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Overview History Vision & Strategy


Company History

In the early 1990s, we recognized that fundamentals in the crude oil industry were foreshadowing the need for increased movements of crude oil into the Midwestern region of the United States (also known as PADD II). In 1993, in response to that need, we built the Cushing Terminal, our first major asset, which was strategically located in Cushing, Oklahoma – the Southern gateway for incremental pipeline movements to refining centers in the Midwest. Our Cushing Terminal, which is being expanded for the twelfth time to over nine times its original size, serves as the cornerstone of our business strategy that is designed to capitalize on logistical inefficiencies inherent in the North American crude oil distribution system.

Throughout the 1990s, we achieved growth through a combination of internal projects and accretive acquisitions. In 1998, following our acquisition of the All American Pipeline System, we achieved the critical mass necessary to access the public equity markets. On November 17, 1998, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. ("Plains") completed its initial public offering as a master limited partnership and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PAA.”

Since our initial public offering, we have continued to experience significant growth:

  • In 1999, we acquired Scurlock Permian, one of the oldest and most respected gathering and marketing companies in the crude oil industry.
  • In 2001, we extended our business into Canada with the acquisitions of crude oil assets and operations from Murphy Oil Company Ltd. and CANPET Energy Group. The combination of these assets, an established pipeline transportation business and a rapidly growing, entrepreneurial gathering and marketing business, allowed us to optimize both businesses and establish a solid foundation for future growth in Canada. In addition, the CANPET transaction included liquefied petroleum gas assets and operations and marked our initial entry into the LPG business.
  • In 2002, we completed the strategic acquisition of pipeline assets from Shell Pipeline Company, thereby solidifying our competitive position in West Texas and bolstering our fee-based pipeline transportation business. Also in 2002, we expanded the capacity of our Cushing Terminal by over 70%.
  • In 2003, we made 10 acquisitions, primarily of the "bolt-on" variety, that complemented our existing operations in their respective areas.
  • In March 2004, we closed the acquisition of an interest in the Capline Pipeline System, one of the main transportation routes for moving Gulf of Mexico and foreign crude oil into PADD II. In April 2004, we completed the acquisition of Link Energy LLC's North American crude oil and pipeline operations, which effectively doubled the size of our asset base.
  • In 2005, we completed seven acquisitions (including a joint venture agreement) for $165 million and executed internal growth projects valued at $149 million.  Using our existing assets at Mobile, Cushing and other locations as well as assets leased from third parties, we increased the volume of our foreign crude oil purchases by over 385%, averaging 57,700 barrels per day in 2005 versus an average of 11,900 barrels per day in 2004.
  • In 2006, we increased our internal growth projects spending to $310 million and made eight acquisitions for $609 million.  We also completed a $2.5 billion merger with Pacific Energy Partners, L.P.  Through these transactions, we entered the refined products and barging businesses and expanded our footprint in the crude oil business.  The combined company became an attractive portfolio of internal growth projects, derived a greater percentage of its revenue from fee-based activities and are well positioned to benefit from increasing imports of energy supplies.
  • In 2007, we successfully integrated Pacific Energy Partners’ (PPX) assets and operations.  With the combined PAA & PPX asset base as a foundation, we invested $525 million in organic growth capital projects, completing Phase I of the St. James terminal and the Cheyenne pipeline.  We also completed four acquisitions totaling $123 million, which expanded our presence in the liquefied petroleum gas and refined products businesses. 
  • During 2008, we invested $491 million in organic growth capital completing or substantially completing various terminal expansion projects including expansions at St. James, and Patoka as well as the St. Lake City pipeline expansion.  We also consummated and integrated two acquisitions for $735 million.  The larger of the two acquisitions, Rainbow Pipe Line was the second largest in our history.  This system was comprised of a 480-mile Canadian crude oil mainline pipeline that extends from Northern Alberta to Edmonton, and is favorably positioned relative to long-lived reserves in certain areas of the Canadian oil-sand deposits. 
  • In 2009, we invested $365 million in organic growth capital, completing the final stages of the Patoka Phase I and Paulsboro expansion projects.  We also set the stage for future expansions in Patoka, St. James, Cushing, Pine Prairie and other locations.  During the year, we consummated nine acquisitions for a total of approximately $400 million. The largest transaction was the purchase of the remaining 50% interest in PAA Natural Gas Storage, which brought our natural gas storage capacity to approximately 40 Bcf at year-end 2009. 2009 represented another solid year of performance for the Partnership that was generated during a period of significant volatility in the energy markets, which we believe further reinforces the durability and predictability of our baseline cash flow stream.
  • In 2010, we completed $355 million of organic growth projects including expansions at our storage and terminal facilities located in Cushing, St. James, and Patoka, as well as expansions on various assets in West Texas, the Rockies and Midcontinent areas.  Throughout the year we invested approximately $410 million in acquisitions including a 34% interest in the White Cliffs Pipeline, certain pipeline and gathering assets in the Bakken producing region and other bolt-on acquisitions.  In keeping with our plans to optimize the structure and performance of our natural gas storage business, we completed the Initial Public Offering (“IPO”) of our subsidiary, PAA Natural Gas Storage, L.P. (NYSE: PNG), in May 2010. 
  • In 2011, we invested and aggregate of $1.9 billion in growth-related capital, including executing a $530 million capital program and completing acquisitions totaling $1.4 billion.  Our investments were centered on key crude oil production growth areas (the Permian Basin, Bakken Shale and Eagle Ford Shale) that have experienced significant increases in drilling activity; strategically located crude oil terminals; and a strategically located gas storage facility (Southern Pines Energy Center in Mississippi) that complements our existing storage platform.  In addition, we entered into a definitive agreement to acquire BP's Canadian-based Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) business for approximately $1.7 billion, which closed on April 2, 2012.
  • In 2012, we completed $1.2 billion in organic growth-related projects including several small-to-medium sized projects in key crude oil producing regions.  Throughtout the year, we also completed $2.3 billion in acquisions, including closing BP's Canadian NGL assets, Chesapeake's Eagle Ford gathering assets and acquiring four operating crude rail terminals and one under development from U.S. Development.
  • In 2013, we have targeted $1.6 billion in organic growth projects and continue to remain very active evaluating potiential acquisition opportunities. 

Today, we are one of the largest independent midstream crude oil companies in North America, owning and operating approximately 18,000 miles of crude oil and refined product pipelines, approximately 119 million barrels of crude oil and NGL terminalling and storage capacity and a full complement of truck transportation and injection assets. On average, we handle over 3.9 million barrels per day of crude oil and NGL through our extensive network of assets located in key producing basins and transportation gateways in the United States and Canada.

As we look to the future, we will continue to differentiate Plains from our peer group by combining a proven business strategy, a solid platform of strategically located assets and our specialized knowledge of energy markets to address the favorable supply/demand fundamentals that provide the compelling investment thesis for Plains.