The sunny southwestern US is smiling on Southwest Gas. The largest gas supplier in Arizona and Nevada, it provides natural gas to almost 1.9 million customers in the two states, as well as in portions of California. Southwest Gas acquires its natural gas from almost 40 suppliers and pumps it through distribution mains. It also owns a transmission pipeline that supplies the Las Vegas area, and affiliate Paiute Pipeline transports gas from the Idaho-Nevada border to Reno and Lake Tahoe. Another Southwest Gas unit, NPL Construction, is an underground piping contractor that serves gas distributors. During 2011 this unit served 64 major customers.
The company secures natural gas supplies for its southern system (Arizona, southern Nevada, and southern California properties) from producing regions in Colorado and New Mexico (San Juan basin), Texas (Permian basin), and Rocky Mountain areas. The northern system (northern Nevada and northern California properties) is supplied from Rocky Mountain gas-producing areas and from Canada.
Southwest Gas added 22,000 new gas customers in 2011, but lower gas prices and weaker transportation service demand resulted in a drop in natural gas revenues. However, a robust jump in construction sales (thanks to an increase in federal and state pipeline safety-related programs) helped the company to post an overall 3% revenue growth. Net income was up 8% for the year, as low gas prices, lower financing costs, and higher construction revenues, increased the company's operating margin.
According to CEO Jeffrey Shaw, the 2011 increase in meter connections and customers were the first signs (since the economic downturn began in 2007) that significant numbers of vacant homes in its service are were becoming occupied and having service restored.
Southwest Gas was founded in Barstow, California in 1931. – less