A Preferred Unit or Series B Preferred Unit, as applicable, will generally be equal to the sum of the cash and the fair market value of other property paid by the holder of such Series A Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units, as applicable, to acquire such Series A Preferred Unit or Series B Preferred Unit, as applicable. Gain or loss recognized by a holder of Series A Preferred Units or Series B Preferred Units on the sale or exchange of a Series A Preferred Unit or Series B Preferred Unit, as applicable, held for more than one year generally will be taxable as long-term capital gain or loss. Because holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units will generally not be allocated a share of our items of depreciation, depletion or amortization, it is not anticipated that such holders would be required to recharacterize any portion of their gain as ordinary income as a result of the recapture rules. 
Investment in the Series A Preferred Units or the Series B Preferred Units by tax-exempt investors, such as employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts, and non-United States persons raises issues unique to them. The treatment of guaranteed payments for the use of capital to tax-exempt investors is not certain and such payments may be treated as unrelated business taxable income for federal income tax purposes. Distributions to non-United States holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units will be subject to withholding taxes. If the amount of withholding exceeds the amount of United States federal income tax actually due, non-United States holders of Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units may be required to file United States federal income tax returns in order to seek a refund of such excess.
All holders of our Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units are urged to consult a tax advisor with respect to the consequences of owning our Series A Preferred Units and Series B Preferred Units.
ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES
A description of our properties is included in “Item 1. Business.” In addition, we own office buildings for our executive offices in Dallas, Texas and office buildings in Newton Square, Pennsylvania and Houston, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. While we may require additional office space as our business expands, we believe that our existing facilities are adequate to meet our needs for the immediate future, and that additional facilities will be available on commercially reasonable terms as needed.
We believe that we have satisfactory title to or valid rights to use all of our material properties. Although some of our properties are subject to liabilities and leases, liens for taxes not yet due and payable, encumbrances securing payment obligations under


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non-competition agreements and immaterial encumbrances, easements and restrictions, we do not believe that any such burdens will materially interfere with our continued use of such properties in our business, taken as a whole. In addition, we believe that we have, or are in the process of obtaining, all required material approvals, authorizations, orders, licenses, permits, franchises and consents of, and have obtained or made all required material registrations, qualifications and filings with, the various state and local government and regulatory authorities which relate to ownership of our properties or the operations of our business.
Substantially all of our pipelines, which are described in “Item 1. Business,” are constructed on rights-of-way granted by the apparent record owners of the property. Lands over which pipeline rights-of-way have been obtained may be subject to prior liens that have not been subordinated to the right-of-way grants. We have obtained, where necessary, easement agreements from public authorities and railroad companies to cross over or under, or to lay facilities in or along, watercourses, county roads, municipal streets, railroad properties and state highways, as applicable. In some cases, properties on which our pipelines were built were purchased in fee. We also own and operate multiple natural gas and NGL storage facilities and own or lease other processing, treating and conditioning facilities in connection with our midstream operations.
ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Sunoco, Inc. and/or Sunoco, Inc. (R&M), (now known as Sunoco (R&M), LLC) along with other members of the petroleum industry, are defendants in lawsuits alleging MTBE contamination of groundwater. The plaintiffs, state-level governmental entities, assert product liability claims and additional claims including nuisance, trespass, negligence, violation of environmental laws, and/or deceptive business practices. The plaintiffs seek to recover compensatory damages, and in some cases also seek natural resource damages, injunctive relief, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.
As of December 31, 2017, Sunoco, Inc. is a defendant in seven cases, including one case each initiated by the States of Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, one by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and two by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The more recent Puerto Rico action is a companion case alleging damages for additional sites beyond those at issue in the initial Puerto Rico action. The actions brought by the State of Maryland and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have also named as defendants Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., ETP Holdco Corporation, and Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals, L.P. Four of these cases are pending in a multidistrict litigation proceeding in a New York federal court; one is pending in federal court in Rhode Island, one is pending in state court in Vermont, and one is pending in state court in Maryland.
Sunoco, Inc. and Sunoco, Inc. (R&M) have reached a settlement with the State of New Jersey. The Court approved the Judicial Consent Order on December 5, 2017. Dismissal of the case against Sunoco, Inc. and Sunoco, Inc. (R&M) is expected shortly. The Maryland complaint was filed in December 2017 but was not served until January 2018.
It is reasonably possible that a loss may be realized in the remaining cases; however, we are unable to estimate the possible loss or range of loss in excess of amounts accrued. An adverse determination with respect to one or more of the MTBE cases could have a significant impact on results of operations during the period in which any such adverse determination occurs, but such an adverse determination likely would not have a material adverse effect on the Partnership’s consolidated financial position.
In January 2012, we experienced a release on our products pipeline in Wellington, Ohio. In connection with this release, the PHMSA issued a Corrective Action Order under which we are obligated to follow specific requirements in the investigation of the release and the repair and reactivation of the pipeline. This PHMSA Corrective Action Order was closed via correspondence dated November 4, 2016. No civil penalties were associated with the PHMSA Order. We also entered into an Order on Consent with the EPA regarding the environmental remediation of the release site. All requirements of the Order on Consent with the EPA have been fulfilled and the Order has been satisfied and closed. We have also received a “No Further Action” approval from the Ohio EPA for all soil and groundwater remediation requirements. In May 2016, we received a proposed penalty from the EPA and DOJ associated with this release, and continues to work with the involved parties to bring this matter to closure. The timing and outcome of this matter cannot be reasonably determined at this time. However, we do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
In October 2016, the PHMSA issued a Notice of Probable Violation (“NOPVs”) and a Proposed Compliance Order (“PCO”) related to our West Texas Gulf pipeline in connection with repairs being carried out on the pipeline and other administrative and procedural findings. The proposed penalty is in excess of $100,000. The case went to hearing in March 2017 and remains open with PHMSA. We do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
In April 2016, the PHMSA issued a NOPV, PCO and Proposed Civil Penalty related to certain procedures carried out during construction of our Permian Express 2 pipeline system in Texas. The proposed penalties are in excess of $100,000. The case went to Hearing in November 2016 and remains open with PHMSA. We do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows or financial position.


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In July 2016, the PHMSA issued a NOPV and PCO to our West Texas Gulf pipeline in connection with inspection and maintenance activities related to a 2013 incident on our crude oil pipeline near Wortham, Texas. The proposed penalties are in excess of $100,000. The case went to hearing in March 2017 and remains open with PHMSA. We do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows, or financial position.
In August 2017, the PHMSA issued a NOPV and a PCO in connection with alleged violations on our Nederland to Kilgore pipeline in Texas. The case remains open with PHMSA and the proposed penalties are in excess of $100,000. We do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
In December 2016, we received multiple Notice of Violations (“NOVs”) from the Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority (“DELCORA”) in connection with a discharge at our Marcus Hook Industrial Complex (“MHIC”) in July 2016. We also entered in a Consent Order and Agreement from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) related to our tank inspection plan at MHIC.  These actions propose penalties in excess of $100,000, and we are currently in discussions with the PADEP and DELCORA to resolve these matters. The timing or outcome of these matters cannot be reasonably determined at this time; however, we do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows, or financial position.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (“Ohio EPA”) has alleged that various environmental violations have occurred during construction of the Rover pipeline project. The alleged violations include inadvertent returns of drilling muds and fluids at horizontal directional drilling (“HDD”) locations in Ohio that affected waters of the State, storm water control violations, improper disposal of spent drilling mud containing diesel fuel residuals, and open burning. The alleged violations occurred from April 2017 to July 2017. Although Rover has successfully completed clean-up mitigation for the alleged violations to Ohio EPA’s satisfaction, the Ohio EPA has proposed penalties of approximately $2.6 million in connection with the alleged violations and is seeking certain injunctive relief. The Ohio Attorney General filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Stark County, Ohio to obtain these remedies and that case remains pending and is in the early stages. The timing or outcome of this matter cannot be reasonably determined at this time; however, we do not expect there to be a material impact to our results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
In addition, on May 10, 2017, the FERC prohibited Rover from conducting HDD activities at 27 sites in Ohio. On July 31, 2017, the FERC issued an independent third party assessment of what led to the release at the Tuscarawas River site and what Rover can do to prevent reoccurrence once the HDD suspension is lifted. Rover notified the FERC of its intention to implement the suggestions in the assessment and to implement additional voluntary protocols. In response, FERC authorized Rover to resume HDD activities at certain sites. On January 24, 2018, FERC ordered Rover to cease HDD activities at the Tuscarawas River HDD site pending FERC review of additional information from Rover. Rover continues to correspond with regulators regarding drilling operations and drilling plans at the HDD sites where Rover has not yet completed HDD activities, including the Tuscarawas River HDD site. The timing or outcome of this matter cannot be reasonably determined at this time. We do not expect there to be a material impact to its results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
In late 2016, FERC Enforcement Staff began a non-public investigation of Rover’s demolition of the Stoneman House, a potential historic structure, in connection with Rover’s application for permission to construct a new interstate natural gas pipeline and related facilities.  Rover and ETP are cooperating with the investigation.  In March and April 2017, Enforcement Staff provided Rover its non-public preliminary findings regarding its investigation.  The company disagrees with those findings and intends to vigorously defend against any potential penalty. Given the stage of the proceeding, and the non-public nature of the preliminary findings and investigation, ETP is unable at this time to provide an assessment of the potential outcome or range of potential liability, if any.
On July 25, 2017, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (“EHB”) issued an order to SPLP to cease HDD activities in Pennsylvania related to the Mariner East 2 project.  The EHB issued the order in response to a complaint filed by environmental groups against SPLP and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”).  On August 10, 2017 the parties reached a final settlement requiring that SPLP reevaluate the design parameters of approximately 26 drills on the Mariner East 2 project and approximately 43 drills on the Mariner East 2X project.  The settlement agreement also provides a defined framework for approval by PADEP for these drills to proceed after reevaluation.  Additionally, the settlement agreement requires modifications to several of the HDD plans that are part of the PADEP permits.  Those modifications have been completed and agreed to by the parties and the reevaluation of the drills has been initiated by the company.
In addition, on June 27, 2017 and July 25, 2017, the PADEP entered into a Consent Order and Agreement with SPLP regarding inadvertent returns of drilling fluids at three HDD locations in Pennsylvania related to the Mariner East 2 project.  Those agreements require SPLP to cease HDD activities at those three locations until PADEP reauthorizes such activities and to submit a corrective action plan for agency review and approval.  SPLP is working to fulfill the requirements of those agreements and has been authorized by PADEP to resume drilling at one of the three locations.


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On January 3, 2018, PADEP issued an Administrative Order to Sunoco Pipeline L.P. directing that work on the Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines be stopped.  The Administrative Order detailed alleged violations of the permits issued by PADEP in February of 2017, during the construction of the project.  Sunoco Pipeline L.P. began working with PADEP representatives immediately after the Administrative Order was issued to resolve the compliance issues.  Those compliance issues could not be fully resolved by the deadline to appeal the Administrative Order, so Sunoco Pipeline L.P. took an appeal of the Administrative Order to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board on February 2, 2018.  On February 8, 2018, Sunoco Pipeline L.P. entered into a Consent Order and Agreement with PADEP that (1) withdraws the Administrative Order; (2) establishes requirements for compliance with permits on a going forward basis; (3) resolves the non-compliance alleged in the Administrative Order; and (4) conditions restart of work on an agreement by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. to pay a $12.6 million civil penalty to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  In the Consent Order and agreement, Sunoco Pipeline L.P. admits to the factual allegations, but does not admit to the conclusions of law that were made by PADEP.  PADEP also found in the Consent Order and Agreement that Sunoco Pipeline L.P. had adequately addressed the issues raised in the Administrative Order and demonstrated an ability to comply with the permits. Sunoco Pipeline L.P. concurrently filed a request to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board to discontinue the appeal of the Administrative Order.  That request was granted on February 8, 2018.
On January 18, 2018, PHMSA issued a NOPV and a Proposed Civil Penalty in connection with alleged violations on our East Boston jet fuel pipeline in Boston, MA. The case remains open with PHMSA and the proposed penalties are in excess of $100,000. We do not expect there to be a material impact to its results of operations, cash flows or financial position.

On January 18, PHMSA issued a NOPV and a PCO in connection with alleged violations on Eastern Area refined products and crude oil pipeline system in the States of MI, OH, PA, NY, NJ and DE. The case remains open with PHMSA and the proposed penalties are in excess of $100,000. We do not expect there to be a material impact to its results of operations, cash flows or financial position.
Additionally, we have received notices of violations and potential fines under various federal, state and local provisions relating to the discharge of materials into the environment or protection of the environment. While we believe that even if any one or more of the environmental proceedings listed above were decided against us, it would not be material to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows, we are required to report governmental proceedings if we reasonably believe that such proceedings will result in monetary sanctions in excess of $100,000.
For a description of other legal proceedings, see Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
ITEM 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.


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PART II
ITEM 5.  MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON UNITS, RELATED UNITHOLDER
MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Price of and Distributions on the Common Units and Related Unitholder Matters
Our Common Units are listed on the NYSE under the symbol “ETP.” The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices per Common Unit, as reported on the NYSE Composite Tape, and the amount of cash distributions paid per Common Unit for the periods indicated.
 
Price Range
 
Cash Distribution(1)
 
High
 
Low
 
Fiscal Year 2017
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
18.75

 
$
15.71

 
$
0.5650

Third Quarter
21.68

 
17.85

 
0.5650

Second Quarter
24.71

 
18.31

 
0.5500

First Quarter
26.73

 
22.90

 
0.5350

 
 
 
 
 
 
Fiscal Year 2016
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
28.61

 
$
22.07

 
$
0.5200

Third Quarter
31.49

 
26.88

 
0.5100

Second Quarter
29.77

 
22.63

 
0.5000

First Quarter
28.72

 
15.43

 
0.4890

(1) 
Distributions are shown in the quarter with respect to which they relate. Please see “Cash Distribution Policy” below for a discussion of our policy regarding the payment of distributions.
Description of Units
Common Units
As of February 16, 2018, there were approximately 506,829 individual Common Unitholders, which includes Common Units held in street name. The Common Units are entitled to distributions of Available Cash as described below under “Cash Distribution Policy.”
Class E Units
There are currently 8.9 million Class E Units outstanding, all of which are currently owned by HHI. The Class E Units generally do not have any voting rights. The Class E Units are entitled to aggregate cash distributions equal to 11.1% of the total amount of cash distributed to all Unitholders, including the Class E Unitholders, up to $1.41 per unit per year. As the Class E Units are owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary, the cash distributions on those units are eliminated in our consolidated financial statements. Although no plans are currently in place, management may evaluate whether to retire the Class E Units at a future date.
Class G Units
There are currently 90.7 million Class G Units outstanding, all of which are held by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Partnership. The Class G Units generally do not have any voting rights. The Class G Units are entitled to aggregate cash distributions equal to 35% of the total amount of cash generated by us and our subsidiaries, other than ETP Holdco, and available for distribution, up to a maximum of $3.75 per Class G Unit per year. Allocations of depreciation and amortization to the Class G Units for tax purposes are based on a predetermined percentage and are not contingent on whether ETP has net income or loss. These units are reflected as treasury units in the consolidated financial statements.
Class I Units
The Class I Units are held by ETE and are not currently entitled to any distributions.


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Class J Units
On July 27, 2016, the Partnership issued to ETE an aggregate amount of 180 Class J units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership (the “Class J Units”). A portion of the additional Class J Units will be issued during each of 2016, 2017 and 2018. Each Class J Unit is entitled to an allocation of $10.0 million of depreciation, amortization, depletion or other form of cost-recovery during the year in which such Class J Unit was issued; no Class J Unit is entitled to any other allocations of depreciation, amortization, depletion or other cost-recovery in any other year, and such units are not entitled to any cash distributions at any time. In exchange for the issuance of the Class J Units, ETP’s partnership agreement was amended to further reduce incentive distributions commencing with the quarter ended June 30, 2016 and ending with the quarter ending December 31, 2017, in an aggregate amount of $720 million.
Class K Units
On December 29, 2016, the Partnership issued to certain of its indirect subsidiaries, in exchange for cash contributions and the exchange of outstanding common units representing limited partner interests in the Partnership, Class K Units, each of which is entitled to a quarterly cash distribution of $0.67275 per Class K Unit prior to ETP making distributions of available cash to any class of units, excluding any cash available distributions or dividends or capital stock sales proceeds received by ETP from ETP Holdco.  If the Partnership is unable to pay the Class K Unit quarterly distribution with respect to any quarter, the accrued and unpaid distributions will accumulate until paid and any accumulated balance will accrue 1.5% per annum until paid. As of December 31, 2017, a total of 101.5 million Class K Units were held by wholly-owned subsidiaries of ETP.
General Partner Interest
As of December 31, 2017, our General Partner owned an approximate 0.3% general partner interest in us and the holders of Common Units, Class E, Class G, Class I, Class J, and Class K Units collectively owned a 99.7% limited partner interest in us.
Incentive Distribution Rights
IDRs represent the contractual right, pursuant to the terms of our partnership agreement, of our general partner to receive a specified percentage of quarterly distributions of Available Cash from operating surplus after the minimum quarterly distribution has been paid. Please read “Distributions of Available Cash from Operating Surplus” below.
ETP Preferred Units
In November 2017, ETP issued 950,000 of its 6.250% Series A Preferred Units at a price of $1,000 per unit, and 550,000 of its 6.625% Series B Preferred Units at a price of $1,000 per unit.
Distributions on the Series A Preferred Units will accrue and be cumulative from and including the date of original issue to, but excluding, February 15, 2023, at a rate of 6.250% per annum of the stated liquidation preference of $1,000. On and after February 15, 2023, distributions on the Series A Preferred Units will accumulate at a percentage of the $1,000 liquidation preference equal to an annual floating rate of the three-month LIBOR, determined quarterly, plus a spread of 4.028% per annum. The Series A Preferred Units are redeemable at ETP’s option on or after February 15, 2023 at a redemption price of $1,000 per Series A Preferred Unit, plus an amount equal to all accumulated and unpaid distributions thereon to, but excluding, the date of redemption.
Distributions on the Series B Preferred Units will accrue and be cumulative from and including the date of original issue to, but excluding, February 15, 2028, at a rate of 6.625% per annum of the stated liquidation preference of $1,000. On and after February 15, 2028, distributions on the Series B Preferred Units will accumulate at a percentage of the $1,000 liquidation preference equal to an annual floating rate of the three-month LIBOR, determined quarterly, plus a spread of 4.155% per annum. The Series B Preferred Units are redeemable at ETP’s option on or after February 15, 2028 at a redemption price of $1,000 per Series B Preferred Unit, plus an amount equal to all accumulated and unpaid distributions thereon to, but excluding, the date of redemption.
Cash Distribution Policy
General.  We will distribute all of our “Available Cash” to our Unitholders and our General Partner within 45 days following the end of each fiscal quarter.
Definition of Available Cash.  Available Cash is defined in our Partnership Agreement and generally means, with respect to any calendar quarter, all cash on hand at the end of such quarter:
Less the amount of cash reserves that are necessary or appropriate in the reasonable discretion of the General Partner to:
provide for the proper conduct of our business;


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comply with applicable law and/or debt instrument or other agreement (including reserves for future capital expenditures and for our future capital needs); or
provide funds for distributions to Unitholders and our General Partner in respect of 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 after the end of the quarter. Working capital borrowings are generally borrowings that are made under our credit facilities and in all cases used solely for working capital purposes or to pay distributions to partners.
Available Cash is more fully defined in our Partnership Agreement, which is an exhibit to this report.
Operating Surplus and Capital Surplus
General.  All cash distributed to our Unitholders is characterized as either “operating surplus” or “capital surplus.” We distribute available cash from operating surplus differently than available cash from capital surplus.
Definition of Operating Surplus.  Our operating surplus for any period generally means:
our cash balance on the closing date of our initial public offering; plus
$15 million (as described below); plus
all of our cash receipts since the closing of our initial public offering, excluding cash from interim capital transactions such as borrowings that are not working capital borrowings, sales of equity and debt securities and sales or other dispositions of assets outside the ordinary course of business; plus
our working capital borrowings made after the end of a quarter but before the date of determination of operating surplus for the quarter; plus
legacy ETP’s operating surplus at the time of closing of the merger between legacy ETP and the Partnership in April 2017; less
all of our operating expenditures after the closing of our initial public offering, including the repayment of working capital borrowings, but not the repayment of other borrowings, and including maintenance capital expenditures; less
the amount of our cash reserves that our General Partner deems necessary or advisable to provide funds for future operating expenditures.
Definition of Capital Surplus.  Generally, our capital surplus will be generated only by:
borrowings other than working capital borrowings;
sales of our debt and equity securities; and
sales or other disposition of assets for cash, other than inventory, accounts receivable and other current assets sold in the ordinary course of business or as part of normal retirements or replacements of assets.
Characterization of Cash Distributions.  We will treat all Available Cash distributed as coming from operating surplus until the sum of all Available Cash distributed since we began operations equals the operating surplus as of the most recent date of determination of Available Cash. We will treat any amount distributed in excess of operating surplus, regardless of its source, as capital surplus. As defined in our Partnership Agreement, operating surplus includes $25 million (consisting of $15 million related to the legacy Sunoco Logistics operating surplus and $10 million related to the legacy ETP operating surplus) in addition to our cash balance on the closing date of our initial public offering, cash receipts from our operations and cash from working capital borrowings. This amount does not reflect actual cash on hand that is available for distribution to our Unitholders. Rather, it is a provision that enables us, if we choose, to distribute as operating surplus up to $25 million