These excerpts taken from the BPL 10-K filed Mar 2, 2009.
A significant decrease in the production of natural gas could have a significant financial impact on us.
Our profitability is materially affected by the volume of natural gas stored by us. A material change in the supply or demand of natural gas could result in a decline in the volume of natural gas delivered to the Lodi Gas facility for storage, thereby reducing our revenues and operating income.
Our results could be adversely affected by volatility in the price of refined petroleum products and the value of natural gas storage services. In addition, our risk management policies cannot eliminate all commodity risk and any noncompliance with our risk management policies could result in significant financial losses.
The Energy Services segment buys and sells refined petroleum products in connection with its marketing activities. The Natural Gas Storage segment stores natural gas for, and loans natural gas to, its customers for fixed periods of time. If the values of refined petroleum products or natural gas storage services change in a direction or manner that we do not anticipate, we could experience financial losses from these activities. Furthermore, when prices increase rapidly and dramatically, we may be unable to promptly pass our additional costs to our customers, resulting in lower margins for us which could adversely affect our results of operations. Although the Natural Gas Storage segment does not purchase or sell natural gas, the value of natural gas storage services generally changes based on changes in the relative prices of natural gas over different delivery periods. Our Energy Services segment follows risk management practices that are designed to minimize its commodity risk and the Natural Gas Storage segment has adopted risk management policies that are designed to manage the risks associated with its storage business. These practices and policies cannot, however, eliminate all price and price-related risks.
With respect to our Energy Services segment, it is our practice to maintain a position that is substantially balanced between commodity purchases, on the one hand, and expected commodity sales or future delivery obligations, on the other hand. Through these transactions, we seek to establish a margin for the commodity purchased by selling the same commodity for physical delivery to third party users, such as wholesalers or retailers. While our hedging policies are designed to minimize commodity risk, some degree of exposure to unforeseen fluctuations in market conditions remains. For example, any event that disrupts our anticipated physical supply could expose us to risk of loss resulting from price changes if we are required to obtain alternative supplies to cover these sales transactions. In addition, we are also exposed to basis risks in our hedging activities that arise when a commodity, such
as ultra low sulfur diesel, is purchased at one pricing index but must be hedged against another commodity type, such as heating oil, because of limitations in the markets for derivative products. We are also susceptible to basis risk created when we hedge a commodity based on prices at a certain location, such as the New York Harbor, and enter into a sale or exchange of that commodity at another location, such as Macungie, Pennsylvania, where prices and price changes might differ from the prices and price changes at the location upon which the hedging instrument is based.
Both our natural gas storage and petroleum product marketing activities also involve the risk of non-compliance with our risk management practices and policies. We cannot make any assurances that we will detect and prevent all violations of our risk management practices and policies, particularly if deception or other intentional misconduct is involved. Any violations of these practices or policies by our employees or agents could result in significant financial losses.
Our profitability is materially affected by the volume of natural gas stored by us. A material change in the supply or demand of
The Energy Services segment buys and sells refined petroleum products in connection with its marketing activities. The Natural Gas