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Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD)
Q4 2020 Earnings Call
Feb 03, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Good morning. My name's Dexter, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Enterprise Products Partners fourth-quarter 2020 earnings call. [Operator instructions] Mr.

Randy Burkhalter, vice president of investor relations will begin your conference. Please go ahead, sir.

Randy Burkhalter -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Thank you, Dexter, and good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Enterprise Products Partners conference call to discuss fourth-quarter 2020 earnings. Our speakers today will be co-chief executive officers of Enterprise's General Partner, Jim Teague, and Randy Fowler. Other members of our senior management team are also in attendance for the call today. During this call, we will make forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 based on the beliefs of the company as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to Enterprise's management team.

Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Please refer to our latest filings with the SEC for a list of factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements made during the call. With that, I'll turn it over to Jim.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Randy. As we said in this morning's press release, our business has continued to perform well throughout 2020. We reported net income attributable to common unitholders for 2020 of $3.8 billion or $1.71 per unit compared to $4.6 billion or $2.09 per unit on a fully diluted basis for 2019. Net income for 2020 was reduced by noncash asset impairment charges of approximately $891 million, which Randy is going to address.

Distributable cash flow was $6.4 billion for 2020 compared to $6.6 million for 2019. DCF provided 1.6x coverage, and we retained $2.5 billion of DCF in 2020 to reinvest in the partnership. We completed 2020 with significant financial flexibility and a strong balance sheet. We really are proud of Enterprise's employees for their dedication and perseverance and responding to the challenges during 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The diversification of our businesses across multiple commodities, the magnitude of our transportation and storage assets, the depth of our marketing activities, and our cost control efforts enabled us to generate distributable cash flow just 3% shy of the record DCF we earned in 2019. We were able to self-fund over 75% of our $3 billion of growth capital for the year. This performance supported our 22nd consecutive year of distribution growth. There's a lot to be proud of from all our folks.

We are proud of how they consistently use good judgment in both their work and personal lives as Enterprise was one of the first work from work companies in the energy space. There is no way our results would have been what they were in 2020 without the power of teamwork that takes place when we're all in our offices on the same schedule and pulling in the same direction. We don't believe you can zoom your way to prosperity. We are optimistic that the combination of the vaccine and more stimulus will lead to the world emerging from this economic sudden stop in 2021.

We're encouraged by the signs of a rebound in the global economy that we see through strong domestic and international demand for NGLs, ethylene, and propylene, and the continuing recovery in the demand for refined products. There are still uncertainties and headwinds as we begin this year. We've been very outspoken about the potential for significant price appreciation as soon as the second half of this year, and we're not alone in that analysis, with most energy banks and consultants seeing the same thing. Long term, the world, with its growing population of 8 billion people including billions living in energy poverty is evolving, and we will continue to evolve with it.

We have a successful track record of using technology to become more efficient, and expanding and repurposing our assets to adapt to changes in energy market fundamentals. We believe we are in a position of financial strength to continue to prosper through this period. Our objectives today are consistent with those when we went public in 1998, building a company that has staying power for the long-term by protecting a strong balance sheet, investing in growth projects with attractive returns, and responsibly returning capital to our limited partners, including through distributions that have never been cut. We placed $2.4 billion of major growth projects into service in 2000.

And we had $3.6 billion of projects under construction that will come into service over the next two years. We put into service in 2020 include two fractionators at Mont Belvieu, our Midland-to-ECHO 3 pipeline, and petrochemical projects related to ethylene and propylene logistics, storage, and export capabilities. We developed the capability to co-load ethane and ethylene on the same ship at Morgan's Point and propane and propylene on a VLGC at our ship channel facilities. I don't know of anyone that has those capabilities.

Projects coming in service in 2021 include a C5 Hydrotreater at Mont Belvieu and our Acadian Gillis Lateral which will move approximately one Bcf a day of natural gas into growing LNG markets in Louisiana. In our petrochemical sector, our PDH2 facility remains on schedule and on budget to come online in the second quarter of 2023, and we have several other petchem projects expected to be placed in service next year. We continue to focus on cost control. In total, we have reduced our planned growth capital expenditures for 2020 and 2021 by over $1.5 billion in response to changing industry conditions.

We want to give a special shout out to operations for substantially managing our costs. For 2020, Enterprise's overall operating costs were down approximately $400 million versus budget, and our sustaining capex for 2020 were approximately $100 million lower than budget, all this without sacrificing safety or reliability. Finally, I want to take a moment to address the change in administrations. Reading the news, one might think that the sun is setting on oil and gas.

Enterprise has been around since 1968, and we have successfully grown our business through many administrations. Obviously, policy proposals from this new administration have been supportive with renewables. The cleaner energy feature does not mean a world without fossil fuels. The reality is nothing could be further from the truth.

While the notion of energy transition, and I hate the word transition, but regardless, with the notion of energy transition often implies shifting away from traditional hydrocarbons, we still believe an all above approach will be required to meet the world's growing energy needs. A more prosperous and sustainable future for all people will require traditional sources of oil and gas, that the U.S. provides in numerous forms of renewables to deny the world's poor nations access to the abundant low-cost energy that we have, frankly, is to tell them you can't have what I have, and you can't afford what I have. U.S.

oil and gas and petrochemicals are making a difference, not just in the U.S. but around the world. As there is nothing to replace these products. Without plentiful, reliable, and low-cost fossil fuels, the world would be in a very different place.

It would be one that is less advanced, much less prosperous, have much shorter life expectancies, and frankly would be more polluted. Consider India, where 100 million homes have been converted from burning wood, dung, and coal to LPG. Our power that is being generated from natural gas exported from the U.S. versus the alternative of coal.

Talk to these people and you really understand what U.S. hydrocarbon production has done to them. The more politicians try to limit production, the more price bullish I get. I'm sure someone on this call will ask how the cancellation of Keystone pipeline will affect our Seaway throughput.

And it may have a positive effect, but it doesn't make that stroke of the pen right. Energy security is a North American issue. And limiting supply only makes Russia, OPEC, and Iran richer and more powerful. And it is saying to the 3 billion people on this planet that live in energy poverty, that U.S.

politicians don't care about their quality of life. Stepping off my soapbox as shown through our results for 2020, our asset base and our people have demonstrated that our business model can sustain cycles, even one is severe as this pandemic. We are committed that Enterprise will be here in a 100 years, prospering through whatever hurdles there might be. And with that, I'll turn the call over to Randy Fowler.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Jim, and good morning, everyone. I'll start by reviewing some fourth-quarter income statement items. Net income attributable to common unitholders for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $337 million or $0.15 per unit on a fully diluted basis compared to $1.1 billion or $0.50 per unit for the fourth quarter of 2019. Net income for the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2019 were reduced by noncash asset impairment and related charges of approximately $800 million or $0.36 per unit for the fourth quarter of 2020 and $82 million or $0.04 per unit for the fourth quarter of 2019.

The impairment charges recorded in 2020 were primarily for goodwill associated with the partnerships Natural Gas Pipelines and Services segment and for certain long-lived assets, including those associated with our marine business, that is our barge and push boat business and natural gas gathering and processing facilities. Moving on to cash flows. Cash flows from operations was $1.6 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to $1.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019. On a full-year basis, cash flow from operations was $5.9 billion and $6.5 billion for 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Cash flow from operations for 2020 and 2019 were both reduced by $768 million and $457 million, respectively, for cash used for working capital. Free cash flow for 2020, which we define as cash flow from operations minus investing activities less distributions to noncontrolling interest was $2.7 billion for the year, which is an 8% increase compared to free cash flow for 2019. Our payout ratio, which we define as the sum of cash distributions and buybacks as a percent of cash flow from operations was 70% for 2020, 67% from distributions and distribution equivalent rights, and another 3% from common unit buybacks. We declared a distribution of $0.45 with regard to the fourth quarter, which will be paid February 11.

This distribution represents a 1.1% increase versus fourth-quarter 2019. 2020 marked our 22nd year of consecutive annual distribution increases. During the fourth quarter of 2020, we bought back $26 million or 1.3 million common units at an average price of $19.62. This brought our total repurchases for 2020 to $200 million or 9.7 million units under our buyback program.

Additionally, Enterprise's distribution reinvestment plan and employee unit purchase plan purchased a combined $33 million or 1.8 million common EPD units in the open market during the fourth quarter; and for the full year, these programs repurchased $137 million or approximately 7 million common units on the open market. While we currently expect to generate discretionary free cash flow beginning in the second half of 2021 and what we define as discretionary free cash flow as cash flow in excess of capital investments and distributions, given the many uncertainties as we enter the year, we believe it would be premature to provide distribution growth and buyback guidance at this time. We will continue to think of buybacks as opportunistic as opposed to programmatic or formulaic. For 2021 and 2022, we currently anticipate growth capital investments to be approximately $1.6 billion and $800 million, respectively.

These figures are based on sanctioned capital projects and exclude the growth capital investments related to our proposed spot offshore crude oil terminal that is pending government approvals. While we have several projects in the development phase, we currently do not expect our 2021 growth capital expenditures to exceed $2 billion even if some of these projects are underwritten and sanctioned this year. We currently expect sustaining capital expenditures for 2021 to be approximately $440 million, which includes $115 million of expenditures associated with scheduled turnarounds of our PDH propane dehydrogenation facility and our octane enhancement facility. Turning to capitalization, our total debt principal outstanding was approximately $30 billion as of December 31, 2020, assuming the first call date for our hybrids and the maturity date, the average life of our debt portfolio was 16.3 years.

And again, based on final maturity, 20.4 years, respectively. Our effective average cost of debt is 4.4%. Adjusted EBITDA for 2020 was $8.1 billion, and our consolidated leverage ratio was three and a half times after adjusting debt for the equity treatment of the hybrid debt securities. And also reducing debt for cash on hand -- unrestricted cash on hand.

Our consolidated liquidity was approximately $6.1 billion at year-end, including availability under our existing credit facilities and approximately $1.1 billion of unrestricted cash on hand. Much of this cash on hand was sourced from our $1.25 billion debt offering that we did in August 2020. Going into 2020, we believed it was responsible to raise capital through debt offerings well in advance of our needs to fund maturing debt and capital expenditures. We issued a total of $4.25 billion in debt in 2020, $3 billion in the January offering, and $1.25 billion in our August offering.

Our maturities in 2020 were only $1.5 billion. As a result, throughout most of 2020, including at year-end, we carried more than $1 billion of unrestricted cash on our balance sheet to provide liquidity in addition to our bank credit facilities. This compares with our historical practice of maintaining unrestricted cash balance of $200 million to $300 million. In 2021, we have a total of $1.325 billion of notes maturing.

These maturities will ultimately be satisfied with unrestricted cash on the balance sheet largely from our $1.25 billion August 2020 debt offering and 2021 cash flow from operations. At this time, we do not foresee the need to access the debt capital markets in 2021. However, depending on market conditions and other factors, we may elect to approach the debt capital markets in 2021 to fund our 2022 debt maturities. And turning to upcoming events.

And before we turn it over to questions, I want to remind everyone that we have 2 virtual events that will take place on February 22 and February 23. On the 22nd, we will feature the discussion of ESG and other related topics. And on the 23rd, we will focus on traditional Analyst Day topics. The webcast will be available through our website, starting at 8:00 a.m.

Central Time, both days with speaker sessions followed by live Q&A on each day. With that, Randy, I think we're ready for questions.

Randy Burkhalter -- Vice President of Investor Relations

OK. Thank you, Randy. Dexter, we're ready to take questions now from our listeners.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Jeremy Tonet. Your line is open.

Jeremy Tonet -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Hi, good morning.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Jeremy Tonet -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Just want to start off on the supply side, if I could. Maybe this is a question for Tony and Jim here. And just wondering what your latest thoughts are given producer conversations on the outlook for supply growth. From what we can see, it looks like the Permian will continue to grow, other basins could decline, and the Permian kind of take share here.

Just wondering what your thoughts are for supply -- G&P supply going forward? And also, with federal land issues there kind of encroaching on the Permian, thoughts on that and how this all kind of impacts EPD?

Tony Chovanec -- Vice President, Fundamentals and Supply Appraisal

Jeremy, we're going to produce a new supply forecast at the Analyst Day. But the long and the short of it is if you look at what public producers are saying and what they're telling us, they plan on remaining flat in 2021. And flat being -- most of them count it as where they exited 2020 and where they plan on exiting '21. And you are correct that the Permian is going to be the lion's share of the activity.

That said, we are seeing some increase in activity and production in the Eagle Ford that we like to see. And then I guess, then I'll move to the federal acreage comment. And it's early on to estimate. Brent may want to chime in.

It's early on to this pronouncement from the Biden administration kind of 2 weeks into it. But when we look at the Permian acreage and we back up and look at what we consider active acreage, it's nearly 15 million acres. Only about 12% of that as we gauge it is on federal land. And on that federal land, there's some approximately 2,000 permits probably more as we speak in 600 or 700 DUCs.

What we're hearing from producers, I think, Brent, and let me know if you feel differently, some are actually speeding up; most are saying at this point, no change. And I would say few, if any, at this point, said I'm laying a rig or 2 down because they're well permitted. They saw that it might come. And that's where they're headed.

There's a lot of political pushback. This is acreage of the state of New Mexico. And so, stay tuned, but when we look at it holistically, this is how we feel. Brent, did I miss anything?

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

No, I think you covered it, Tony. In terms of some green shoots, we are seeing some private guys be more active out there with put more rigs in play. When we talk to our customers, and I think the simple answer is we don't know what's going to happen. But when we talk to our customers, it feels like they have a timeline to go ahead and execute the permits that they have, and it's not a rush to go out there and get it done.

So, it's kind of a case-by-case basis, depending on the producer, but I haven't sensed panic from talking to our customers.

Jeremy Tonet -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Got it. That's helpful. Thanks. And maybe kind of building off that supply impact as you see it for 2021 here.

Just wondering if you couple that with, I guess, the turnarounds in the petchem segment. Does this mean that kind of you expect 2021 EBITDA would step down from 2020? Or are there any other kind of big moving pieces there we should be thinking about?

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, Jeremy, I'd say -- I think we're -- based on what we see thus far, we think we can hold it flat. And could it be soft, $100 million, $200 million? Could be. But I'll tell you what, I -- I never doubt. The resolve of this organization to come in and capture opportunities.

So we'll see. I think we're in good shape going into the year.

Jeremy Tonet -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

That's very helpful. I'll stop there. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Colton Bean from Tudor, Pickering, Holt. Thank you very much. You may ask your question.

Colton Bean -- Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. -- Analyst

Good morning. So with the total capital down nearly 40% for this upcoming year and leverage effectively at your long-term target. Can you just update us on how you're thinking about payout ratio for 2021.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. And I'd really refer back to the comments that I had in the conference call script. I think we do expect to start generating discretionary free cash flow in the second half of the year. A good bit of our capex is skewed more toward the beginning of the year.

And -- but we think we'll be discretionary free cash flow positive. At this point in time, we really don't want to provide any guidance on payout or I mean payout is still going to be pretty lofty. I mean, just given where our distribution is, since the distribution makes up a substantial amount of the cash that we return to our investors. So it's still going to be fairly high just based on that.

So as far as what we do on buyback, I think we'd like to get a little bit farther into the year. Again, a lot of uncertainties as we enter the beginning of this year, and we just like to get better visibility before we provide any guidance on that front.

Colton Bean -- Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. -- Analyst

Yes. And then Randy, just to follow-up on that. Do you see any benefit to going materially below that three and a half times leverage target?

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

We said on three and a half times, it's -- our definition of three and a half times area is three and a half plus or minus a quarter turn. So that's our target. We've been talking about that being our target for two or three years now, and we're still comfortable with that range.

Colton Bean -- Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. -- Analyst

Understood. And then just on the propylene operations, with the spread between PGP and RGP widening further year-to-date, any potential for the fracs to offset the PDH downtime here with Q1 upcoming.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Where is, Chris, you want to answer it?

Chris D'Anna -- Senior Vice President, Petrochecmicals

Sure. Yeah. With the spreads the way they are, obviously, we're running as hard as we can. So I think we're expecting to do as much as we can with that.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. This is Jim. The spreads are wide, but we don't have exposure to the total. I think we got exposure to about 30% of our capacity of that spread.

So to the extent we have exposure, yes, we'll benefit. I'm not sure how much it will make up.

Colton Bean -- Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. -- Analyst

Appreciate that. And just a quick final one. The ethylene storage capacity, I don't think that was online until almost the end of December. Can you just update us on what you've seen there and how you're expecting exports to turn over the course of the year? I appreciate it.

Chris D'Anna -- Senior Vice President, Petrochecmicals

Our storage hub was actually online the prior year, but we finished our storage tank at the export terminal at the end of the year. And we were operating at pretty high rates before the tank was in service. And having that tank just allows us to optimize dock loadings and dilute at higher rates. So really, at this point, we have contracts in place, but it's really going to be determined by the global arbitrage.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Are you sold out?

Chris D'Anna -- Senior Vice President, Petrochecmicals

We're sold out with -- with some opportunity for spot business.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Kyle May from Capital One Securities. Your line is open.

Kyle May -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, guys. I just wanted to maybe go into a little bit. In the release, you talked about analyzing renewable project opportunities. So just want to get a feel for maybe what you're looking at and then how that would fit with the business.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. It -- it wasn't really renewable opportunities. What we said, we've got some growth projects that we're looking at that are, if you would, consistent with the energy evolution, not necessarily specifically renewable projects.

Kyle May -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

OK. Got it. I appreciate that. Can you maybe go into a little bit more details on what those projects would be?

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Not really.

Kyle May -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

OK. Fair enough. And second question would be, I believe you've mentioned that your -- your growth capex could move a little bit higher to around $2 billion this year. Any more details around what would push you to that upper end?

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

The previous question.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah.

Kyle May -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

All right. Fair enough. Thanks, guys.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

OK.

Operator

We have a question from Jean Ann Salisbury from Bernstein. Your line is open.

Jean Ann Salisbury -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Ethane storage in the U.S. is at record levels, frankly, more ethane storage than I knew existed. Can you comment on if that's mostly your inventory and perhaps your view on if this high storage will dampen ethane prices in 2021?

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Brent?

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

Yeah. I mean we're seeing -- we saw ethane storage peaked in the fourth quarter. We're seeing it roll off as crackers came back online. Ethane was a little bit challenged during the fourth quarter as ethane is trying to clean up.

I think we're fundamentally bullish a lot of things as it relates to hydrocarbons. I think in terms of an outright price on ethane, I still think you have to have some sort of baseline gas call. But if you look at how this market balances with demand and supply on ethane, and if you look at the demand coming online, you hear what Tony says about supply, from talking to our customers, ultimately, ethane, and you're seeing it happen. We've seen it happen in the last several weeks.

Ethane has to work and go to work, to go price, to get back into the NGL stream. So whether that means coming from further away or whether that means that people have to adjust prices in the Permian Basin, we believe that these markets need to balance. And I think fundamentally, we're probably -- I don't know, I've read -- I read your reports, Jean, and I don't know if we're going to see some numbers that we -- that I've read from you a month or two months back, but I think we're aligned that we're fairly bullish ethane.

Jean Ann Salisbury -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Thank you. [Inaudible] That's helpful. And Asia propane prices were quite high for much of December and January. Can you comment if you were able to capture a material amount of marketing margin there? Or did most of that go to the shipping company?

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

I think -- look -- this is Brent again. We have a massive presence in NGLs. So when price goes to work in NGLs, I think it's fair to assume that somehow Enterprise participates in it.

Jean Ann Salisbury -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks a lot, Brent. That's all for me.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Pearce Hammond from Simmons. Your line is open.

Pearce Hammond -- Simmons Energy -- Analyst

Yeah, thank you, and good morning. Thanks for taking my questions. The first question is, what are your expectations for crude oil export volumes for 2021? And what are the puts and takes around that view?

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

OK. We're going to keep this as the Brent Secrest show, Brent? Now go to your answer that you gave earlier.

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

I mean -- so if you look at our volumes, I mean, I can speak specifically to Enterprise. Our volumes for crude exports have gone down. And so the pandemic has taught us a lot of things. And one thing that it has taught us is something that we've preached over the last several years is that Houston truly is a market.

And I understand and I see the numbers, too, that there's a lot of barrels going out of Corpus. But recognize the fact is once the train leaves the station in Midland and it heads to Corpus, it has to go to the water. What we offer in Houston is truly a market. And the domestic price that our customers achieve in Houston is higher than a price than they can achieve on the water.

And that's the reason they've elected to not take the barrel across the water. Now as Enterprise, from a profitability standpoint, I'd say we're somewhat agnostic to it. We can provide the service. We have no problem providing the service, but the domestic price in Houston is higher than Corpus.

So at some point, the market is going to require that barrel to go across the water once the global market needs that barrel. But right now, our customers are achieving a higher netback in Houston. And so you can see the volumes decline, but when it comes to revenue, frankly, our revenue stays flat. It will continue to stay flat for quite some time.

And then when we have to export, frankly, there's additional expenses that you undertake from exporting.

Pearce Hammond -- Simmons Energy -- Analyst

OK. That's super helpful. Thank you. And then my follow-up is, can you elaborate on the drivers of the current strength in the NGL market and how sustainable you think those are for 2021? And that's following up on some of the earlier questions.

Justin Kleiderer -- Vice President, Hydrocarbon Marketing

Yeah, this is Justin Kleiderer. I mean I think it's all chemical driven. I mean the demand for plastics as a function of what we've been experiencing throughout 2020, I think we expect to continue, and that's supporting the entire NGL value chain.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

What about your exports to Asia?

Justin Kleiderer -- Vice President, Hydrocarbon Marketing

On the export front, we continue to seem to set records on volume every quarter. We did in the fourth quarter as well. And I think we expect volumes to remain robust through '21.

Pearce Hammond -- Simmons Energy -- Analyst

OK. Thank you very much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Michael Blum from Wells Fargo. Your line is open.

Michael Blum -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Thanks. Good morning, everyone. I wanted to get your -- your thoughts on what's been going on at the Panama Canal and how that impacts or could impact in the future LPG movements kind of more on a long-term basis?

Justin Kleiderer -- Vice President, Hydrocarbon Marketing

Yeah, this is Justin. Again, I'll take a stab at it. I think what you saw and what you continue to see with the congestion could potentially change trade flows. However, I don't think that we expect it to materially do so in which that would impact volumes across Gulf Coast docks.

At the end of the day, barrels need to clear, the demand needs it, and they'll continue to pay the price to get it there.

Michael Blum -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you. And then you have a line in the press release that your goal, I guess, is to source 25% of your power from renewable sources by 2025. Can you just elaborate a little bit on that? Is that primarily replacing compressors along the pipelines? Or are there other areas where you think you're going to source that power?

Tony Chovanec -- Vice President, Fundamentals and Supply Appraisal

I think the power sourcing is from a wide variety of areas. We've -- over the last number of years, if you look 10 years plus, we've been going more and more to electrical drivers in our new facilities. But power is really sourced both from opportunistic, being able to go out and acquire solar power as well as the ERCOT grid provides a significant amount of renewable power.

Michael Blum -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

OK. Thank you so much.

Operator

We have a question from Shneur Gershuni from UBS. Your line is open.

Shneur Gershuni -- UBS -- Analyst

Hi, good morning, everyone. I wanted to start off with a question on the Permian. There's been a lot of talk over the last year and a half or so about the Permian overbuild thesis. And I was just wondering if I can get your broader thoughts on it.

Is the industry really discussing it correctly? And I'm kind of wondering along the lines of how we look at the egress out of the Permian. Is there a way to think about it in terms of egress to Cushing versus egress to demand centers, you were just talking about how great Houston is kind of a demand center for a market. And so as we sort of think about it over time, when pipelines come up for recontracting and so forth, is there going to be a different price for pipelines that evacuate crude to Houston, Corpus to the demand centers versus toward Cushing. And should there be kind of a dual market that sort of emerges over time? And just kind of thinking about your thoughts on -- on how that entirely plays itself out.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

This is Jim. Brent's pointing his finger to me, but I got more hay points than him. So Brent, you want to answer that question?

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

I mean, I think what we're seeing flowing to Cushing, you guys can see the arbs between Midland and the overcapacity build that's coming out of Midland. I think there's some barrels that there's refining complexes are going to want to go from Midland to Cushing. If you look at volumes and what they've done month over month, they continue to go down. Much like most areas in this country, I would say there's too much pipeline capacity going to Cushing.

Now how that pipeline capacity gets rationalized and how it gets repurposed or what direction it flows that remains to be seen. As far as Corpus and Houston, I'd argue, hey, they all work great when barrels are flowing and going straight to the water, and there's no decision to make. And that work -- there's a bunch of players that worked 15 months ago. But --

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Brent, speak to the magnitude that you're building.

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

So I mean in terms of what we offer to Houston in terms of the refining capacity, the access to it from pipeline connectivity, if you look at the amount of storage of the Houston Gulf Coast versus Corpus, you're talking hundreds of millions of capacity. It can weather storms like we saw in 2020 versus what they offer at Corpus. When you look at grades, what people can do with different grades, what their export customers want with different grades. And if you look at, frankly, our announcement last week with Magellan, and working on a pricing point that works, frankly, for everybody.

It works for producers, it should work for refiners, it should work for consumers, and the fact there's transparency for people to go out and conduct their business long term. And whether that's a hedge that they buy, whether that's a hedge that they sell, and then they can decide to execute on that or they take it across the water or not, but they don't have to take it across the water. They can go sell it back in the market if the [arb] doesn't work. Versus other ports where, frankly, you have vessels floating around out there who're hoping the phone rings.

So because they once that phone rings and say, "Hey, I need you," then, frankly, the people all they have to do is go beat the price of Midland. And I think that gets sold there for a while.

Shneur Gershuni -- UBS -- Analyst

OK. OK. So bottom line, the -- the evacuation to the Gulf Coast should be more valuable than the evacuation to Cushing.

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

This is going to work over time as contracts roll off. I mean, you got some sticky contracts that people have and markets evolve over time and people learn lessons. In terms of our presence on barrels going from Midland to Cushing is very, very small. But you can sit there and probably look at pipeline flows that are going from Midland to Cushing and say, that is something that is incredibly overbuilt.

Shneur Gershuni -- UBS -- Analyst

Got it. OK. Perfect. And -- and maybe to pivot a little bit here.

Randy, in your prepared remarks, you had mentioned the word -- you don't want to use the word programmatic. And I definitely appreciate not wanting to say that with respect to buybacks, but you do have a target of -- of 2% of CFFO, which is kind of programmatic in nature. Enterprise did buyback 3% of their stock last year. Have there been any internal discussions around raising that target to 5% or even 10% before green lighting growth capital? And as part of the larger discussion around buybacks, just given where your debt is trading at, any thoughts on tolerating a quarter turn extra leverage, just to use the opportunity to take out some units given where they're trading.

And it would help, obviously, reduce the -- the distribution claim on cash flows. I think you put in your slides at 67%. Just wondering if you can give us an expanded discussion on that -- on your thought process there.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Shneur, I put that statement in there about opportunistic versus programmatic just to head off this question and I guess it didn't work. You asked a number of them there. The 2% target that we talked about for buybacks was really with respect to 2020.

Coming in this year, again, we're getting into new territory in the second half of this year as far as -- I mean, what we see now based on current expectations, where we'll be discretionary free cash flow positive. And we just come back in. This has really been 2020 and even coming in here to 2021 has been a very dynamic environment with a lot of uncertainties. And boy, you can go down the list of sort of what the uncertainties are as we enter into this year.

And we're just not at a place, we think it's premature to come in and provide any guidance on what we're going to do with returning capital buybacks or distributions at this point in time. The distribution that we announced in January, I don't think that should have been a surprise to anybody. We've been increasing distributions 22 years in a row. So that shouldn't have been surprising.

We talked about trying to keep purchase power parity on our distribution. We don't have a lot of inflation, but we wanted to come in and go ahead and bump the distribution. But when -- when it comes to the buyback, we'd just like to get a little bit more visibility for '21.

Shneur Gershuni -- UBS -- Analyst

All right. That makes sense. Appreciate the color you make, guys. Thank you very much, and stay safe.

Operator

We have a question from Keith Stanley from Wolfe Research. Your line is open.

Keith Stanley -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Wanted to follow up on the 2021 outlook. So in the past, you've alluded to, I think, $500 million to $600 million of sort of outsized spread market-based opportunities was Permian crude spreads in -- in '19, contango spreads in '20. I'm wondering how you think about kind of what we're seeing in NGL and petchem markets so far in Q1? And if this is potentially the next thing to -- to backfill the -- what you saw in 2020 on contango.

And tying that into, I think, earlier, I just want to confirm, you made a comment about 2021 maybe being flattish overall to 2020, just how all that ties together. Thanks.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. Randy says it's going to be flat and I endorse that, and it makes Justin Kleiderer nervous. So we'll turn it over to him.

Justin Kleiderer -- Vice President, Hydrocarbon Marketing

Yes, Justin, I think you hit on what I'm about to say for the reasons that I'm going to say it, which is the opportunities that we see are certainly going to be different in the past and most certainly going to be different than 2020. But I think we firmly believe that they're going to be there. It could be on NGLs and petchem, like you alluded to. I think we feel good about the opportunity set there.

But the future holds opportunities that we can't forecast, but we do forecast them to be there. So we're geared up to meet Jim's target.

Keith Stanley -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Great. And then just one clean-up item. So just thinking about the working capital, and I wouldn't normally ask this, but it's kind of large. So you -- you referenced, it was over $700 million use of cash in 2020 for working capital items.

It was almost $500 million in 2019. So that's over $1 billion. Is -- I'm assuming that's just related to greater storage and marketing, but when would you expect to get this cashback? And just how should we think about that going forward?

Chris Nelly -- Senior Vice PresidentFinance and Treasurer

Yeah, Keith, this is Chris Nelly. A lot of that working capital use is just if you look at the forward curve, should be coming back over the next couple of quarters. But again, going back to what Justin just stated that a lot of that is going to be dependent upon market opportunities are out there and what working capital utilization will then be as a result. So again, those are self-liquidating short-term deals that have high returns.

Keith Stanley -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Thanks.

Operator

Your next question comes from Ujjwal Pradhan from Bank of America. Your line is open.

Ujjwal Pradhan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for taking my question. I just wanted to ask first on the growth projects that are going to service in 2021 that you noted in the press release. Could you talk about the cost associated with these with respect to the '21 budget and perhaps return expectations for the three projects in the press release?

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. We typically don't talk about capital costs of specific projects. I will say this that the projects that are coming online are all on time on budget. We also don't talk about returns of specific projects a little bit for the same reason that we don't come in and we're not -- we're reluctance talk about projects under development is we've got a lot of competitors on these calls, and we'd just not get into too much detail.

We -- in the earnings support slides, we do provide a list of projects under development. Jackie, what page?

Unknown speaker

It's one Page 6 [Inaudible].

Ujjwal Pradhan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Got it. I -- I -- I see it in Page 6. My question was about each of these projects sort of how much do they contribute to that 2021 budget versus the PDH 2, which I know is a big-ticket item in the budget is still.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Bear with me just a minute. Yeah, when you come in and you look at the -- of the $1.6 billion that we expect to invest in capital projects in 2021, probably the PDH 2 represents about a third of it.

Ujjwal Pradhan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Got it. That's helpful. Thanks for that. And a quick follow-up with regards to the planned increase in renewable power uses.

Could you comment on whether that would be neutral to your current power costs or a reduction to it? Thank you.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Could you repeat the question, please?

Ujjwal Pradhan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

The cost of the additional renewable power uses, will that be neutral to your current power costs or any reduction to it?

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

It will be neutral to our current power costs.

Ujjwal Pradhan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Michael Lapides from Goldman Sachs. Your line is open.

Michael Lapides -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hey, guys. Thank you for taking my question. I actually have a couple, several that are short-term kind of 2021 focus and then one longer-term one. On 2021, can you talk about the cadence of capex during the year? Meaning, is it very front-end loaded when I think about the $6 billion of growth capex.

That's the first question. The second is the $400 million or so of cost savings that -- that you realized in 2020, does some of that come back in 2021? So when you refer to flattish EBITDA, is there cost pressure? Or are there incremental opex savings? And then the last one is probably for Brent or Tony. When Wink to Webster fully comes online, how do you think that impacts the battle between Houston and Corpus for crude and crude exports?

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

OK. Michael, I'll take that first one. Probably, as far as capex, there's -- there's a little bit more in the first half of the year compared to the second half, but -- but not a lot.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

And Brent?

Tony Chovanec -- Vice President, Fundamentals and Supply Appraisal

As far as the operating cost, a big driver for us in 2021 compared to 2020 will be the turnarounds that we have primarily at PDH and BEF. So that's kind of an outlier compared to 2020. In 2020, we did a lot of focus on cost. We've got some of our base cost structure down, part through supply chain negotiations that enabled us to lower cost.

We've also focused very much on the -- data is driving, how we manage the cost, a lot on our power utilization in one area. Those are going to be sustainable costs.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Frac optimization.

Tony Chovanec -- Vice President, Fundamentals and Supply Appraisal

Frac optimization. And sometimes when we look at -- when we look at cost savings, we really look at overall value, sometimes -- particularly on the optimization of our fractionators. We're using a lot of data to drive that. And sometimes, it's cost reduction, sometimes it's just overall value optimization.

But I feel -- I feel good about going into 2021. And our cost management that we did in 2020, we'll continue that on in 2021

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

I think -- this is Brent. I think on -- when Wink to Webster, it's up, right, but it's going to continue to ramp up over the next several months and so we've seen this before, Corpus' pipelines came on, took barrels from Houston. We looked at the people involved with Wink to Webster, they're obviously going to go take barrels from the -- from pipelines that go to Corpus and all this stuff when the tide starts rolling out, we'll find out who has contracts and who does and what's sticky and what's not. So I would expect barrels to decrease that are flowing to Corpus and roll over to Wink to Webster.

There may be some pipelines that frankly don't have contracts that are going to Houston that they may take from those pipelines. So we've seen this happen over the last couple of years.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

What's your pipeline? What's your contract position?

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

To Jim's question, what's our contract position, and Brad Motal is going to go into this at our analyst meeting, but we got about 1 million barrels a day of committed contracts for crude oil that last, called out to 2028 and beyond. So it's hard for me to say that we're going to have a bunch of discretionary barrels until the Permian Basin recovers, and that's going to take years, but I feel when it comes to weathering the storm, we'll be OK.

Michael Lapides -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Do you think there's an opportunity for people to -- other owners or even yourself to repurpose pipes? And if so, to kind of hopefully tighten the crude pipeline market, and if so, what kind of opportunities are out there? Do you see the NGL pipe market getting tighter as well? Or do you think that's as oversupplied as the crude side?

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

I fundamentally believe that capacity has to be rationalized and there's different ways to do that. And you can be repurposed or inefficient operators can, frankly, figure out something else to do. Those assets shut down. But the industry as a whole has to probably figure this out.

As far as the details that we look at, we're not going to go into it, but I think it's naive to assume that we don't look at figuring out how to solve some of these capacity issues that are existing in the market.

Michael Lapides -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you, guys. Much appreciated.

Randy Burkhalter -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Dexter, we have time for one more question from our audience.

Operator

OK. And your last question comes from Yves Siegel from Siegel Asset Management. Your line is open.

Yves Siegel -- Siegel Asset Management -- Analyst

Yeah. Thank you. Good morning, everybody. My question really relates to -- to growth.

And the underlying premise, I think, of most of the questions today, goes back to what Jim sort of laid out that -- that fossil fuels are going to disappear. And so it's more playing defense than playing offense. So the question really relates to how do you folks think about the long-term opportunities for growth? How much operating leverage is there right now? And what are the longer-term opportunities perhaps that you see going forward? And -- and if I could, just one editorial real quick. In terms of leverage and stock buybacks, I totally appreciate Shneur's question.

But the other aspect of that is that you lever up, you have to live with the -- with the consequences. And I think being conservative has -- has really held you in a pretty good position for a very long time. So, thanks, guys.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Let me take the question.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Yves.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

This is Jim. I'm not sure we can spell defense. We're always on the offense. And we're working on some pretty exciting projects, recognizing that we need to be responsible about it, but we're looking at some pretty exciting things.

And Brent said, it takes years in the Permian. I'm a firm believer mean that price fuels all yields. And Tony is bullish on hydrocarbon prices in the future, but not as bullish as I am and prices create supply. And I think you're going to see -- I'm a believer in the Permian.

I'm a believer in the Eagle Ford. If you have federal land issues in New Mexico, we've got a hell of a position in the Eagle Ford, maybe rigs go down there. So I feel pretty good about things. And I feel good about the things we're working on that we said earlier, we're not going to talk about.

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. And, Yves, appreciate your comment on that. If you come back in and you look at the midstream over time, we went through a couple of periods, where whether it was -- whether it was an investor driven or whether it was general partners with IDR driven, it was distribution growth, distribution growth, distribution growth, and, and you heard the request for that, and you saw a lot of that. And a little bit, you -- you -- we were conservative in that.

We tried to do something that would -- again, we're trying to build a partnership that's durable for the long term. And a little bit of the tortoise and hare. And you -- you had a lot of midstream companies that got too far out over their skis on distribution growth, and you've seen them come back in and cut. And a little bit when we think about returning capital, we're -- again, we're trying to build a durable partnership.

We have a proven track record of returning capital back to our investors, I mean, 70% last year. And -- but I think we're going to be deliberate in what we do. And again, a lot of uncertainties, and we'll continue to return capital to our investors. But the other thing, I think, with some of the mantra that you hear on buyback, buyback, buyback, and some of these companies better watch out.

You get too aggressive on buybacks, and that can come in and bite you in the future, too. So that's a little bit why we're being deliberate. And -- but I appreciate your comment.

Yves Siegel -- Siegel Asset Management -- Analyst

OK. Well, thanks, guys.

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Yves. That ends our call today. And the management team here at Enterprise, really, thanks you for joining us. We're going to leave the call now.

Dexter, would you please give our listeners the replay information. And thank you, all, again for joining us.

Operator

OK. A replay of today's call will be available today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To access, please dial 800-585-8367 or 404-537-3406 and enter the conference ID number, 6088764.

Again, a replay of today's call will be available today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To access, please dial 800-585-8367 or 404-537-3406 and enter the conference ID number, 06088764. [Operator signoff]

Duration: 62 minutes

Call participants:

Randy Burkhalter -- Vice President of Investor Relations

Jim Teague -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Randy Fowler -- Co-Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy Tonet -- J.P. Morgan -- Analyst

Tony Chovanec -- Vice President, Fundamentals and Supply Appraisal

Brent Secrest -- Chief Commercial Officer

Colton Bean -- Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. -- Analyst

Chris D'Anna -- Senior Vice President, Petrochecmicals

Kyle May -- Capital One Securities -- Analyst

Jean Ann Salisbury -- Sanford C. Bernstein -- Analyst

Pearce Hammond -- Simmons Energy -- Analyst

Justin Kleiderer -- Vice President, Hydrocarbon Marketing

Michael Blum -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Shneur Gershuni -- UBS -- Analyst

Keith Stanley -- Wolfe Research -- Analyst

Chris Nelly -- Senior Vice PresidentFinance and Treasurer

Ujjwal Pradhan -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Unknown speaker

Michael Lapides -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Yves Siegel -- Siegel Asset Management -- Analyst

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