Floods on the northern Pacific Coast and a delayed pipeline project in the eastern United States limited the financial performance of utility, gas processing and byproduct marketing conglomerate AltaGas Ltd. last year.

AltaGas, which reports in Canadian dollars (C$1.00/US 79 cents) wrote $271 million off the value of a 10% share that U.S. subsidiary WGL Holdings Inc. has in the troubled Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. The 303-mile natural gas conduit between Virginia and West Virginia is designed to transport gas from the Appalachian Basin.

The seven-year-old project is 92% built but delayed by marathon protests and lawsuits against its crossings of water bodies and the Appalachian Trail. Costs have jumped by 68% to US$6.2 billion. The current completion target date is mid-2022.

Flooding and other unfavorable weather events in British Columbia (BC) and Washington, plus unfavorable currency exchange trends, eroded 2021 earnings by other utility and marketing operations, reported AltaGas.

The floods last fall were “devastating,” said the firm’s year-end statement. Rail and road transport disruptions held down exports by BC and Washington natural gas liquids terminals to 76,609 b/d. AltaGas set a recovery target of 97,000 b/d for 2022.

AltaGas said it had a “strong” year aside from the once-only 2021 weather and project setbacks.

The firm calculated its “normalized” net income as $107 million for fourth-quarter 2021 and $497 million for the full year.

Surviving the 2021 perfect storm of severe adverse conditions has made the company “extremely proud,” said AltaGas president Randy Crawford. “This is a testament to our diversified business model that continues to demonstrate the strong advantages that have been shown throughout market cycles and operating environments.”

The Calgary firm had 2021 earnings of $230 million (82 cents/share), down from $486 million ($1.74) 2020. AltaGas recorded a fourth quarter 2021 loss of $156 million (minus 56 cents). Earnings were $48 million (17 cents) a year earlier.