Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP said improved operating results from its core natural gas pipeline assets in Texas will lead to higher-than-expected earnings in fiscal 2006. The partnership on Monday upped its expectations for the year to $730 million from $710 million.

Because of adjusted income from discontinued operations a year ago, Energy Transfer reported 3Q2006 income for the period ending May 31 was $111.9 million, compared with $189.5 million in 3Q2005. Earnings in 3Q2005 included a $143 million gain from discontinued operations. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for 3Q2006 were up 38% to $145.6 million versus $105.3 million a year earlier.

Energy Transfer said earnings rose on increasing volumes from its $825 million purchase last year of Houston Pipe Line transportation and storage assets (see Daily GPI, Jan. 28, 2005). In its transportation and storage business, Energy Transfer sold 1.303 billion Btu/d of gas, compared with 1.547 billion Btu/d in 3Q2005. It transported 4.797 billion Btu/d of gas, compared with 3.488 billion Btu/d of gas in 3Q2005. The partnership’s midstream business sold 1.2 billion Btu/d for the quarter, compared with 1.499 billion Btu/d a year earlier.

The partnership’s gas transportation and storage operations now include 11,700 miles of pipelines in Texas and Louisiana and three Texas-based gas storage facilities. Another 550 miles of pipe are under construction in Texas. Earlier this year, the partnership approved a $360 million pipeline expansion project to transport increased gas production in East and North Texas (see Daily GPI, May 5). And in June, Energy Transfer partnered with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP and ONEOK Partners LP to construct a 560-mile pipe to carry 1 Bcf/d through Oklahoma and Arkansas that will interconnect with Texas Gas Transmission LLC in Cohoma County, MS (see Daily GPI, June 12).

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