|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
The intrastate liquids pipeline transportation services we provide are subject to various state laws and regulations that apply to the rates we charge and the terms and conditions of the services we offer. Although state regulation typically is less onerous than FERC regulation, the rates we charge and the provision of our services may be subject to challenge.
The adoption and implementation of new statutory and regulatory requirements for derivative transactions could have an adverse impact on our ability to hedge risks associated with our business and increase the working capital requirements to conduct these activities.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act enacted in 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) provides for statutory and regulatory requirements for swaps and other derivative transactions, including financial and certain physical oil and gas hedging transactions. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC has adopted regulations requiring registration of swap dealers and major swap participants, mandatory clearing of swaps, election of the end-user exception for any uncleared swaps by certain qualified companies, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, business conduct standards and position limits among other requirements. Several of these requirements, including position limits rules, allow the CFTC to impose controls that could have an adverse impact on our ability to hedge risks associated with our business and could increase our working capital requirements to conduct these activities.
Based on an assessment of final rules promulgated by the CFTC, we have determined that we are not a swap dealer, major swap participant or a financial entity, and therefore have determined that we currently qualify as an end-user. In addition, the vast majority of our derivative transactions are currently transacted through a Derivatives Clearing Organization, and we believe our use of the end-user exception will likely not be necessary on a routine basis. We will also seek to retain our status as an end-user by taking reasonable measures necessary to avoid becoming a swap dealer, major swap participant or financial entity and other measures to preserve our ability to elect the end-user exception should it become necessary. However, derivative transactions that are not clearable, and transactions that are clearable but for which we choose to elect the end-user exception, are subject to recordkeeping and reporting requirements and potentially additional credit support arrangements including cash margin or collateral. Posting of additional cash margin or collateral could affect our liquidity and reduce our ability to use cash for capital expenditures or other company purposes.
In September 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated and remanded the position limits rules adopted by the CFTC based on a necessity finding. In December 2013, the CFTC responded by proposing amended rules in an effort to better conform to the Dodd-Frank Act and in December 2016, the CFTC further refined and reproposed rules on position limits. Under the reproposed rules, the CFTC would place volumetric limitations on certain positions in 25 core physical commodity futures contracts and their economically equivalent futures, options and swaps. While we believe that the majority of our hedging transactions would meet one or more of the enumerated categories for Bona Fide Hedges, the rules could have an adverse impact on our ability to hedge certain risks associated with our business and could potentially affect our profitability. The CFTC has announced a 60-day period for public comment on the reproposed rules.
Over the past year, President Trump and the U.S. Congress have taken various actions suggesting some interest in amending some of the statutory and regulatory provisions impacting financial markets and institutions. The CFTC has a new Chairman and new Commissioners who may reevaluate some of the existing regulations and regulatory proposals. It is not clear at this time what, if any, changes in the law will be enacted or what, if any, changes in the existing regulations will be adopted, or how any such changes would impact our hedging activity.
Our standalone operating cash flow is derived primarily from cash distributions we receive from EPO.
On a standalone basis, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is a holding company with no business operations and conducts all of its business through its wholly owned subsidiary, EPO. As a result, we depend upon the earnings and cash flows of EPO and its subsidiaries and joint ventures, and the distribution of their cash flows to us in order to meet our obligations and to allow us to make cash distributions to our limited partners.