Business 2012 Look Back: Past year was 'exciting' roller-coaster ride for ONEOK Inc.
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 4:45 AM
Original Print Headline: 2012 was an 'exciting' roller-coaster ride for ONEOK Inc.'s fortunes
ONEOK Inc. solidified its standing as one of the state's most important companies in 2012, but the Tulsa-based natural gas firm also experienced some notable ups and downs.
The owner of Oklahoma Natural Gas and a controlling stake in ONEOK Partners LP saw its fortunes rise dramatically over the past couple of years, resulting in a two-for-one stock split in May. ONEOK also joined Williams in the New York Stock Exchange's Century Index, honoring some of the nation's companies with enduring histories and recent success.
"2012 was an exciting year for our company," ONEOK spokeswoman Megan Washbourne said.
Frontrunners often have nowhere to go but down. ONEOK Partners recently canceled its massive Bakken Crude Express pipeline due to a lack of oil producer commitment, less than a year after announcing the $1.8 billion project and months after it was sued by oil transport firm Barcas LLC over allegations about how their partnership was handled.
"Although we decided not to proceed with the Bakken Crude Express Pipeline project, we continue to have $4.2 billion to $4.8 billion of announced natural gas and natural gas liquids projects currently under various stages of construction and development, many of which are for infrastructure projects in the Bakken," Washbourne added.
ONEOK's master limited partnership faced two high-profile court challenges. In addition to the Barcas case, ONEOK Partners also continued a battle with federal pipeline regulators over a planned inspection of its Bushton, Kan., natural gas liquids fractionation plant.
Finally, the Tulsa firm ended the year with a reorganization of some of its top management positions. The shift came one year after another shuffle ONEOK called its "long-term succession plan."
A ring of lights runs around the top of the ONEOK building in downtown Tulsa. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World file