Good observations. The GP buy-out reduces future costs by eliminating IDRs, and the payout on Tres Palacios likely depends on expected volumes from the Marcellus, which should materialize in 2012.
Another factor is the re-financing of the debt, which resulted in a $49M charge in Q2. This is a non-cash item, a write-off of costs capitalized when that debt was issued, and it reduces future debt amortization costs by the same $49M.
So there are three major factors in the financials that obscure the results of the underlying business. Most analysts pretty much ignore these factors, just as they focus on EPS to the exclusion of DCF, which most MLP investors believe is far more important.
Add in the pipeline IPO and 2012 may look better than expected for NRGY.
Tres Palacios is in South Texas, so it may be impacted by Eagle Ford gas, but not likely by Marcellus, other than the impact that Marcellus production has on overall Nymex and Henry Hub pricing, which in turn has a trickle down effect on storage.