|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
Growth capital spending at our ECHO and Beaumont Marine West Crude Oil terminals decreased a combined $103.7 million year-to-year as new storage tanks and related assets were placed into service at these facilities during 2016.
Net cash used for business combinations decreased $801.3 million year-to-year due to the second payment of $1.0 billion made in July 2016 for EFS Midstream, partially offset by $191.4 million in net cash paid in connection with the Azure acquisition made in April 2017.
Investments in unconsolidated affiliates decreased $88.3 million year-to-year primarily due to the completion of construction of certain NGL and crude oil joint venture projects.
Comparison of 2016 with 2015. Growth capital spending for LPG export expansion projects at EHT and our ethane export facility decreased a combined $328.9 million year-to-year. We completed two expansion projects during 2015 at our EHT facility that increased our ability to load cargos of fully refrigerated, low-ethane propane to approximately 16.0 MMBbls per month. Likewise, growth capital spending on our ethane header system between Corpus Christi, Texas and the Mississippi River in Louisiana decreased $288.1 million year-to-year. We completed the Aegis Ethane Pipeline (i.e., the largest component of our ethane header system) in December 2015.
Growth capital spending at our ECHO and Beaumont Marine West Crude Oil terminals decreased a combined $146.1 million year-to-year as new storage tanks and related assets were placed into service at these facilities during 2015 and 2016. Growth capital spending for our Rancho II crude oil pipeline, which is a component of our South Texas Crude Oil Pipeline System, and Midland-to-ECHO Pipeline System decreased a net $95.0 million year-to-year. We completed the Rancho II pipeline in September 2015.
Growth capital spending at our Mont Belvieu complex increased $67.1 million year-to-year primarily due to construction of our PDH facility.
We acquired EFS Midstream in July 2015 for approximately $2.1 billion in cash, which was payable in two installments. The initial payment of $1.1 billion was paid at closing in July 2015. The second and final installment of $1.0 billion was paid in July 2016 using a combination of cash on hand and proceeds from the issuance of short-term notes under EPO’s commercial paper program. Also, in February 2015, we issued 36,827,517 common units valued at approximately $1.4 billion to complete Step 2 of the Oiltanking acquisition. For information regarding these acquisitions, see Note 12 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included under Part II, Item 8, of this annual report.
Investments in unconsolidated affiliates decreased $23.8 million year-to-year primarily due to the completion of expansion projects on our Eagle Ford Crude Oil Pipeline System during 2015.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
In our financial reporting processes, we employ methods, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of our financial statements. These methods, estimates and assumptions also affect the reported amounts of revenues and expenses for each reporting period. Investors should be aware that actual results could differ from these estimates if the underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect. The following sections discuss the use of estimates within our critical accounting policies: