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Inter Pipeline First Quarter 2019 Financial and Operating Results

CALGARYMay 9, 2019 /CNW/ – Inter Pipeline Ltd. (“Inter Pipeline”) (TSX: IPL) today announced financial and operating results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2019.

First Quarter Highlights

  • Funds from operations (FFO) totalled $212 million
  • Net income for the quarter was $98 million
  • Declared cash dividends of $174 million, or $0.43 per share
  • Quarterly payout ratio* of 82 percent
  • Total pipeline throughput volume averaged 1,386,600 barrels per day (b/d)
  • Heartland Petrochemical Complex (HPC) continues to progress on-time and on-budget with the propane propylene splitter and the polypropylene reactor now successfully installed at site
  • Issued $750 million of hybrid notes to support the financing plan for HPC

 * Please refer to the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section of the MD&A.

Financial Performance

Inter Pipeline generated first quarter of 2019 funds from operations of $211.5 million$42.7 million lower than the first quarter of 2018. The decrease was primarily the result of lower performance in the NGL processing business, which was impacted by lower frac-spread pricing. Reduced FFO in our conventional oil gathering business also contributed to the year over year decline.

“During the first quarter, our oil sands transportation business continued to generate strong, stable cash flow and financial results from European storage improved meaningfully with the addition of the recently acquired UK and Amsterdam terminals,” commented Christian Bayle, Inter Pipeline’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our NGL processing business did face several challenges in the quarter however, including a much weaker commodity pricing environment.

“We were pleased to complete our inaugural issuance of $750 million hybrid notes, which is an important financing instrument for our Heartland Petrochemical Complex. Construction work on this transformational project continues to proceed safely, on time and on budget.”

As at March 31, 2019, Inter Pipeline’s four business segments generated funds from operations as follows:

Funds from operations (millions)

Three Months Ended March 31, 2019

Oil sands transportation


NGL processing


Conventional oil pipelines


Bulk liquid storage


Corporate costs, including employee, financing and tax expenses, were $65.0 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to $62.7 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Cash Dividends

Dividend payments to shareholders increased $13.5 million to $173.9 million, or $0.428 per share in the first quarter of 2019 over the same period in 2018. Inter Pipeline’s current monthly dividend rate is $0.1425 per share, or $1.71 per share on an annualized basis.

Inter Pipeline’s payout ratio for the quarter was 82.2 percent.

Oil Sands Transportation

Inter Pipeline’s oil sands transportation business delivered strong financial results in the first quarter 2019. Funds from operations were $147.6 million during the quarter, in line with $148.9 million during the same period in 2018.

Average total throughput volume for the first quarter was 1,199,500 b/d, down six percent over the same period a year ago. Volume on the Cold Lake, Polaris and Corridor pipeline systems declined year-over-year primarily due to reduced oil sands project production resulting from government mandated production curtailments and various producer operational issues.

Construction of the new $110 million diluent and bitumen blend connection to the Canadian Natural Kirby North oil sands project continues to advance with an expected in-service date of mid-2019, approximately six months ahead of schedule. When completed, the new connection will provide highly stable, long term cash flow to Inter Pipeline which is not dependent on actual volume shipped.

Volume (000 b/d)

Three Months Ended March 31, 2019

Cold Lake






NGL Processing

NGL processing generated $68.0 million in funds from operations during the first quarter of 2019, down from $98.6 million a year ago. This result was primarily due to lower frac spreads for natural gas and offgas liquids and higher fuel and power costs. In addition, sales at the Redwater Olefinic Fractionator were negatively impacted by rail logistic issues and a change in the timing of revenue recognition related to polymer grade propylene sales.

Natural gas processed at the Cochrane and Empress straddle plants during the quarter increased to 3.86 billion cubic feet per day, an increase of 400 million cubic feet per day over the comparable period in 2018. Approximately 121,700 b/d of ethane and propane-plus was extracted during the quarter, an increase of 11,200 b/d compared to the first quarter of 2018. Average sales volume from the Redwater Olefinic Fractionator increased to 35,500 b/d for the quarter, representing an eight percent increase over the first quarter of 2018.



Three Months Ended March 31,

Cochrane propane-plus


Offgas Olefinic*


Offgas Paraffinic*


*Price after applicable benchmark adjustment

Heartland Petrochemical Complex

In the first quarter of 2019, $232.4 million was invested in construction activities for the Heartland Petrochemical Complex, bringing the total capital incurred to approximately $1.3 billion.

In early January, Inter Pipeline and Mammoet collaborated to successfully transport four large vessels from fabrication shops in Edmonton, Alberta to the construction site. This milestone included the shipment of the propane propylene splitter and the polypropylene reactor which are core components of the Complex. Additional modules continue to arrive at site as construction on the propane dehydrogenation plant progresses. The piling program for the integrated polypropylene plant is also well underway in advance of the summer construction season.

In March 2019, Inter Pipeline was awarded $49 million through the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to support new business investment in Canada.

Conventional Oil Pipelines

Funds from operations for Inter Pipeline’s conventional oil pipelines business segment were $34.1 millionduring the first quarter of 2019, compared to $50.7 million a year ago.

Increased competition and downstream apportionment issues reduced overall throughput volume for the business and impacted midstream marketing activities in the quarter. Going forward, midstream marketing margins are expected to improve due to lower product costs.

Volume on Inter Pipeline’s three conventional gathering systems averaged 187,100 b/d for the first quarter, a decrease of 22,300 b/d over the first quarter of 2018 and slightly higher than the prior quarter. Volume on the Central Alberta pipeline system increased by 5,700 b/d to 29,700 b/d and Bow River volume increased by 9,900 b/d to 98,200 b/d. Volume on the Mid-Saskatchewan pipeline system decreased 38,000 b/d to 59,200 b/d in the quarter due to increased competition in the region and downstream apportionment issues.

The $82 million Stettler expansion project on the Central Alberta pipeline system continues to advance towards a first-phase in service date of mid-2019. When fully complete in mid-2020, the expanded facility will service growing production from the East Duvernay light oil basin and other emerging oil plays and is expected to generate approximately $20 million in incremental annual EBITDA.

Bulk Liquid Storage

Inter Pipeline’s bulk liquid storage business generated funds from operations of $26.8 million in the quarter, a $8.1 million improvement over the first quarter of 2018. The first quarter of 2019 included $8.4 million of FFO from our recently acquired bulk liquid storage business in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which operated at a 95 percent utilization rate.

During the first quarter of 2019, the average storage utilization rate across all terminals was 78 percent compared to 82 percent for the same period in 2018, and 68 percent in the prior quarter. A backwardated pricing environment for certain petroleum products continues to impact utilization rates, particularly at our Danish terminals. However, several new storage agreements were executed in this quarter which has materially improved utilization rates in Denmark and customer interest remains strong in advance of new ship bunker fuel regulations that come into effect in January 2020.

Financing Activity

Inter Pipeline continues to maintain a strong balance sheet with significant liquidity available on its committed revolving credit facility.

In March 2019, Inter Pipeline issued $750 million of long-term subordinated hybrid notes at 6.875 percent. Net proceeds of the offering were used to repay indebtedness under Inter Pipeline’s revolving credit facility and fund organic growth projects, principally the Heartland Petrochemical Complex.

As at March 31, 2019, Inter Pipeline had approximately $1.1 billion of capacity on its $1.5 billion revolving credit facility and a consolidated net debt to total capitalization ratio* of 44.2 percent compared to 51.8 percent at December 31, 2018.

Inter Pipeline maintains strong investment grade credit ratings. Standard & Poor’s and DBRS Limited have assigned Inter Pipeline credit ratings of BBB+ and BBB, respectively.

Conference Call and Webcast

A conference call and webcast have been scheduled for May 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. MT (11:00 a.m. ET) for interested shareholders, analysts and media representatives.

To participate in the conference call, please dial 1 (888) 231-8191. A replay of the conference call will be available until May 17, 2019 by calling 1 (855) 859-2056. The code for the replay is 2556857. A link to the webcast and updated investor relations presentation are available on Inter Pipeline’s website.

Select Financial and Operating Highlights

(millions of dollars, except per share and percent amounts where

Three Months Ended

March 31

Operating Results



Pipeline volume (000 b/d)

Oil sands transportation



Conventional oil pipelines



Total pipeline



NGL processing volume(000 b/d)







Redwater Olefinic Fractionator sales volume



Total NGL processing



Bulk liquid storage capacity utilization



Financial Results




Funds from operations

Oil sands transportation



NGL processing



Conventional oil pipelines



Bulk liquid storage



Corporate costs



Total funds from operations



Per share2



Net Income



Per share – basic & diluted



Supplemental Financial Information

Cash dividends declared



Per share3



Payout ratio2 



Capital expenditures







Total capital expenditures





Empress V NGL production reported on a 100% basis.


Please refer to the NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES section.


Dividends to shareholders per share are calculated based on the number of common shares outstanding at each record date.


About Inter Pipeline Ltd.
Inter Pipeline is a major petroleum transportation, natural gas liquids processing, and bulk liquid storage business based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Inter Pipeline owns and operates energy infrastructure assets in western Canada and Europe. Inter Pipeline is a member of the S&P/TSX 60 Index and its common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IPL.

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