Sempra Energy Unit Agrees To Sell Stake In Rockies Express Pipeline
SAN DIEGO, March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced that it has entered into a purchase-and-sale agreement with a subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP to sell Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's 25-percent interest in the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) for approximately $440 million in cash.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and a right of first refusal. Sempra Energy expects the transaction to close in the second quarter and result in an after-tax loss of approximately $27 million.
Additionally, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power intends to permanently release the remaining uncontracted capacity that it holds on REX that it had been releasing on an interim basis. The effect of the permanent capacity release is expected to result in a charge to earnings of between $100 million and $120 million during the second quarter 2016, representing an acceleration of losses that would otherwise be realized over the contract term, which extends through November 2019. It is expected that the approximately $27 million after-tax loss from the sale, as well as the loss resulting from the permanent release of capacity, will be excluded from Sempra Energy's adjusted 2016 earnings guidance.
"After careful evaluation of our natural gas portfolio, we determined that our minority stake in REX is not consistent with our long-term growth strategy," said Patti Wagner, president and chief executive officer of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. "While REX is an important part of the country's natural gas pipeline system, we believe that given the changing market conditions, we can more productively redeploy the proceeds from the REX sale into long-term growth opportunities that better meet our strategy and risk profile."
"While Sempra Energy's earnings from REX for March through December 2016 will be reduced by approximately $60 million, forecasted earnings from REX were expected to be immaterial to Sempra Energy beginning in 2020," said Joseph A. Householder, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Sempra Energy. "We expect to redeploy the sale proceeds to mitigate the loss of REX earnings in the near term and increase our long-term earnings profile."
Sempra Energy plans to provide updated adjusted earnings guidance for 2016 by the company's annual financial analyst conference on May 24, 2016.
Rockies Express Pipeline LLC is a Delaware limited liability company engaged in the ownership and operation of the Rockies Express Pipeline, a 1,712-mile natural gas transmission pipeline that extends from Opal, Wyoming, and Meeker, Colorado, to Clarington, Ohio, and is one of the largest natural gas pipelines ever constructed in North America. Rockies Express Pipeline LLC is a joint venture of: a subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP (50-percent share); Sempra U.S. Gas & Power (25-percent share); and a subsidiary of Phillips 66 (25-percent share). A wholly owned subsidiary of Tallgrass Development, LP operates the pipeline. Tallgrass Development, LP is a member of the Tallgrass Energy family of companies, which includes Tallgrass Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: TEP) and Tallgrass Energy GP, LP (NYSE: TEGP).
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC is a leading developer of renewable energy and natural gas projects. For more information, visit www.SempraUSGP.com. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2015 revenues of more than $10 billion. The Sempra Energy companies' 17,000 employees serve more than 32 million consumers worldwide.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "intends," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "goals," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, national and international economic, competitive, political, legislative, legal and regulatory conditions, decisions and developments; actions and the timing of actions, including general rate case decisions, new regulations, issuances of permits to construct, operate and maintain facilities and equipment and use land, franchise agreements and licenses for operation, by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, California Energy Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Mexican Competition Commission, cities and counties, and other regulatory, governmental and environmental bodies in the United States and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction, maintenance and capital projects, including risks in obtaining, maintaining or extending permits, licenses, certificates and other authorizations on a timely basis and risks in obtaining adequate and competitive financing for such projects; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers, and delays in regulatory agency authorization to recover costs in rates from customers; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the North American transmission grid, moratoriums on the ability to withdraw natural gas from or inject natural gas into storage facilities, pipeline explosions and equipment failures; energy markets; the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; and the impact on the value of our natural gas storage assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for natural gas storage services; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; risks posed by decisions and actions of third parties who control the operations of investments in which we do not have a controlling interest, and risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; capital markets conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments, and inflation, interest and currency exchange rates; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, natural gas storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; terrorist attacks that threaten system operations and critical infrastructure; and wars; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong competitors willing to aggressively bid for these projects; weather conditions, natural disasters, catastrophic accidents, equipment failures and other events that may disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gasses, radioactive materials and harmful emissions, and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, some of which may not be covered by insurance; disallowance of regulatory assets associated with, or decommissioning costs of, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station facility due to increased regulatory oversight, including motions to modify settlements; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of San Diego Gas & Electric Company's (SDG&E) electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources and increased reliance on natural gas and natural gas transmission systems; the impact on competitive customer rates of the growth in distributed and local power generation and the corresponding decrease in demand for power delivered through SDG&E's electric transmission and distribution system; the inability or determination not to enter into long-term supply and sales agreements or long-term firm capacity agreements due to insufficient market interest, unattractive pricing or other factors; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on the company's website at www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra International, LLC, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC, and Sempra Partners, LP, are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra International, LLC, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC, and Sempra Partners, LP, are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. Sempra International's underlying entities include Sempra Mexico and Sempra South American Utilities. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's underlying entities include Sempra Renewables and Sempra Natural Gas.
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