Crosstex blames sinkhole for lower margins

The Bayou Corne sinkhole and a weaker processing environment lowered pipeline company Crosstex Energy’s fourth-quarter gross operating margin, the company reported.

The Dallas-based firm said revenue less the cost of purchased natural gas and natural gas liquids was down by $9.3 million.

Gross operating margins for Crosstex’s Louisiana pipelines and processing plants were down $21.1 million for the year — for the same reasons, the company reported.

In September, Crosstex said the sinkhole would force the company to close off a 36-inch pipeline and reroute it.

The company was also forced to find alternative natural gas supplies for customers.

Closing that section of the pipeline would cost Crosstex $250,000 to $300,000 a month, according to the company. The cost to move the pipeline, a yearlong project, was estimated at $20 million to $25 million.