CenterPoint Energy pivots around its core operations which include power and gas distribution utilities, and natural gas pipeline, gathering, and marketing operations. CenterPoint Energy's regulated utilities distribute natural gas to 3.3 million customers in six US states and electricity to more than 2 million customers on the Texas Gulf Coast. The company's main stomping ground is Texas, where it has regulated power distribution operations through subsidiary CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric. CenterPoint Energy operates more than 48,230 miles of power distribution lines, 8,000 miles of interstate gas pipeline, and 3,800 miles of gas gathering pipeline. It also provides natural gas field services.
The company's natural gas distribution subsidiaries serve customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. (Texas represented 47% of all natural gas distribution customers in 2010). CenterPoint Energy also markets natural gas and related services to 12,200 commercial, industrial, and wholesale customers located primarily in the eastern US. It also provides HVAC and other energy-related services through its gas division.
CenterPoint Energy's sales dropped dramatically in 2009 as the global recession prompted a slump in commodity prices which hurt the performance of its different energy segments. A reviving economy in 2010 led to a stronger demand for power and gas (coupled with rate increases and weather-related spikes in consumption) resulting in a overall jump in revenues and net income that year.
CenterPoint Energy's strategy is focused on enhancing and expanding existing core operations, while acquiring complementary and synergistic businesses. In 2011 the company acquired Denver-based natural gas marketing firm Asgard Energy, which supplies gas to agricultural, commercial, industrial, and residential customers in five states (Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and West Virginia). The acquisition fit into CenterPoint's strategy to expand into the Rockies and diversify into residential choice markets.
In 2012, to add to its midstream assets, CenterPoint Energy Field Services (CEFS), an indirect subsidiary of the company, acquired gathering and processing assets from Prism Gas Systems, a subsidiary of Martin Midstream Partners for $275 million. The assets include Prism's 50% stake in Texas-based Waskom Gas Processing Co. A CEFS subsidiary owns the other 50% stake in Waskom. – less