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KMP > SEC Filings for KMP > Form 10-Q on 28-Oct-2011All Recent SEC Filings




Quarterly Report

Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

General and Basis of Presentation

The following information should be read in conjunction with (i) our accompanying interim consolidated financial statements and related notes (included elsewhere in this report); (ii) our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in our 2010 Form 10-K/A; and (iii) our management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations included in our 2010 Form 10-K.

As an energy infrastructure owner and operator in multiple facets of the United States' and Canada's various energy businesses and markets, we examine a number of variables and factors on a routine basis to evaluate our current performance and our prospects for the future. Many of our operations are regulated by various U.S. and Canadian regulatory bodies and a portion of our business portfolio (including our Kinder Morgan Canada business segment, the Canadian portion of our Cochin Pipeline, and our bulk and liquids terminal facilities located in Canada) uses the local Canadian dollar as the functional currency for its Canadian operations and enters into foreign currency-based transactions, both of which affect segment results due to the inherent variability in U.S-Canadian dollar exchange rates. To help understand our reported operating results, all of the following references to "foreign currency effects" or similar terms in this section represent our estimates of the changes in financial results, in U.S. dollars, resulting from fluctuations in the relative value of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar. The references are made to facilitate period-to-period comparisons of business performance and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other registrants.

The profitability of our refined petroleum products pipeline transportation business is generally driven by the volume of refined petroleum products that we transport and the prices we receive for our services. Transportation volume levels are primarily driven by the demand for the refined petroleum products being shipped or stored. Demand for refined petroleum products tends to track in large measure demographic and economic growth, and with the exception of periods of time with very high product prices or recessionary conditions, demand tends to be relatively stable. Because of that, we seek to own refined petroleum products pipelines located in, or that transport to, stable or growing markets and population centers. The prices for shipping are generally based on regulated tariffs that are adjusted annually based on changes in the U.S. Producer Price Index.

With respect to our interstate natural gas pipelines and related storage facilities, the revenues from these assets are primarily received under contracts with terms that are fixed for various and extended periods of time. To the extent practicable and economically feasible in light of our strategic plans and other factors, we generally attempt to mitigate risk of reduced volumes and prices by negotiating contracts with longer terms, with higher per-unit pricing and for a greater percentage of our available capacity. These long-term contracts are typically structured with a fixed-fee reserving the right to transport natural gas and specify that we receive the majority of our fee for making the capacity available, whether or not the customer actually chooses to utilize the capacity. Similarly, in our Texas Intrastate Pipeline business, we have long-term transport and sales requirements with minimum volume payment obligations which secure approximately 75% of our sales and transport margins in that business. Therefore, where we have long-term contracts, we are not exposed to short-term changes in commodity supply or demand. However, as contracts expire, we do have exposure to the longer term trends in supply and demand for natural gas. As of December 31, 2010, the remaining average contract life of our natural gas transportation contracts (including our intrastate pipelines) was approximately nine years.

Our CO2 sales and transportation business primarily has contracts with minimum volume requirements, which as of December 31, 2010, had a remaining average contract life of 4.7 years. Carbon dioxide sales contracts vary from customer to customer and have evolved over time as supply and demand conditions have changed. Older contracts have had a fixed price component and a variable price component typically tied to the price of crude oil. More recent contracts have provided for a delivered price tied to the price of crude oil, but with a floor price. On a volume-weighted basis, for contracts making deliveries in 2011, and utilizing the average oil price per barrel contained in our 2011 budget, approximately 76% of our contractual volumes are based on a fixed fee or floor price, and 24% fluctuates with the price of oil. In the long-term, our success in this business is driven by the demand for carbon dioxide. However, short-term changes in the demand for carbon dioxide typically do not have a significant impact on us due to the required minimum sales volumes under many of our contracts. In our CO2 segment's oil and gas producing activities, we monitor the amount of capital we expend in relation to the amount of production that we expect to add. In that regard, our production during any period is an important measure. In addition, the revenues we receive from our crude oil, natural gas liquids and carbon dioxide sales are affected by the prices we realize from the sale of these products. Over the long-term, we will tend to receive prices that are dictated by the demand and overall market price for these products. In the shorter term, however, market prices are likely not indicative of the revenues we will receive due to our risk management, or hedging, program, in which the prices to be realized for certain of our future sales quantities are fixed, capped or bracketed through the use of financial derivative contracts, particularly for crude oil. Our realized weighted average crude oil price per barrel, with all hedges allocated to oil, was $70.43 and $69.54 per barrel in the third quarter and first nine months of 2011, respectively, and $59.54 and $59.88 per barrel in the third quarter and first nine months of 2010, respectively. Had we not used energy derivative contracts to transfer commodity price risk, our crude oil sales prices would have averaged $87.73 and $92.71 per barrel in the third quarter and first nine months of 2011, respectively, and $73.74 and $75.12 per barrel in the third quarter and first nine months of 2010, respectively.

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The factors impacting our Terminals business segment generally differ depending on whether the terminal is a liquids or bulk terminal, and in the case of a bulk terminal, the type of product being handled or stored. As with our refined petroleum products pipeline transportation business, the revenues from our bulk terminals business are generally driven by the volumes we handle and/or store, as well as the prices we receive for our services, which in turn are driven by the demand for the products being shipped or stored. While we handle and store a large variety of products in our bulk terminals, the primary products are coal, petroleum coke, and steel. For the most part, we have contracts for this business that have minimum volume guarantees and are volume based above the minimums. Because these contracts are volume based above the minimums, our profitability from the bulk business can be sensitive to economic conditions. Our liquids terminals business generally has longer-term contracts that require the customer to pay regardless of whether they use the capacity. Thus, similar to our natural gas pipeline business, our liquids terminals business is less sensitive to short-term changes in supply and demand. Therefore, the extent to which changes in these variables affect our terminals business in the near term is a function of the length of the underlying service contracts (which is typically approximately three to four years), the extent to which revenues under the contracts are a function of the amount of product stored or transported, and the extent to which such contracts expire during any given period of time. To the extent practicable and economically feasible in light of our strategic plans and other factors, we generally attempt to mitigate the risk of reduced volumes and pricing by negotiating contracts with longer terms, with higher per-unit pricing and for a greater percentage of our available capacity. In addition, weather-related factors such as hurricanes, floods and droughts may impact our facilities and access to them and, thus, the profitability of certain terminals for limited periods of time or, in relatively rare cases of severe damage to facilities, for longer periods.

In our discussions of the operating results of individual businesses that follow (see "-Results of Operations" below), we generally identify the important fluctuations between periods that are attributable to acquisitions and dispositions separately from those that are attributable to businesses owned in both periods. Continuing our history of making accretive acquisitions and economically advantageous expansions of existing businesses, in the full year 2010, we invested approximately $2.5 billion for both strategic business acquisitions and expansions of existing assets, and these capital investments helped us to achieve compound annual growth rates in cash distributions to our limited partners of 4.8%, 8.1%, and 7.0%, respectively, for the one-year, three-year, and five-year periods ended December 31, 2010.

Thus, the amount that we are able to increase distributions to our unitholders will, to some extent, be a function of our ability to complete successful acquisitions and expansions. We believe we will continue to have opportunities for expansion of our facilities in many markets, and we currently estimate spending approximately $2.4 billion for our 2011 capital expansion program, including acquisitions and investment contributions (effective July 1, 2011, we acquired the remaining 50% interest in KinderHawk Field Services LLC that we did not already own and a 25% interest in EagleHawk Field Services LLC for an aggregate consideration of $912.1 million). Based on our historical record and because there is continued demand for energy infrastructure in the areas we serve, we expect to continue to have such opportunities in the future, although the level of such opportunities is difficult to predict.

Our ability to make accretive acquisitions is a function of the availability of suitable acquisition candidates at the right cost, and includes factors over which we have limited or no control. Thus, we have no way to determine the number or size of accretive acquisition candidates in the future, or whether we will complete the acquisition of any such candidates.

In addition, our ability to make accretive acquisitions or expand our assets is impacted by our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and to raise the necessary capital needed to fund such acquisitions. As a master limited partnership, we distribute all of our available cash and we access capital markets to fund acquisitions and asset expansions. Historically, we have succeeded in raising necessary capital in order to fund our acquisitions and expansions, and although we cannot predict future changes in the overall equity and debt capital markets (in terms of tightening or loosening of credit), we believe that our stable cash flows, our investment grade credit rating, and our historical record of successfully accessing both equity and debt funding sources should allow us to continue to execute our current investment, distribution and acquisition strategies, as well as refinance maturing debt when required. For a further discussion of our liquidity, including our public debt and equity offerings in the first nine months of 2011, please see "-Financial Condition" below.

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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Accounting standards require information in financial statements about the risks and uncertainties inherent in significant estimates, and the application of generally accepted accounting principles in the United States involves the exercise of varying degrees of judgment. Certain amounts included in or affecting our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures must be estimated, requiring us to make certain assumptions with respect to values or conditions that cannot be known with certainty at the time our financial statements are prepared. These estimates and assumptions affect the amounts we report for our assets and liabilities, our revenues and expenses during the reporting period, and our disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of our financial statements. We routinely evaluate these estimates, utilizing historical experience, consultation with experts and other methods we consider reasonable in the particular circumstances. Nevertheless, actual results may differ significantly from our estimates, and any effects on our business, financial position or results of operations resulting from revisions to these estimates are recorded in the period in which the facts that give rise to the revision become known.

Furthermore, with regard to goodwill impairment testing, we review our goodwill for impairment annually, and we evaluated our goodwill for impairment on May 31, 2011. Our goodwill impairment analysis performed on that date did not result in an impairment charge, and subsequent to that date, no event has occurred indicating that the implied fair value of each of our reporting units (including its inherent goodwill) is less than the carrying value of its net assets. For more information on our goodwill impairment analysis, see Note 3 "Intangibles-Goodwill" to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

Further information about us and information regarding our accounting policies and estimates that we consider to be "critical" can be found in our 2010 Form 10-K. There have not been any significant changes in these policies and estimates during the nine months ended September 30, 2011.

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