Williams Companies, Inc. (The) (WMB)

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The Williams Companies, Inc. (WMB)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

July 29, 2010 9:30 am ET

Executives

Travis Campbell – Head, IR

Steve Malcolm – Chairman, President and CEO

Don Chappel – SVP and CFO

Ralph Hill – President, Exploration and Production

Phil Wright – President, Gas Pipeline

Alan Armstrong – President, Midstream Gathering & Processing

Analysts

Steve Maresca – Morgan Stanley

Lasan Johong – RBC Capital Markets

Seinly Aou [ph] – J.P. Morgan

Ted Durbin – Goldman Sachs

Carl Kirst – BMO Capital Markets

Holly Stewart – Howard Weil Incorporated

Rick Gross – Barclays Capital

Faisel Khan – Citi

Ray Deacon – Pritchard Capital

Andrew Gundlach – Arnhold Bleichroeder

Craig Shere – Tuohy Brothers Investment Research

Brad Lundy – Ivory Capital

Presentation

Operator

Good day, everyone and welcome to the Williams Companies' Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Release Conference Call. At this time for opening remarks and introductions, I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Travis Campbell, head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Travis Campbell

Thank you. Good morning, everybody. Welcome to our second-quarter call. As always, we appreciate your interest in Williams. Steve Malcolm, our Chairman and CEO, will review the few slides, we have this morning. Be aware, though, that as always, all of our business unit heads and Don Chappel are available for questions that we'll take right after Steve's remarks. Also, as usual, we've put together a data book, which includes the normal information which we provide each quarter.

So this morning on the website, williams.com, you should be able to find the slides, the data book and the press release that was issued earlier today. The second-quarter 10-Q will also be available today and you'll be able to access that on the website as well. At the beginning of the slide deck are the forward-looking statements on slide two and three and the disclaimer on oil and gas reserves on slide number four. Those are important and they're integral to our remarks, obviously, so please review those. Also included are various non-GAAP numbers that have been reconciled back to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Those schedules are available and they follow the presentation. So with that, Steve, I will turn it over to you.

Steve Malcolm

Thank you, Travis. Welcome to our call and thanks for your interest in our company. Let's jump right into the slides and I'll start here on slide five. I am most pleased with our ability to strategically expand our business lines during the quarter.

As you know, we completed a major E&P acquisition at the Williams level that establishes a significant and growing position in the Marcellus, we now have just under 100,000 acres there. And Williams' partners just recently announced two major Midstream business expansions, the increased stake at Overland Pass and the new cryo plant at Parachute. So continuing with the highlights, second quarter recurring adjusted EPS was up 35% versus the second quarter of '09 on the strength of higher NGL and olefin margins.

We've kind of passed over the breakover point in terms of production growth. I think second quarter production marks a resumption of the expected growth and you can see we're expecting 12% in '11 and 16% in 2012, while we live within our drilling cash flows. We are expanding our Marcellus position in all lines of business. The business development opportunities are extraordinary. We are benefiting from increases in the Williams Partners distributions, what is good for WPZ is good for Williams and we've increased some of our cash flow certainty with some new E&P hedges. We've taken some of the risk off the table. As you know, we're 64% hedged in 2010 from a revenue standpoint. We've increased our hedge position in 2011 from 30% to 50% during the quarter.

Turning to slide six, please – certainly a consistent theme that we have presented really over the past few years is the attractive, organic growth opportunities that exist at Williams and that's certainly reflected on this slide, one that you've seen before but which shows for the 2010-2012 timeframe, the capital intended to be spent on maintenance of facilities, on maintenance of volumes and for growth by business unit. I don't think I need to say anything more about this. Again, it shows $6 billion in growth during that timeframe. I would like to make one comment and this is the only comment I'll make about Canada, but you see the yellow growth capital in 2011 and 2012. It's fairly significant and most of that that's shown in yellow is associated with three specific projects in Canada, again continuing to take advantage of our first mover technological advantage that we have up in Canada.

Turning to page seven, please, or slide seven, continuing to talk about the theme of growth and this, of course, talks about our E&P production growth during the period. We have adopted a very disciplined approach. We are living within our cash flows until such time as we see the macroclimate improve but even though we're living within our cash flows, we are growing production at 30% over this timeframe.

You'll also note that Marcellus is becoming a bigger part of the mix. We expect to drill 100 wells in the Marcellus in 2011, running about eight rigs, close to 200 wells in 2012 as we run 14 rigs. So, clearly, Marcellus is becoming a bigger part of our mix. By 2013, it will be our second largest producing basin, by 2015, we would expect that Marcellus would be producing in excess of 500 million a day. As well, the Piceance will continue to be our low-cost workhorse basin that continues to generate very strong returns.

Slide eight, please. Continuing again to talk about growth and here we are talking about WPZ Midstream growth. You've seen this slide before. The slices of the pie there show where we will be spending our capital and I think there are just three points that I want to make here. Overland Pass and Parachute capital is now in the guidance pie chart.

Secondly, that when you look at the potential spending in each of the categories, obviously, the activity, the business development activity, continues to be very robust. And we would expect that you would see continued growth in the Marcellus, out West, where we already have a very significant position and we continue to be excited with respect to deepwater Gulf opportunities.

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