Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

SEC Filings

ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018
Entire Document


Actual results could differ materially from our estimates.  On an ongoing basis, we review our estimates based on currently available information.  Any changes in the facts and circumstances underlying our estimates may require us to update such estimates, which could have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.

Fair Value Measurements
Our fair value estimates are based on either (i) actual market data or (ii) assumptions that other market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability, including estimates of risk, in the principal market of the asset or liability at a specified measurement date.  Recognized valuation techniques employ inputs such as contractual prices, quoted market prices or rates, operating costs, discount factors and business growth rates.  These inputs may be either readily observable, corroborated by market data or generally unobservable.  In developing our estimates of fair value, we endeavor to utilize the best information available and apply market-based data to the highest extent possible.  Accordingly, we utilize valuation techniques (such as the market approach) that maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs.

A three-tier hierarchy has been established that classifies fair value amounts recognized in the financial statements based on the observability of inputs used to estimate such fair values.  The hierarchy considers fair value amounts based on observable inputs (Levels 1 and 2) to be more reliable and predictable than those based primarily on unobservable inputs (Level 3).  At each balance sheet reporting date, we categorize our financial assets and liabilities using this hierarchy.

The characteristics of fair value amounts classified within each level of the hierarchy are described as follows:

Level 1 fair values are based on quoted prices, which are available in active markets for identical assets or liabilities as of the measurement date.  Active markets are defined as those in which transactions for identical assets or liabilities occur with sufficient frequency so as to provide pricing information on an ongoing basis (e.g., the New York Mercantile Exchange (“NYMEX”)).  Our Level 1 fair values consist of financial assets and liabilities such as exchange-traded commodity derivative instruments.

Level 2 fair values are based on pricing inputs other than quoted prices in active markets (as reflected in Level 1 fair values) and are either directly or indirectly observable as of the measurement date.  Level 2 fair values include instruments that are valued using financial models or other appropriate valuation methodologies.  Such financial models are primarily industry-standard models that consider various assumptions, including quoted forward prices for commodities, the time value of money, volatility factors, current market and contractual prices for the underlying instruments and other relevant economic measures.  Substantially all of these assumptions (i) are observable in the marketplace throughout the full term of the instrument; (ii) can be derived from observable data; or (iii) are validated by inputs other than quoted prices (e.g., interest rate and yield curves at commonly quoted intervals).  Our Level 2 fair values primarily consist of commodity derivative instruments such as forwards, swaps and other instruments transacted on an exchange or over-the-counter and interest rate derivative instruments.  The fair values of these derivative instruments are based on observable price quotes for similar products and locations.  The fair value of our interest rate derivatives are determined using financial models that incorporate the implied forward LIBOR yield curve for the same period as the future interest rate swap settlements.

Level 3 fair values are based on unobservable inputs.  Unobservable inputs are used to measure fair value to the extent that observable inputs are not available, thereby allowing for situations in which there is little, if any, market activity for the asset or liability at the measurement date.  Unobservable inputs reflect management’s ideas about the assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability (including assumptions about risk).  Unobservable inputs are based on the best information available to us in the circumstances, which might include our internally developed data.  Level 3 inputs are typically used in connection with internally developed valuation methodologies where we make our best estimate of an instrument’s fair value.  With regards to commodity derivatives, our Level 3 fair values primarily consist of ethane, propane, normal butane and natural gasoline-based contracts with terms greater than one year and certain options used to hedge natural gas storage inventory and transportation capacities.  In addition, we often rely on price quotes from reputable brokers who publish price quotes on certain products and compare these prices to other reputable brokers for the same products in the same markets whenever possible.  These prices, when combined with data from our commodity derivative instruments, are used in our models to determine the fair value of such instruments.