DCP Midstream Partners, LP along with its consolidated subsidiaries, or we, us, our, or the partnership, is a Delaware master limited partnership formed in August 2005 by DCP Midstream, LLC to own, operate, acquire and develop a diversified portfolio of complementary midstream energy assets. We completed our initial public offering on December 7, 2005. We are currently engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing, transporting, storing and selling natural gas; transporting, storing and selling propane in wholesale markets; and producing, fractionating, transporting and selling NGLs and condensate. Supported by our relationship with DCP Midstream, LLC and its parents, Spectra Energy Corp, or Spectra Energy, and ConocoPhillips, we have a management team dedicated to executing our growth strategy by acquiring and constructing additional assets.
Our operations are organized into three business segments, Natural Gas Services, Wholesale Propane Logistics and NGL Logistics. A map representing the geographic location and type of our assets for all segments is set forth below. Additional maps detailing the individual assets can be found on our website at www.dcppartners.com.
OVERVIEW AND STRATEGIES
Our Business Strategies
Our primary business objectives are to have sustained company profitability, a strong balance sheet and profitable growth; thereby increasing our cash distribution per unit over time. We intend to accomplish this objective by executing the following business strategies:
Optimize: maximize the profitability of existing assets. We intend to optimize the profitability of our existing assets by maintaining existing volumes and adding new volumes to enhance utilization, improve operating efficiencies and capture marketing opportunities when available. Our facilities, terminals and pipelines have excess capacity, which allows us to connect new supplies of natural gas and NGLs at minimal incremental cost. Our wholesale propane logistics business has diversified supply options that allow us to capture lower cost supply to lock in our margin, while providing reliable supplies to our customers.
Build: capitalize on organic expansion opportunities. We continually evaluate economically attractive organic expansion opportunities to construct midstream systems in new or existing operating areas. For example, we believe there are opportunities to expand several of our gas gathering systems to attach increased volumes of natural gas produced in the areas of our operations. We also believe that we can continue to expand our wholesale propane logistics business via the construction of new propane terminals.
Acquire: pursue strategic and accretive acquisitions. We pursue strategic and accretive acquisition opportunities within the midstream energy industry, both in new and existing lines of business, and geographic areas of operation. We believe there will continue to be acquisition opportunities as energy companies continue to divest their midstream assets. We intend to pursue acquisition opportunities both independently and jointly with DCP Midstream, LLC and its parents, Spectra Energy and ConocoPhillips, and we may also acquire assets directly from them, which we believe will provide us with a broader array of growth opportunities than those available to many of our competitors.
OUR OPERATING SEGMENTS
Natural Gas Services Segment
Our Natural Gas Services segment consists of a geographically diverse complement of assets and ownership interests that provide a varying array of wellhead to market services for our producer customers. These services include gathering, compressing, treating, processing, fractionating, transporting and storing natural gas; however, we do not offer all services in every location. These assets are positioned in areas with active drilling programs and opportunities for both organic growth and readily integrated acquisitions. We operate in seven states in the continental United States: Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The assets in these states include our Northern Louisiana system (including the Minden, Ada and Pelico systems), our Southern Oklahoma system (Lindsay system), our 40% equity interest in the Discovery system, our 50.1% operating interest in the East Texas system, our 70% operating interest in the Collbran system, our Douglas system, and our Michigan systems. The Southern Oklahoma and East Texas systems provide operating synergies and opportunities for growth in conjunction with DCP Midstream, LLC. This geographic diversity helps to mitigate our natural gas supply risk in that we are not tied to one natural gas producing area. We believe our current geographic mix of assets will be an important factor for maintaining overall volumes and cash flow for this segment.
Wholesale Propane Logistics Segment
We operate a wholesale propane logistics business in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Due to our multiple propane supply sources, annual and long-term propane supply purchase arrangements, storage capabilities, and multiple terminal locations for wholesale propane delivery, we are generally able to provide our retail propane distribution customers with reliable, low cost deliveries and greater volumes of propane during periods of tight supply such as the winter months. We believe these factors generally result in our maintaining favorable relationships with our customers and allowing us to remain a supplier to many of the large retail distributors in the northeastern United States. As a result, we serve as the baseload provider of propane supply to many of our retail propane distribution customers.
Our operations and activities are managed by our general partner, DCP Midstream GP, LP, which in turn is managed by its general partner, DCP Midstream GP, LLC, or the General Partner, which is wholly-owned by DCP Midstream, LLC. As of December 31, 2009, the General Partner or its affiliates employed 9 people directly and approximately 239 people who provided direct support for our operations through DCP Midstream, LLC. None of these employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. Our General Partner considers its employee relations to be good.