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Executives

Rene Joyce – CEO

Matt Meloy – VP of Finance and Treasurer

Jim Whalen – President, Finance and Administration

Analysts

Chris Cole [ph] – Lehman Brothers

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Steve Travasak [ph] – Goldman Sachs

Ryan Kelly – Prudential

Targa Resources Partners LP (NGLS) Q2 2008 Earnings Call Transcript August 11, 2008 2:00 PM ET

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Targa Resources, Inc. conference call. During today’s presentation, all parties will be in a listen-only mode. Following the presentation, the conference will be open for questions. (Operator instructions) This conference is being recorded today, Monday, August 11 of 2008.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Anthony Riley. Please go ahead.

Anthony Riley

Good afternoon. Thank you, operator. I'm Anthony Riley, and I would like to welcome you to Targa’s second quarter 2008 conference call and thank you for joining us. Before we get started, I would like to mention that Targa did publish an earnings release this morning and it is available on our Web site at www.targaresources.com. Speaking today will be Rene Joyce, Chief Executive Officer, and Matt Meloy, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. Rene and Matt are going to be comparing the second quarter 2008 to the second quarter 2007.

Before we begin, I would like to remind you that this call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended and Section 21E of the Exchange Act of 1934 as amended. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of the performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The future results of Targa may differ materially from those expressed on the forward-looking statements contained on this call.

Many of the factors that will determine these results in values are beyond Targa’s ability to control or predict. These statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgment with respect to the future, including among other things, weather, political, economic and market conditions; timing and success of business development efforts; and other uncertainties. You are cautioned not to put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.

With that, I will turn it over to Rene Joyce, our Chief Executive Officer.

Rene Joyce

Thanks, Anthony. Good afternoon. Thank you for participating on our second quarter call. Joining us in Houston are several members of Targa’s management team. The entire team will be available to assist with the Q&A session. By way of agenda, I will start by reviewing our second quarter and year-to-date 2008 performance, including operational and financial accomplishments. I will then turn it over to Matt to review our consolidated and business segment results. Following Matt’s comments, I will update the progress on a few strategic initiatives, and finally we will take your questions.

With regard to the performance highlights for the quarter, second quarter 2008 gathering throughput of 2.1 billion cubic feet a day and plant natural gas inlet of 2 billion cubic feet a day were approximately 4% and 3% higher, respectively, than for the second quarter of 2007. Natural gas sales of 527 billion Btu per day for the three months ended June 30, ‘08 were 1% lower than the comparable ‘07 period. Gross NGL production of approximately 105,000 barrels a day in the three month period ending June 30, ‘08 were 1% lower compared to the same ‘07 period. Second quarter ’08 natural gas liquid sales were approximately 286,000 barrels per day, 4% lower than in the second quarter of ‘07. Condensate sales of 3,700 barrels per day were 10% lower compared to the ‘07 period.

Our average realized natural gas price of $10.11 per MMbtu was 43% higher than the second quarter of 2007. Our average realized natural gas liquid price was $1.54 per gallon for the three months ended June 30, 2008, up 44% from the second quarter of 2007. And finally, our average realized condensate price was $114.15 per barrel for the second quarter of ‘08, up 83% from the average realized price for the second quarter of 2007. All of these realized prices include the effects of our hedging program.

With regard to the performance highlights for ‘08, year to date, gathering throughput of 2.1 billion cubic feet a day and plant natural gas inlet of 2 billion cubic feet per day were both 7% higher respectively than for the same period of ‘07. Natural gas sales of 530 billion Btu per day for the six months ended June 30, ‘08 were 2% higher than the comparable ‘07 period. Gross natural gas liquid production of approximately 104,000 barrels per day for the six-month period ended June 30, 2008 were 1% lower compared to the ‘07 period. Year-to-date, NGL sales were approximately 302,000 barrels per day, 1% higher than the same ‘07 period. Condensate sales of 3,700 barrels per day for the six-month period ended June 30, ‘08 were flat compared to the ‘07 period.

Our average realized natural gas price of $9 per MMbtu for ‘08 year-to-date was 31% higher than the comparable period in 2007. Our average realized natural gas liquid price was $1.50 per gallon for the six months ended June 30, 2008, up 47% from the same period in ‘07. Finally, our average realized condensate price was $103.89 per barrel for ’08 year-to-date, up 73% from the average realized price for the comparable period in ‘07. Again, all of these realized prices include the effects of our hedging program.

For details on the financial results, I will now turn it over to Matt.

Matt Meloy

Thanks, Rene. I would like to add my welcome and thank you for joining our call today.

We reported net income of $46 million for the second quarter of 2008, compared to approximately $14 million for the second quarter of 2007. Second quarter revenues increased by $652 million to approximately $2.3 billion, 41% higher than the $1.6 billion for the same period in 2007. Income from operations was $102 million for the quarter, compared to $50 million in 2007, an increase of 50%. Second quarter adjusted EBITDA was $137.6 million, compared to $76.3 million for the same period in 2007. On a consolidated basis, capital expenditures for the quarter totaled approximately $39 million.

During the second quarter, we received a total of $40 million in insurance property claims receipts related to damage sustained during the 2005 hurricane season. Repairs have been completed at all of our plant facilities other than VESCO which we expect will be completed in the third quarter of 2008. We recognized a gain of approximately $19 million related to the property damage payments, because cumulative received has exceeded the $81 million receivable recorded as part of the DMS acquisition purchase price allocation. We also received business interruption insurance claims receipts of approximately $22 million during the second quarter.

Now I will discuss our year-to-date results. We reported net income of approximately $65 million for the six months ended June 2008, compared to $23 million for the comparable period in 2007. Year-to-date, revenues increased by $1.4 billion to approximately $4.5 billion, 46% higher than the $3.1 billion for the same period in 2007. Income from operations was $182 million for six months ended June ‘08, compared to $115 million in 2007, an increase of 58%. Year-to-date, adjusted EBITDA was $229 million, compared to $167 million for the same period in 2007. And on a consolidated basis, year-to-date capital expenditures totaled approximately $58 million.

During the six months ended June 2008, we received a total of $48 million in insurance, property claims receipts related to damage sustained during the 2005 hurricane season. Repairs have been completed at all of our plant facilities other than VESCO which we expect will be completed in the third quarter of ‘08. We recognized a gain of approximately $19 million related to the property damage payments, related to our $81 million receivable I mentioned earlier. We also received business interruption insurance claims receipts of approximately $22 million for the six months ended June 2008.

With that overview, let me now turn to a discussion of our segment results. We report our operations in four segments; first, Natural Gas Gathering and Processing; second, Logistics Assets; third, NGL Distribution and Marketing; and fourth, Wholesale Marketing.

Let us start with the Gathering and Processing segment, which includes our gathering and processing businesses in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana, including those owned by the MLP. While gathering throughput and plant inlet volumes were up in the second quarter of ‘08 relative to the same quarter in ‘07, due primarily to independent hub volumes at our straddle plant, our gross NGL production and natural gas sales volumes were down slightly, partially due to leaner gas content of the incremental independent hubs volumes. Plant natural gas inlet volumes increased by 4% in to 2 Bcf per day for the second quarter of this year. Natural gas sales volumes decreased by 1% to 546 billion Btu for the second quarter of this year. NGL sales volumes of 91,500 barrels a day were relatively flat compared to the 2007 levels, while condensate sales volumes decreased 7% to 5,000 barrels for the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same period in 2007.

The average realized natural gas price increased $3.08 or 44% to $10.14 per MMbtu for the three months ended June ‘08. The average realized NGL prices were higher by $0.43 or 43% at $1.42 per gallon in the second quarter 2008. The average realized condensate prices were $46.45 per barrel or 78% higher for the second quarter of 2008 at $106.24 per barrel. All of these prices include the impacts of our hedging program.

Segment revenues were $1.1 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2008 up $329 million from the second quarter of 2007. Operating margin was $117 million and $97 million for the second quarters of 2008 and 2007 respectively.

Year to date, gathering throughput and plant inlet volumes were up relative to the same period in ’07, due to independent hubs volumes to our straddle plants, and our growth of NGL production was down slightly due to leaner gas content in the incremental sales volumes.

Plant natural gas inlet volumes increased by 7% to 2.1 Bcf per day. Natural gas sales volumes increased 2% to 548 Btu [ph] per day for the first half of this year. NGL sales volumes of 90,500 barrels were relatively flat compared to 2007 levels. While condensate sales volumes decreased 2% to 5,000 barrels a day for the first half of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. The average realized natural gas price increase $2.14 or 31% to $9.02 per MMBtu for the six months ended June 30, ’08. Average realized NGL prices were higher by $0.43 or 47% at $1.34 per gallon in ’08 compared to the 2007 period. The average realized condensate prices $39.66 per barrel, or 70% higher for the first half of 2008 at $96.14 per barrel. All of these prices include the impacts of our hedging program.

Segment revenues were approximately $1.9 billion for the six months ended June, 2008, up $580 million from the same period in ‘07. Operating margin was $229 million and $188 million for the first half of ’08 and ‘07 respectively.

On to the Logistics Assets. We refer to our assets that are involved in the fractionation, storage, treating, and transportation of natural gas liquids as logistics assets.

Fractionation volume increased 4% to 226,000 barrels a day for the second quarter of 2007 to 235,000 barrels a day for the second quarter of 2008. Second quarter of 2008 revenues in this segment were $66 million, 31% higher than the same period in 2007. Revenues were higher due to higher fractionation volumes, higher fractionation rates, and a full quarter of treating revenue from our low-sulfur natural gasoline unit which commenced operations in June 2007.

Operating margin was $11.6 million, an increase of 136% compared to the same period in 2007. Operating expenses increased $9 million to $54 million for the quarter. The increase is primarily due to increased fuel expense due to higher fuel prices and higher fractionation volumes, a full quarter of operating costs for our low-sulfur natural gasoline unit in the second quarter 2008 compared to the one month in the second quarter 2007 that the unit was operating.

Fractionation volume increased 16% to 195,000 barrels a day for the first half of 2007 to 226,000 barrels for the first half of 2008. Six month 2008 revenues in this segment were $117 million, 26% higher than the same period in 2007. Revenues were higher due to higher fractionation volumes, higher fractionation rates, and six months of treating revenue from our low-sulfur natural gasoline unit, which commenced operations in June 2007. Operating margin was $18 million, an increase of 13% compared to the same period in 2007. Operating expense increased $22 million to $98 million for the six months ended June 2008. The increase is primarily due to increased fuel expense and higher fuel prices and higher fractionation volumes for the six months ended 2008, as well as higher third party fractionation expenses due to scheduled maintenance at our Cedar Bayou Fractionator.

Moving on to our NGL Distribution and Marketing Services. Our NGL Distribution and Marketing services segment markets our own NGL production as well as NGLs purchased from third parties.

NGL sales for the three months ended June 2008 were 252,000 barrels a day, a decrease of 2% compared to the same period in 2007. Revenues increased $451 million, or 61%, to $1.5 billion for the second quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. The average realized NGL price of $1.55 per gallon in the second quarter of ‘08 was $0.49, or 46% higher than in the second quarter of 2007. Operating margin for the three months ended June 2008 was $32 million, up $26 million compared to the 2007 second quarter. The increase in operating margin was due to increasing average sales during the quarter and a reduction of inventory at lower average costs in 2008 as compared to 2007 and an increase of approximately $5 million in business interruption insurance proceeds in 2008 as compared to 2007.

Year to date results

NGL sales for the six months ended June 2008 were 257,000 barrels a day, an increase of 1% compared to the same period in 2007. Revenues increased $988 million, or 51%, to $2.9 billion for the first half of ‘08 compared to the same period in 2007. The average realized NGL price of $1.48 per gallon in the first half of 2008 was $0.49 – or 49% higher than in the same period of 2007. Operating margin for the six months ended June 2008 was $40 million, up $22 million compared to the 2007. The increase in operating margin was due to higher commodity pricing in the period along with a reduction of inventory at lower average cost, and an increase in business interruption insurance proceeds of approximately $5 million.

Moving on to our Wholesale Marketing segment. Our Wholesale Marketing segment includes our refinery services business as well as our wholesale propane operations. NGL sales decreased by 2%, to approximately 47,000 barrel a day in the second quarter of ‘08 compared to the same period in 2007. Average realized NGL price rose by $0.56 to $1.75 per gallon in second quarter of 2008 compared to the second quarter of 2007. Revenues for this segment were $317 million for the three months ended June ’08, an increase of 46% compared to the three months ended June 2007. Segment operating margin for the second quarter of 2008 increased approximately $7 million to $9 million compared to approximately $2 million in the second quarter of 2007. This increase is due to an increase in business interruption insurance receipts of $5 million and higher market prices realized on the sale of seasonal inventory.

On to year to date results. NGL sales increased by 5%, to 67,000 barrels a day in the second quarter 2008 compared to second quarter of ‘07. Average realized NGL price rose by $0.53 to a $1.68 per gallon in the second quarter of ’08 compared to the second quarter of ’07. Revenues for this segment were $861 million for the six months ended June ’08, an increase of 54% compared to the six months ended June ‘07. Segment operating margin for the first half of 2008 increased approximately $10 million, or 48%, to approximately $18 million compared to approximately $8 million in the second quarter of 2007. This increase is due to an increase in business interruption insurance receipts of $5 million and higher market prices realized on the sale of seasonal inventory.

Let me wrap up the financial overview by touching on capital structure and liquidity. At June 30, 2008, our funded debt level on a consolidated basis was approximately $1.4 billion. This level includes $575 million of debt at the MLP, Targa Resources Partners LP. This debt is non-recourse to Targa but is consolidated along with the MLP, given our control of the MLP’s general partner. Excluding the MLP debt, Targa's total funded debt was approximately $778 million. At June 30 and excluding the partnership, we had available liquidity of $584 million consisting of the full amount of our $250 million revolving credit facility and $334 million in cash. To date, we have not drawn under our revolving credit facility.

And with that I’ll turn it over to Rene.

Rene Joyce

Thanks Matt. We continue to expand our gathering footprint with pipeline additions, direct connections, connection behind central delivery point, additional producer acreage dedication, as well as third party acquisitions. Additionally, we are adding compression to support the producer needs across our gathering systems. For example, we recently approved the $11 million in pipeline additions in North Texas to support additional Barnett Shale production near our Bryan Compressor Station in Wise County. Benefits from this project will be seen in the first quarter of ’09.

We always have a number of processing and treating projects and process to improve recoveries or efficiencies. For example, an enhanced ethane recovery project at one plant and two acid gas injection wells at two plants are underway for our Permian operations. Regarding our coastal straddle plant business, we recently announced the acquisition of Chevron’s approximately 54% interest and Venice Gas Processing complex at the mouth of the Mississippi river, increasing our ownership to approximately 77% in this active Gulf of Mexico production corridor. Our butane storage project in our Louisiana Operating Unit began receiving liquids from ConocoPhillips' Lake Charles refinery on May 8.

Regarding our NGL business, we continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our import facilities and related infrastructure in Galena Park and fractionation and storage facilities at Mont Belvieu, as well as potential projects to add new terminals and above ground storage to support our refinery services and wholesale propane business. Recently improved projects include a $24 million cogeneration facility for our Mont Belvieu complex and a $4 million grassroots propane storage facility supporting our West Coast operations.

We recently announced the acquisition of the Floridian Gas Storage project, which will have 8 Bcf of above-ground storage and 800 million cubic feet a day of gasification capacity at a site in Southern Florida. We are excited about the opportunities this project will bring and it is proceeding as expected. Final colony approvals of this project were granted May 06, a final environmental impact statement was issued in July, and we anticipate final Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval late this summer.

Thank you for your time this afternoon. And that concludes the formal part of the call. We will now open it up for your questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator instructions) And our first question is from the line of Gary Stromberg with Lehman Brothers. Please go ahead.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

Hi guys. Good afternoon. This is actually Chris Cole [ph]. In regards to the VESCO acquisition from Chevron, have you all given any details about how much you paid for that interest?

Rene Joyce

No, we have not.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

Is there any kind of information you can give us on that or –

Rene Joyce

No.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

How about 2008 CapEx, is there any guidance you all have updated for 2008 for CapEx just at Targa Resources, not including NGLS.

Matt Meloy

I don’t know that we’re prepared to kind of give our total forecasted CapEx guidance for the year. I don’t think we have really an update on that number for you.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

Okay. And how about drop downs. Is there any kind color you can give us on – thoughts on I guess timing for next dropdown to NGLS or the size or what assets –?

Rene Joyce

No. We’ve been particularly clear not to give any guidance on dropdowns. It’s something that we said we would offer the assets at TRI to the partnership over time. The one statement that we’ve been making is we feel fairly comfortable that the projects that we have down at the partnership, the distribution coverage, some small complementary additions or acquisitions, we can grow the distributions fairly nicely at the MLP without any dropdowns or acquisitions. But again, we haven’t given any guidance on the sizing or timing of any future dropdowns.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

Okay.

Matt Meloy

This is Matt here for a follow up on the CapEx question. We did provide some information in the Q. But other than that we won’t provide any update. But in the Q, we said it’s a $184 million of total consolidated CapEx for ’08 and in the Targa Partners, we disclosed $70 million of forecasted ’08 CapEx.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

Okay. And that’s all just growth CapEx?

Matt Meloy

No. It’s maintenance and growth.

Chris Cole – Lehman Brothers

Okay. Great. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question is from the line of Adam Leight with RBC Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Hi, good afternoon.

Matt Meloy

Good afternoon.

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Perhaps, can you tell us as of today or a recent date post the end of the quarter, what’s your cash balance and if there was anything drawn on the revolver? Cash balance was obviously very large.

Matt Meloy

We don’t have anything drawn on the revolver. And the cash balance – we made the VESCO acquisition subsequent to quarter end. We used part of our cash proceeds to do that. But I don’t have an actual dollar of cash what we have today other than saying we have substantial cash still.

Jim Whalen

Leigh. This is Jim Whalen. The cash at the end of July, which I think we typically give you guys in this kind of a call so you have something to compare. It was around the $190 million to $200 million in that range.

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Okay. Great. That’s very helpful. Can you give us a reminder or tell us if you haven’t told us, what kind of incremental EBITDA comes from the augmented share of Venice, what you expect?

Jim Whalen

We haven’t given any indication of that and I don’t believe we will be giving any. We will be able to help better after the end of the third quarter when we report third quarter results. By acquiring the additional interest, we will be consolidating VESCO for the third quarter and showing a minority interest for the remaining piece. So for some portion of that third quarter, it will be treated as equity earnings, and for the remaining portion it will be treated consolidated. So, from the August 01 forward, it will be consolidated and for the month of July, it will be treated in equity earnings like it has been in the past.

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Okay.

Rene Joyce

The only qualitative statement I will make about this VESCO acquisition, we have interest in 11 straddle plants, and I would say the opportunities in that Eastern corridor, which Venice serves, is probably greater that at any other straddle plant that we currently own or have an interest in.

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Great. Okay. And then on the Floridian project, do you have any sense of what spending plans and timing be associated with that?

Rene Joyce

It is all geared, like I said, we would expect final Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, end of this summer, early fall. It is a matter of getting the necessary contracts in place with the utilities to support the go-ahead on that project. But if everything went on time and as we expect, we could be seeing expenditures in the first quarter, and I think we have stated that this project would be in the range of $550 million to $600 million.

Adam Leight – RBC Capital Markets

Great. Okay. Thanks very much.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question is from the line of Steve Travasak [ph] with Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead.

Steve Travasak – Goldman Sachs

I had a couple of quick questions. The $18.6 million insurance gain, which is in the income statement, that also benefitted the EBITDA number that you put out there?

Matt Meloy

EBITDA is included in that number, yes.

Steve Travasak – Goldman Sachs

Okay. And then secondly, can you just kind of give us a reminder on your hedge book and given some of the concerns that are in the market against other companies out there, can you just remind us what magnitude of the book that you have and given the volatility of the quantity prices, how is that doing?

Matt Meloy

As you may remember, we don’t have to post any collateral for our hedges. Our hedges are out of the money with the run up in commodity prices, but we aren’t having to post any margin for those hedges. And if you look on the balance sheet as of June 30, the risk management liabilities was $249 million in long term and then $204 million in current. And that includes the liability of the partnership as well.

Rene Joyce

I think we had also remind you if you're talking about concerns with other companies, that we hedge our commodities directly, it is natural gas and the associated bases. We had hedged natural gas liquids as specific components or estimated baskets of those components, or our hedges, there are no so-called dirty hedges and there's not completely different components hedging completely different components in the our book. And that is the kind of concerns we have heard from investors lately.

Steve Travasak – Goldman Sachs

Okay. Great. It’s very helpful. And then finally, just any more news on the TEPPCO Security [ph] you have out there. Was anything incrementally done on that in Q2 or no change?

Matt Meloy

Yes. In the second quarter TRI purchased $20 million of face of that TEPPCO [ph] note for $16.4 million of cash.

Steve Travasak – Goldman Sachs

So that is going to be incremental to what was previously discussed happening?

Matt Meloy

Yes.

Steve Travasak – Goldman Sachs

Okay, thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question is from the line of Ryan Kelly with Prudential. Please go ahead.

Ryan Kelly – Prudential

Hi, guys, couple of questions. Just on the last question, just to follow-up, was that extinguishing gain falling through EBITDA as well?

Rene Joyce

No it does not. TRI owns it and it would have to have been passed up to its parent TRII for – then again. So TRI holds it as an investment.

Ryan Kelly – Prudential

Okay. And then just looking at TRI, and the cash balances, the debt balances, how do guys view the capitalization that will leverage going forward? Are you comfortable with these levels or barring no acquisitions and giving your free-cash flow profile, would you look to pay down more of your back loans going forward?

Rene Joyce

If we don’t use our cash to do anything else, we would use it to pay down debt. However, we would hope we will find things (inaudible) and we won’t be retiring debt, we will be spending it on assets that we are happy acquiring as with the VESCO asset.

Ryan Kelly – Prudential

And then I guess if the environment for assets of that nature, are you seeing a lot these days?

Rene Joyce

We still continue to review or look at valuate third party acquisitions. It never seems to slow down. I would say the size of them has been reduced dollar amount wise over the last year or so. But we are still actively looking at a few projects.

Ryan Kelly – Prudential

Okay, thanks.

Operator

Thank you. (Operator instructions) And there are no further questions in the queue. I would like to turn the call back to Rene Joyce for any closing remarks.

Rene Joyce

Thank you, operator. To the extent anyone has follow-up questions, please feel free to contact Matt or any of us here at Targa. Thank you again for your time this afternoon and we look forward to our next conference call.

Operator

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the Targa Resources, Inc. conference call. You may now disconnect. Thank you for using ACT conferencing.

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