|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
If one or more facilities or electronic systems that we own or that deliver products to us or that supply our facilities are damaged by severe weather or any other disaster, accident, catastrophe, terrorist or cyber-attack or event, our operations could be significantly interrupted. These interruptions could involve significant damage to people, property or the environment, and repairs could take from a week or less for a minor incident to six months or more for a major interruption. Additionally, some of the storage contracts that we are a party to obligate us to indemnify our customers for any damage or injury occurring during the period in which the customers’ product is in our possession. Any 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 and, accordingly, adversely affect the market price of our common units.
Cybersecurity attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and include, without limitation, malicious software, ransomware, attempts to gain unauthorized access to data, and other electronic security breaches. These risks include cybersecurity attacks on both us and third parties who provide material services to us. In addition to disrupting operations, cyber security breaches could also affect our ability to operate or control our facilities, render data or systems unusable, or result in the theft of sensitive, confidential or customer information. These events could also damage our reputation, and result in losses from remedial actions, loss of business or potential liability to third parties.
We believe that EPCO maintains adequate insurance coverage on our behalf, although insurance will not cover many types of interruptions that might occur, will not cover amounts up to applicable deductibles and will not cover all risks associated with certain of our products. As a result of market conditions, premiums and deductibles for certain insurance policies can increase substantially, and in some instances, certain insurance may become unavailable or available only for reduced amounts of coverage.
In the future, circumstances may arise whereby EPCO may not be able to renew existing insurance policies on our behalf or procure other desirable insurance on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. If we were to incur a significant liability for which we were not fully insured, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, the proceeds of any such insurance may not be paid in a timely manner and may be insufficient if such an event were to occur.
The use of derivative financial instruments could result in material financial losses by us.
Historically, we have sought to limit a portion of the adverse effects resulting from changes in energy commodity prices and interest rates by using derivative instruments. Derivative instruments typically include futures, forward contracts, swaps, options and other instruments with similar characteristics. Substantially all of our derivatives are used for non-trading activities.
To the extent that we hedge our commodity price and interest rate exposures, we will forego the benefits we would otherwise experience if commodity prices or interest rates were to change in our favor. In addition, hedging activities can result in losses that might be material to our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Such losses could occur under various circumstances, including those situations where a counterparty does not perform its obligations under a hedge arrangement, the hedge is not effective in mitigating the underlying risk, or our risk management policies and procedures are not followed. Adverse economic conditions (e.g., a significant decline in energy commodity prices that negatively impact the cash flows of oil and gas producers) increase the risk of nonpayment or performance by our hedging counterparties.
See Note 14 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included under Part II, Item 8 of this annual report for a discussion of our derivative instruments and related hedging activities.