Enbridge Offshore Pipelines
Enbridge Offshore Pipelines is comprised of 11 natural gas gathering and FERC-regulated transmission pipelines in five major corridors in the Gulf of Mexico, extending to deepwater frontiers. These pipelines include almost 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometres) of underwater pipe and onshore facilities and transported approximately 1.7 bcf/d during 2008.
Results of Operations
Adjusted earnings for the year ended December 31, 2008 in Offshore were $6.6 million compared with $21.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2007. Offshore adjusted earnings decreased as a result of continuing natural production declines as well as approximately $11.0 million in lost revenue and clean up costs related to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. These decreases were partially offset by stand-by fees on the Neptune oil and gas pipelines which came into service in the fourth quarter of 2007, as well as contributions from Atlantis and Thunderhorse platform volumes. Also, adjusted earnings for the year ended December 31, 2008 included approximately $2.0 million (2007 $6.0 million) from business interruption insurance proceeds related to lost revenue in 2005 and 2006 as a result of the 2005 hurricanes.
Offshore adjusted earnings for the year ended December 31, 2007 were $21.8 million compared with $18.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2006. In 2007, earnings reflected the impact of a weaker U.S. dollar, continuing repair and inspection costs and expected continuing natural production declines on deliveries to the pipelines in 2007. Start up issues experienced by producers on key production platforms, resulting from the effects of the extreme 2005 hurricane season, delayed new sources of volumes during the year; however, volumes from the Atlantis platform started contributing to earnings at the end of 2007. Adjusted earnings for the year ended December 31, 2007 also included approximately $6.0 million from business interruption insurance proceeds related to lost revenue in 2005 and 2006 as a result of the 2005 hurricanes which was offset by approximately $0.7 million in repair costs.
Earnings for the year ended December 31,2007 included non-operating insurance proceeds of $5.3 million related to the replacement of damaged infrastructure as a result of the 2005 hurricanes.
The primary shippers on the Offshore systems are producers who execute life-of-lease commitments in connection with transmission and gathering service contracts. In exchange, Offshore provides firm capacity for the contract term at an agreed upon rate. The throughput volume generally reflects the lease's maximum sustainable production. The transportation contracts allow the shippers to define a maximum daily quantity (MDQ), which corresponds with the expected production life. The contracts typically have minimum throughput volumes which are subject to take-or-pay criteria but also provide the shippers with flexibility given advance notice criteria to modify the projected MDQ schedule to match current deliverability expectations.
Increasingly, and reflecting recent setbacks from hurricanes, certain transportation contracts are beginning to reflect hurricane allowances to cover increased operating and repair costs.
The long-term transport rates established in the gathering and transmission service agreements are generally market-based but are established using a cost of service methodology, which includes operating cost, projected revenue generation directly tied to production deliverability and the appropriate cost of capital.