The original public entity was HPG (Heritage Propane Partners) and was formed in 1996. A reverse merger between Heritage and Energy Transfer which was a privately held entity happened in January of 2004 and the name was changed shortly thereafter. The original distribution was $2.00/unit and on an after split basis are now paying $7.15. Distribution raises started sometime in the early 2000's and escalated after the company became ETP. Although raises have been frequent, not every quarter produces a raise as evidenced by the last 2 quarter distributions announced.
One thing to keep in mind over the next few quarters is that many MLP's will need to cut their distribution because prices have not rebounded for NG and CL. As a result rigs are being stacked and the count may go as low as 800. ETP because of its massive systems will be able to absorb volume decreases over Q3 and Q4 of 2009. Also, a majority of their revenue stream is secured by firm contracts. Although ETP may not increase their distribution in 2009 significantly they will be able to maintain their current level. Many MLP's wont!!!!!!!!(APL for example)