|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
The inability to continue to access lands owned by third parties, including Native American tribes, could adversely affect our operations and have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Our ability to operate our pipeline systems on certain lands owned by third parties will depend on our maintaining existing rights-of-way and obtaining new rights-of-way on those lands. We are parties to rights-of-way agreements, permits and licenses authorizing land use with numerous parties, including private land owners, governmental entities, Native American tribes, rail carriers, public utilities and others. Our ability to secure extensions of existing agreements, permits and licenses is essential to our continuing business operations, and securing additional rights-of-way will be critical to our ability to pursue expansion projects. We cannot provide any assurance that we will be able to maintain access to all existing rights-of-way upon the expiration of the current grants, that all of the rights-of-way will be obtained in a timely fashion or that we will acquire new rights-of-way as needed.
In particular, various federal agencies within the U.S. Department of the Interior, particularly the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, along with each Native American tribe, promulgate and enforce regulations pertaining to natural gas and oil operations on Native American tribal lands. These regulations and approval requirements relate to such matters as drilling and production requirements and environmental standards. In addition, each Native American tribe is a sovereign nation having the right to enforce laws and regulations and to grant approvals independent from federal, state and local statutes and regulations. These tribal laws and regulations include various taxes, fees, requirements to employ Native American tribal members and other conditions that apply to operators and contractors conducting operations on Native American tribal lands. One or more of these factors may increase our cost of doing business on Native American tribal lands and impact the viability of, or prevent or delay our ability to conduct our operations on such lands.
Furthermore, whether we have the power of eminent domain for our pipelines varies from state to state, depending upon the type of pipeline and the laws of the particular state and the ownership of the land to which we seek access. When we exercise eminent domain rights or negotiate private agreements, we must compensate landowners for the use of their property and, in eminent domain actions, such compensation may be determined by a court. The inability to exercise the power of eminent domain could negatively affect our business if we were to lose the right to use or occupy the property on which our pipelines are located.
We may face opposition to the operation of our pipelines and facilities from various groups.
We may face opposition to the operation of our pipelines and facilities from environmental groups, landowners, tribal groups, local groups and other advocates. Such opposition could take many forms, including organized protests, attempts to block or sabotage our operations, intervention in regulatory or administrative proceedings involving our assets, or lawsuits or other actions designed to prevent, disrupt or delay the operation of our assets and business. For example, repairing our pipelines often involves securing consent from individual landowners to access their property; one or more landowners may resist our efforts to make needed repairs, which could lead to an interruption in the operation of the affected pipeline or facility for a period of time that is significantly longer than would have otherwise been the case. In addition, acts of sabotage or eco-terrorism could cause significant damage or injury to people, property or the environment or lead to extended interruptions of our operations. Any such event that interrupts the revenues generated by our operations, or which causes us to make significant expenditures not covered by insurance, could reduce our cash available for paying distributions to our partners and, accordingly, adversely affect our financial condition and the market price of our securities.
Our growth strategy may adversely affect our results of operations if we do not successfully integrate and manage the businesses that we acquire or if we substantially increase our indebtedness and contingent liabilities to make acquisitions.
Our growth strategy includes making accretive acquisitions. From time to time, we evaluate and acquire additional assets and businesses that we believe complement our existing operations. We may be unable to successfully integrate and manage the businesses we acquire in the future. We may incur substantial expenses or encounter delays or other problems in connection with our growth strategy that could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Moreover, acquisitions and business expansions involve numerous risks, such as: