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Enterprise’s 4Q net income drops 3.5% on lower petchems, crude oil revenue

HOUSTON, January 30, 2017 (PCW) -- Enterprise Product Partners on Monday announced 4Q earnings of $670 million, down nearly 3.5% from the $694 million reported in the year-ago period.

The drop was attributed to lower operating margins in the petrochemicals and crude oil segment.

The Petrochemical & Refined Products Services group saw its gross operating margin in 4Q fall to $149 million from $171 million in 4Q 2015. Total petrochemical and refined products transportation volumes increased 4% to 840,000 b/d during the quarter, compared to 804,000 b/d in 4Q 2015.

Gross operating margin for EPD’s butane isomerization and related operations decreased $19 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2015 due to increased maintenance expenses and reduced revenues from downtime associated with the turnaround of two units. Butane isomerization volumes were 94,000 b/d in 4Q 2016, compared to 115,000 b/d for 4Q 2015.

Gross operating margin for propylene increased to $50 in 4Q 2016 from $44 million in the year-ago period, due to higher sales volumes and fees, and increased propylene exports. Propylene fractionation volumes were 67,000 b/d in 4Q 2016, down from 71,000 b/d in 4Q 2015.

The NGL Pipelines & Services segment saw gross operating margin increase 7% to $784 million in the quarter compared to $730 million in 4Q 2015. NGL pipeline transportation volumes were a record 3.1 million b/d for the quarter compared to 2.9 million b/d in 4Q 2015. EPD’s NGL marine terminal loading and unloading volumes were 440,000 b/d in 4Q 2016, up from 327,000 b/d in 4Q 2015.

Gross operating margin from EPD’s LPG export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel and a related pipeline increased $23 million due to a 98,000 b/d uptick in LPG loadings during the quarter, compared to the year-ago period. Enterprise’s ethane export marine terminal, which began service in September, reported a $6 million loss in 4Q gross operating margin on 14 MBPD of volumes as certain customers deferred loadings due to the commissioning of ships, receiving facilities and recently modified ethylene facilities. EPD added that loadings were also impacted by fog in December. However, contracted commitments at the facility is expected to increase to some 150,000 b/d by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, the Crude Oil Pipelines & Services group’s gross operating margin was $221 million for 4Q 2016, down from $258 million in 4Q 2015.

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