Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pipeline Company Going Public

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NYSE: PAA) announced today that it has commenced, subject to market conditions, an underwritten public offering of 6,400,000 of its common units representing limited partner interests. The Partnership also intends to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 960,000 additional common units to cover over-allotments, if any.
The Partnership intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, including the proceeds from any exercise of the over-allotment option, to reduce outstanding borrowings under its credit facilities and for general partnership purposes. Amounts repaid under the Partnership’s credit facilities may be reborrowed to fund its ongoing capital program, potential future acquisitions, or for general partnership purposes.
Citi, BofA Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, UBS Investment Bank and Wells Fargo Securities will act as joint book-running managers of the offering.
When available, copies of the prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from the underwriters as follows:
Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Brooklyn Army Terminal
Attention: Prospectus Delivery Dept.
140 58th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220
Telephone: (800) 831-9146
BofA Merrill Lynch
4 World Financial Center
New York, New York 10080
Attn: Prospectus Department
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
via Broadridge Financial Solutions
1155 Long Island Avenue
Edgewood, New York 11717
Telephone: (866) 803-9204
Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated
Attn: Prospectus Dept.
180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10014
Tel: (866) 718-1649
UBS Securities LLC
Attention: Prospectus Dept.
299 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10171
Telephone: (888) 827-7275
Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
Attn: Equity Syndicate Dept.
375 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10152
Phone: (800) 326-5897
The common units will be offered and sold pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement on Form S-3 previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. The offering may be made only by means of a prospectus and related prospectus supplement.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the stability of the capital markets and other factors and uncertainties inherent in the marketing, transportation, terminalling, gathering and storage of crude oil and other petroleum-related products discussed in the Partnership's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. is a publicly-traded master limited partnership engaged in the transportation, storage, terminalling and marketing of crude oil, refined products and liquefied petroleum gas and other natural gas related petroleum products. Through its general partner interest and majority equity ownership position in PAA Natural Gas Storage, L.P. (NYSE: PNG), PAA is also engaged in the development and operation of natural gas storage facilities. PAA is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Natural Gas Pipelines Under Review

The National Transportation Safety Board began on Tuesday three days of hearings in Washington, DC to examine causes of last fall’s pipeline rupture in San Bruno. The natural gas explosion and fire killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes.
National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman set the scene in San Bruno, a city south of San Francisco near the SFO airport: "On Sept. 9, 2010," she said, "a little after 6 p.m., as commuters were arriving home from work and families were sitting down at the dinner table, a 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline ruptured."
The explosion carved out a giant crater, and blew a 28-foot chunk of pipe a football field away. NTSB investigator Ravi Chhatre said a pair of off-duty employees reported the fire to Pacific Gas and Electric.
"The dispatch center dispatched an on-duty employee to investigate the reported explosion," said Chhatre.
But that employee wasn’t qualified to shut off the pipeline. It took PG&E an hour and a half to stop the flow of natural gas that was fueling the fire.
Much of the hearing focused on why the pipeline didn’t have a remote shut-off valve. NTSB investigator Robert Trainor pressed PG&E consulting engineer Chih-Hung Lee about a policy memo he wrote five years ago. He asked Lee to read from a federal report that concludes the longer that natural gas flows, the more potential there is for damage.
"The degree of disruption in the heavily populated or commercial area would be in direct proportion to the duration of the fire," Lee read.
Trainer said he wanted to contrast that conclusion with Lee's memo which states, "the duration of the flame has little or nothing to do with human safety or property damage."
Lee said he based his memo on pipeline industry research that said most of the damage occurs in the first 30 seconds after a gas line rupture. But the San Bruno blast touched off a fire that firefighters couldn’t stop until the gas was shut off manually 90 minutes after the blast. PG&E officials testified that had there been a remote shut-off valve in place, the gas could have been turned off in 20 minutes.
Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier has introduced a bill that requires pipeline operators to install automatic or remote shut-off valves. Speier’s district includes San Bruno.
"I am frankly sick and tired of a scenario on Capitol Hill," she said, "where we hold hearings over and over again and then don’t do anything. I want to see something done this time."
The House hasn’t yet scheduled a committee hearing for Speier’s bill.

On the second day of the NTSB’s San Bruno hearings, the board will hear from San Bruno’s fire chief and from members of the California Public Utilities Commission.