10-K 1 ogs-20231231.htm 10-K ogs-20231231
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023.
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from __________ to __________.
Commission file number   001-36108
ONE Gas, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Oklahoma46-3561936
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
  
15 East Fifth Street
Tulsa,OK74103
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code   (918) 947-7000

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading SymbolName of exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per shareOGSNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  Large accelerated filer ☒ Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No ☒

The aggregate market value of the equity securities held by nonaffiliates based on the closing trade price of the registrant on June 30, 2023, was $4.1 billion.

On February 16, 2024, we had 56,546,006 shares of common stock outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:
Portions of the definitive proxy statement to be delivered to shareholders in connection with the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held May 23, 2024, are incorporated by reference in Part III.
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ONE Gas, Inc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item 1.
Business
Cybersecurity
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases
of Equity Securities
Item 6.
[Reserved]
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 
Item 7A.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
Item 9.
Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.
Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.
Other Information
Item 9C.
Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections
Part III.
Item 10.
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.
Executive Compensation
Item 12.
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder
Matters
Item 13.
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Part IV.
Item 15.
Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16.
Form 10-K Summary
Signatures

As used in this Annual Report, references to “we,” “our,” “us” or the “Company” refer to ONE Gas, Inc., an Oklahoma corporation, and its predecessors and subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

The statements in this Annual Report that are not historical information, including statements concerning plans and objectives of management for future operations, economic performance or related assumptions, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include words such as “will,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “should,” “goal,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “could,” “may,” “continue,” “might,” “potential,” “scheduled,” “likely” and other words and terms of similar meaning. Although we believe that our expectations regarding future events are based on reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will be achieved. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are described under Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors, and Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation, Forward-Looking Statements, in this Annual Report.

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AVAILABLE INFORMATION

We make available, free of charge, on our website (www.onegas.com) our Annual Reports, Quarterly Reports, Current Reports on Form 8-K, amendments to those reports filed or furnished to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act and reports of holdings of our securities filed by our officers and directors under Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Such materials are available as soon as reasonably practicable after filing such material electronically or otherwise furnishing it to the SEC, which also makes these materials available on its website (www.sec.gov). Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Certificate of Incorporation, bylaws, the written charters of our Audit Committee, Executive Compensation Committee, Corporate Governance Committee and Executive Committee and our ESG Report are also available on our website, and copies of these documents are available upon request.

In addition to filings with the SEC and materials posted on our website, we also use social media platforms as channels of information distribution to reach investors and other stakeholders. Information contained on our website and posted on or disseminated through our social media accounts is not incorporated by reference into this report.

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GLOSSARY
The abbreviations, acronyms and industry terminology used in this Annual Report are defined as follows:
AAOAccounting Authority Order
ADITAccumulated deferred income taxes
AFUDCAllowance for funds used during construction
Annual ReportAnnual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023
ASCAccounting Standards Codification
ASUAccounting Standards Update
BcfBillion cubic feet
CAAFederal Clean Air Act, as amended
CERCLA
Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
of 1980, as amended
CFTCCommodities Futures Trading Commission
CISACybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Clean Water ActFederal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972, as amended
CNGCompressed natural gas
CodeInternal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
COSACost-of-Service Adjustment
DART
Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Incident Rate; calculated by multiplying the total number of recordable injuries and illnesses, or one or more restricted days that resulted in an employee transferring to a different job within the company by 200,000, and then dividing that number by the total number of hours worked by all employees
DHSUnited States Department of Homeland Security
DOTUnited States Department of Transportation
DthDekatherm
ECPThe ONE Gas, Inc. Amended and Restated Equity Compensation Plan (2018)
EDITExcess deferred income taxes resulting from a change in enacted tax rates
EPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
EPSEarnings per share
EREmissions Reduction; measured by the reduction of MTCO2e emissions through planned vintage main replacements and service line replacements.
ERTEmergency Response Time; calculated as the time between the creation of an emergency order and the arrival of a first company responder to the scene expressed as the percentage of emergency orders with a response time of 30 minutes or less
ESGEnvironmental, social and governance
ESPPThe ONE Gas, Inc. Amended and Restated Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Exchange ActSecurities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
FASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
FERCFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
GAAPAccounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America
GRIPGas Reliability Infrastructure Program
GSRSGas System Reliability Surcharge
HDDHeating degree day is a measure designed to reflect the demand for energy needed for heating based on the extent to which the daily average temperature falls below a reference temperature for which no heating is required, usually 65 degrees Fahrenheit
IRSUnited States Internal Revenue Service
ITInformation Technology
KCCKansas Corporation Commission
KDHEKansas Department of Health and Environment
KGSS-IKansas Gas Service Securitization I, L.L.C.
LDCLocal distribution company
LIBORLondon Interbank Offered Rate
MGPManufactured gas plant
MMcfMillion cubic feet
Moody’sMoody’s Investors Service, Inc.
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MTCO2eMetric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent
NPRMNotice of proposed rulemaking
NYSENew York Stock Exchange
OCCOklahoma Corporation Commission
ODFAOklahoma Development Finance Authority
ONE GasONE Gas, Inc.
ONE Gas Credit AgreementONE Gas’ $1.2 billion revolving credit agreement, as amended
OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration
PBRCPerformance-Based Rate Change
PHMSAUnited States Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
PIPES ActProtecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (PIPES) Act of 2020
PVIR
Preventable Vehicle Incident Rate; calculated by multiplying the number of total preventable vehicle incidents by 1,000,000 and then dividing that number by the total number of business use miles driven
Quarterly Report(s)Quarterly Report(s) on Form 10-Q
RNGRenewable natural gas
ROE
Return on equity calculated consistent with utility ratemaking principles in each jurisdiction in which we operate
RRCRailroad Commission of Texas
S&PStandard & Poor’s Ratings Services
SECSecurities and Exchange Commission
Securities ActSecurities Act of 1933, as amended
Securitized Utility Tariff BondsSeries 2022-A Senior Secured Securitized Utility Tariff Bonds, Tranche A
Securitized Utility Tariff PropertySecuritized Utility Tariff Property as defined in the financing order issued by the KCC in August 2022
Senior NotesONE Gas’ registered unsecured notes consisting of $300 million of 3.61 percent senior notes due February 2024, $473 million of 1.10 percent senior notes due March 2024, $300 million of 5.10 percent senior notes due April 2029, $300 million of 2.00 percent senior notes due May 2030, $300 million of 4.25 percent senior notes due September 2032, $600 million of 4.66 percent senior notes due February 2044 and $400 million of 4.50 percent senior notes due November 2048
SOFRSecured Overnight Financing Rate administered by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
TCEQTexas Commission on Environmental Quality
TNG CorporationTexas Natural Gas Securitization Finance Corporation
TPFATexas Public Finance Authority
TRIR
Total Recordable Incident Rate; calculated by multiplying the number of recordable cases by 200,000, and then dividing that number by the number of hours worked by all employees
TSAUnited States Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration
WNAWeather normalization adjustment(s)
XBRLeXtensible Business Reporting Language

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PART I.

ITEM 1.    BUSINESS

OUR BUSINESS

ONE Gas, Inc. is incorporated under the laws of the state of Oklahoma. Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the trading symbol “OGS,” and is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index. We are a 100-percent regulated natural gas distribution utility, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and one of the largest publicly traded natural gas utilities in the United States. We are the successor to the company founded in 1906 as Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, which became ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE: OKE) in 1980. On January 31, 2014, ONE Gas officially separated from ONEOK, Inc.

We provide natural gas distribution services to approximately 2.3 million customers and are the largest natural gas distributor in Oklahoma and Kansas and the third largest in Texas, in terms of customers. We primarily serve residential, commercial and transportation customers in all three states. Our largest natural gas distribution markets in terms of customers are Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Wichita and Topeka, Kansas; and Austin and El Paso, Texas. Our three divisions, Oklahoma Natural Gas, Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service, distribute natural gas to approximately 89 percent, 71 percent and 13 percent of the natural gas distribution customers in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, respectively.

OUR STRATEGY

Our mission is to deliver natural gas for a better tomorrow. Our business strategy is focused on:

Safe and Reliable Energy - We are committed, first and foremost, to pursuing a zero-incident safety and 100-percent compliance culture. A significant portion of our capital spending is focused on the safety, integrity and reliability of our natural gas distribution system. We also deploy a variety of operational and damage prevention procedures and technologies to monitor and maintain our natural gas distribution system. Our Company’s focus on safety also extends to protecting our assets and information systems from physical damage and cyber intrusions.

A High-performing Workforce - Our employees are the foundation of our Company. Our success begins with a values-driven culture and a commitment to engaging people to do their best work in an inclusive environment.

Capital Demand Growth - Through capital investments, we meet growing customer demand, support economic development, and manage our system investments for the long-term.

Clean Energy Solutions - Our assets are essential to a clean energy future. We are focused on reducing our emissions and supporting our customers’ emission reduction efforts.

Serving Customers - We provide reliable and affordable energy to our customers by efficiently managing our resources and leveraging technology solutions to enhance operational efficiency. Our energy efficiency and education programs help our customers invest in higher efficiency appliances and reduce energy usage. For customers needing assistance, we offer payment arrangement options and seek to connect customers to social service agencies that provide financial assistance.

REGULATORY OVERVIEW

We are subject to regulation and oversight of the state and local regulatory authorities of the territories in which we operate. Rates and charges for natural gas distribution services are established by the OCC for Oklahoma Natural Gas and by the KCC for Kansas Gas Service. Rates and charges in the incorporated cities of our service areas in Texas are established by those cities, which have primary jurisdiction for their respective service areas. Rates and charges in the unincorporated areas of our service territory in Texas are established by the RRC. All appellate matters in Texas are subject to regulatory oversight by the RRC. These regulatory authorities have the responsibility of ensuring that the utilities under their jurisdiction provide safe and reliable service at a reasonable cost, while providing utilities the opportunity to earn a fair and reasonable return on their investments.

Generally, our rates and charges are established in rate case proceedings. Regulatory authorities may also approve mechanisms that allow for adjustments between rate cases for investments made or specific costs incurred. Due to the nature of the regulatory process, there is an inherent lag between the time that we make investments or incur additional costs and the setting of new rates and/or charges to recover those investments or costs. Additionally, we are not allowed recovery of certain costs we incur.
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The following provides additional detail on the regulatory mechanisms in the jurisdictions we serve.

Oklahoma - Oklahoma Natural Gas currently operates under a PBRC mechanism, which provides for streamlined annual rate reviews between rate cases to adjust rates for incremental capital investment and changes in revenue and allowed expenses. Under this mechanism, we have an authorized ROE of 9.4 percent, with a 100 basis point dead-band of 8.9 to 9.9 percent. If our achieved ROE is below 8.9 percent, our base rates are increased upon OCC approval to an amount necessary to restore the ROE to 9.4 percent. If our achieved ROE exceeds 9.9 percent, the portion of the earnings that exceeds 9.9 percent is shared with our customers, who receive the benefit of 75 percent of those earnings. We retain the benefit of the remaining 25 percent. Oklahoma Natural Gas is required to make filings pursuant to the PBRC mechanism for the 12 months ended December 31 for each of the years 2021 through 2025. Oklahoma Natural Gas is also required to file a rate case on or before June 30, 2027, based on a test year ending December 31, 2026.

Kansas - Kansas Gas Service files periodic rate cases with the KCC as needed. Between rate cases, Kansas Gas Service adjusts rates through provisions of the GSRS statute. The GSRS statute allows Kansas Gas Service to file for a rate adjustment providing a recovery of and return on qualifying infrastructure investments incurred between rate case filings, including safety-related investments to replace, upgrade or modernize obsolete facilities, as well as projects that enhance the integrity of pipeline system components or extend the useful life of such assets. Eligible investments also include expenditures for relocations and physical and cyber security. Filings cannot occur more often than once every 12 months and the rate adjustment cannot increase the monthly charge by more than $0.80 per residential customer per month compared with the most recent GSRS filing. Rate adjustments reflected in the GSRS surcharge may only be collected for 60 months before Kansas Gas Service is required to file a rate case or cease collection of the surcharge. A full rate case may be filed at shorter intervals if desired by either Kansas Gas Service or the KCC.

Texas - Texas Gas Service provides service to customers in various service areas. These service areas are further divided into incorporated cities and unincorporated areas. Periodic rate cases are filed with cities or the RRC, as needed. Between rate cases, Texas Gas Service can adjust rates through annual filings pursuant to the GRIP statute or a COSA tariff. In 2022, Texas Gas Service’s customers were aggregated in five service areas. Effective February 2023, three of these service areas were consolidated, reducing the total number of service areas to three.

Annual filings under the GRIP statute allow Texas Gas Service to recover depreciation, taxes, and a return on the annual net increase in investment for a service area. After the fifth anniversary of the effective date of the rate schedules from the first GRIP filing for a service area, Texas Gas Service is required to file a full rate case. A full rate case may be filed at shorter intervals if desired by either Texas Gas Service or the regulator. In 2023, Texas Gas Service made annual GRIP filings for the incorporated cities and unincorporated areas in two of its service areas, which combined comprise 91 percent of Texas Gas Service’s customers.

Weather normalization - All of our service areas utilize weather normalization mechanisms. These mechanisms are designed to reduce the delivery charge component of customers’ bills for the additional volumes used when actual HDDs exceed normalized HDDs and to increase the delivery charge component of customers’ bills for the reduction in volumes used when actual HDDs are less than normal HDDs. Normal HDDs are established through rate proceedings in each of our jurisdictions.

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The following tables provide additional detail on our rate structures and the regulatory mechanisms in each of our jurisdictions:

DivisionJurisdiction
Effective Date of Last Action(1)
Rate Base (millions)Pre-Tax Rate of ReturnEquity RatioROE
Oklahoma Natural Gas (2)
OklahomaJune 2023$2,0668.95%59%9.40%
Kansas Gas Service (3)
KansasNovember 2023$1,3308.60%
N/A
9.30%
Texas Gas Service (2)
Central-GulfJune 2023$6178.95%59%9.50%
West-NorthJune 2023$5898.91%60%9.60%
Rio Grande ValleyJanuary 2024$1608.95%59%9.70%
DivisionJurisdictionInterim Rate Adjustment MechanismInterim Capital RecoveryWNAWNA Effective DatesEnergy Efficiency / Conservation Program
Oklahoma Natural GasOklahomaPBRCYesYesNovember - AprilYes
Kansas Gas Service (3)
KansasGSRSYesYesJanuary - DecemberNo
Texas Gas ServiceCentral-GulfGRIPYesYesSeptember - MayYes
West-NorthGRIPYesYesSeptember - MayNo
Rio Grande ValleyGRIPYesYesSeptember - MayYes
DivisionJurisdiction
Purchased Gas Adjustment(4)
Bad Debt Recovery(5)
Expense Trackers(6)
Oklahoma Natural GasOklahomaYesYesN/A
Kansas Gas Service (3)
KansasYesYesYes
Texas Gas ServiceCentral-GulfYesYesYes
West-NorthYesYesYes
Rio Grande ValleyYesYesYes
(1)Effective date of last approved rate case or interim filing.
(2)
The rate base, authorized ROE, authorized debt/equity ratio and authorized return on equity presented in this table are those from the most recent approved regulatory filing for Oklahoma Natural Gas and Texas Gas Service.
(3)Kansas Gas Service’s most recent rate case, approved in February 2019, settled without a determination of rate base, ROE, authorized debt/equity ratio and authorized return on equity. This reflects Kansas Gas Service’s estimate of rate base from that rate case adjusted for approved GSRS filings and ROE embedded in the pre-tax carrying charge utilized in its GSRS filing.
(4)Our purchased gas adjustment mechanisms allow recovery of expenses the Company incurs to purchase, transport, and store natural gas for our customers. These costs are passed on to customers without markup.
(5)
We recover the gas cost portion of bad debts through our various purchased gas adjustment mechanisms.
(6)
Expense trackers include pension and other postemployment benefits costs for Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service, ad-valorem taxes in Kansas and pipeline integrity testing expenses in Texas.

Our natural gas sales include fixed and variable charges related to the delivery of natural gas and gas costs that are passed through to our customers in accordance with our cost of natural gas regulatory mechanisms. Fixed charges reflect the portion of our natural gas sales attributable to the monthly fixed customer charge component of our rates, which does not fluctuate based on customer usage in each period. Variable charges reflect the portion of our natural gas sales that fluctuate with the volumes delivered and billed and the effects of weather normalization.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, approximately 89 percent, 56 percent, and 70 percent of our revenues from sales customers, excluding the cost of natural gas, were recovered from fixed charges for Oklahoma Natural Gas, Kansas Gas Service, and Texas Gas Service, respectively.

MARKET CONDITIONS AND SEASONALITY

Supply - We purchased 160 Bcf and 165 Bcf of natural gas supply in 2023 and 2022, respectively. Our natural gas supply portfolio consists of contracts with varying terms from a diverse group of suppliers. We award these contracts through competitive-bidding processes to ensure reliable and competitively priced natural gas supply. We acquire our natural gas supply from natural gas processors, marketers and producers.

An objective of our supply-sourcing strategy is to provide value to our customers through reliable, competitively priced and flexible natural gas supply and transportation from multiple production areas and suppliers. This strategy is designed to mitigate the impact on our supply from physical interruptions, financial difficulties of a single supplier, natural disasters and other
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unforeseen force majeure events, as well as to ensure that adequate supply is available to meet the variations of customer demand.

We do not anticipate problems with securing natural gas supply to satisfy customer demand; however, if supply shortages were to occur, we have curtailment provisions in our tariffs that allow us to reduce or discontinue natural gas service to large industrial users and to request that residential and commercial customers reduce their natural gas requirements to an amount essential for public health and safety. In addition, during times of critical supply disruptions, curtailments of deliveries to customers with firm contracts may be made in accordance with guidelines established by appropriate federal, state and local regulatory agencies.

Natural gas supply requirements for our sales customers are impacted by weather and economic conditions. Our customers’ usage may also change in response to a variety of factors, including:
the occurrence of a significant disruption in natural gas supplies, either by itself, or accompanied by higher or lower natural gas prices;
the availability of more energy-efficient construction methods or home improvements such as installation or replacement of insulated doors and windows, additional or energy efficient insulation and installation or replacement of existing appliances with more efficient appliances; and
fuel switching from natural gas to other energy alternatives.

In each jurisdiction in which we operate, changes in customer usage are considered in the periodic redesign of our rates.

As of December 31, 2023, we had 58.1 Bcf of natural gas storage capacity under contract with remaining terms ranging from one to ten years and maximum allowable daily withdrawal capacity of approximately 1.7 Bcf. This storage capacity allows us to purchase natural gas during the off-peak season and store it for use in the winter periods. This storage is also needed to support the reliability of gas deliveries during peak demands for natural gas. Approximately 32 percent of our winter natural gas supply needs for our sales customers is expected to be supplied from storage.

In managing our natural gas supply portfolios, we partially mitigate price volatility for our customers using a combination of natural gas in storage, fixed-price natural gas contracts, and financial derivatives. We have natural gas financial hedging programs that have been authorized by the OCC, KCC and certain jurisdictions in Texas. We do not utilize financial derivatives for speculative purposes, nor do we have trading operations associated with our business.

Demand - See discussions below under Seasonality, Competition and CNG for factors affecting demand for our services.

Seasonality - Natural gas sales to residential and commercial customers are seasonal, as a substantial portion of their natural gas requirements are for heating. Accordingly, the volume of natural gas sales is normally higher during the months of November through March than in other months of the year. The impact on our natural gas sales resulting from weather temperatures that are above or below normal is offset partially through our WNA mechanisms. See the tables above under Regulatory Overview for additional information.

Competition - We encounter competition based on customers’ preference for natural gas, compared with other energy alternatives and their comparative prices. We compete primarily to supply energy for space and water heating, cooking and clothes drying. Significant energy usage competition occurs between natural gas and electricity in the residential and small commercial markets. Customers and builders typically make the decision on the type of equipment, and therefore the energy source, at initial installation, generally locking in the chosen energy source for the life of the equipment. Changes in the competitive position of natural gas relative to electricity and other energy alternatives have the potential to cause a decline in consumption of natural gas or in the number of natural gas customers.

We are subject to competition from other pipelines for our large industrial and commercial customers. Under our transportation tariffs, qualifying industrial and commercial customers are able to purchase their natural gas supply from the provider of their choice and contract with us to transport it for a fee. A portion of the transportation services that we provide are at negotiated rates that are below the maximum approved transportation tariff rates. Reduced-rate transportation service may be negotiated when a competitive pipeline is in close proximity or another viable energy option is available to the customer. In Texas, we are also subject to competition from other local distribution companies.

CNG - In meeting demand for CNG for motor vehicle transportation, particularly from fleet operators who value its lower greenhouse gas emissions and operating fuel costs relative to gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles, we supply natural gas to CNG fueling stations. We deploy capital to connect our system to CNG stations built and operated by third parties. As of December 31, 2023, we supply 152 fueling stations, 37 of which we operate in conjunction with our own fleets. Of the 115
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remaining stations, 69 are retail and 46 are private stations. We transported approximately 2.8 million Dth to CNG stations each year in 2023 and 2022.

Alternative Fuels – RNG and hydrogen technologies offer potential opportunities to secure new gas supply sources that could be transported through our pipelines. Our evaluation of these technologies and opportunities includes: (1) establishing interconnection guidelines for delivery of alternative fuels to our system, (2) working directly with developers and end-use customers to identify potential alternative fuel supply projects, (3) analyzing pipeline system integrity and gas supply implications, including sourcing opportunities, related to hydrogen use in our system, (4) partnering with industry groups to identify opportunities for hydrogen blending and utilization, and (5) evaluating the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of alternative fuels. See additional information regarding RNG in the “Regulatory Activities” section of Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


ENVIRONMENTAL AND SAFETY MATTERS

See Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in this Annual Report for information regarding environmental and safety matters.

HUMAN CAPITAL

We intentionally foster an inclusive work culture, where a broad range of viewpoints are welcome, to develop an engaged and high-performing workforce and an environment where top talent wants to work.

Employment - We employed approximately 3,900 people at February 1, 2024, including approximately 700 people at Kansas Gas Service who are subject to collective bargaining agreements. The following table sets forth our contracts with collective bargaining units at February 1, 2024:

UnionApproximate EmployeesContract Expires
The United Steelworkers400May 31, 2025
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 300June 30, 2024

We recognize that employees are a key stakeholder group for the success of our business. Therefore, we perform an annual survey to monitor and assess employee engagement.

Workplace Health and Safety - Safety is our number one core value. We are committed to pursuing a zero-incident safety culture, which can reduce risk, enhance productivity and build a strong reputation in the communities in which we operate. Our success is reliant on training and development, performance management and shared responsibility that focuses on engagement and ensures our employees know what is expected to keep themselves, their co-workers, our customers and communities safe. To reinforce our commitment to the safety and well-being of our co-workers, customers and communities, our short-term incentive compensation program includes four operational measures, ER, DART, PVIR and ERT. These measures focus on the importance of personal injury prevention, reducing the severity of injuries, safe driving, and public safety. The following table sets forth our performance for the periods indicated:

Years Ended December 31,
Operational measure202320222021
ER3,076
TRIR1.370.96
DART0.160.220.22
PVIR1.821.842.10
ERT64.8%62.7%62.7%

DART and PVIR are personal safety metrics tracked by the American Gas Association. We regularly rank in the top quartile for similar-sized LDCs for these metrics.

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We are committed to a supportive culture of physical, financial, emotional and social wellness for employees. We provide health and wellness programs to support and inspire our employees to make healthy personal and professional lifestyle choices.

Inclusion and Diversity - Our core values include inclusion and diversity, and we believe in creating opportunities to recognize the value and voice of every employee. As part of our commitment, we have and continue to consider inclusion and diversity implications in our recruiting process, Company training, and Company performance monitoring. For example, we monitor our workforce diversity statistics across roles and seniority levels. Additionally, we make available conscious inclusion training to all employees.

We have an Inclusion and Diversity Council, which is chaired by our Chief Executive Officer, and includes six employees serving as permanent members, and 14 employees serving as rotating members with three-year terms. The Inclusion and Diversity Council provides governance and guidance for implementing our strategy and sharing our vision of an inclusive and diverse workforce. In addition, we have employee-led resource groups to provide community and support to our employees based on shared characteristics, interests or experiences.

INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

All executive officers are elected annually by our Board of Directors and each serves until such person resigns, is removed or is otherwise disqualified to serve or until such officer’s successor is duly elected. Our executive officers listed below include the officers who have been designated by our Board of Directors as our Section 16 officers.
Name Age*Business Experience in Past Five Years
Robert S. McAnnally602021 to presentPresident, Chief Executive Officer and Director
2020 to 2021Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
2015 to 2020Senior Vice President, Operations
Christopher P. Sighinolfi402024 to presentSenior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
2022 to 2024Vice President, Corporate Development and Investor Relations
2021 to 2022Vice President, Corporate Development
2016 to 2021Managing Director, Jefferies Financial Group, Inc.
Joseph L. McCormick642014 to presentSenior Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary
Curtis L. Dinan562021 to presentSenior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
2020 to 2021Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer
2019 to 2020Senior Vice President, Commercial
2018 to 2019Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mark A. Bender592015 to presentSenior Vice President, Administration and Chief Information Officer
W. Kent Shortridge572022 to presentSenior Vice President, Operations and Customer Service
2018 to 2022Managing Vice President, Operations
Brian F. Brumfield562022 to presentVice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller
2017 to 2022Controller, Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy
Angela E. Kouplen492023 to presentSenior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
2022 to 2023Vice President of Administration and Chief Information Officer, the University of Tulsa
2021 to 2022Vice President and Chief Information Officer, the University of Tulsa
2016 to 2021Senior Vice President of Administration and Chief Information Officer, WPX Energy
* As of January 1, 2024
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No family relationship exists between any of the executive officers, nor is there any arrangement or understanding between any executive officer and any other person pursuant to which the officer was selected.

ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS

Our investors should consider the following risks that could affect us and our business. Although we believe we have discussed the key factors, our investors need to be aware that other risks may prove to be important in the future. New risks may emerge at any time, and we cannot predict such risks or estimate the extent to which they may affect our financial performance. Investors should carefully consider the following discussion of risks and the other information included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report, including Forward-Looking Statements, which are included in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

OPERATIONAL RISKS

Our business is subject to operational hazards and unforeseen interruptions that could materially and adversely affect our business and for which we may not be insured adequately.

We are subject to all the risks and hazards typically associated with the natural gas distribution business that could affect the public safety as well as the reliability of our distribution system. Operating risks include, but are not limited to, leaks, accidents, pipeline ruptures and the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes. Other operational hazards and unforeseen interruptions include adverse weather conditions, accidents, explosions, fires, the collision of equipment or vehicles with our pipeline facilities and catastrophic events, such as severe weather events, hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, sustained extreme temperatures, earthquakes, floods, acts of terrorism, pandemics and other health crises, or other similar events beyond our control. Climate change could cause these catastrophic events to become more severe or more frequent. It is also possible that our facilities, or those of our counterparties or service providers, could be direct targets or indirect casualties of an act of terrorism, including cyber-attacks. These issues could result in legal liability, repair and remediation costs, increased operating costs, significantly increased capital expenditures, regulatory fines and penalties and other costs and a loss of customer confidence.

Our general liability, cyber, and property insurance policies for many of these hazards and risks are subject to certain limits, deductibles, and policy exclusions. The insurance proceeds received for any loss of, or any damage to, any of our systems or facilities or to third parties may not be sufficient to restore the total loss or damage. Further, the proceeds of any such insurance may not be received in a timely manner. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may be unable to attract and retain management and professional and technical employees, or we may experience workforce disruptions due to strikes or work stoppages by our unionized employees, which could adversely impact our operations, earnings, and cash flows.

Our ability to implement our business strategy, satisfy our regulatory requirements, and serve our customers is dependent upon our ability to continue to recruit and employ a skilled, agile, diverse, and engaged workforce consisting of talented and experienced managers, professional and technical employees. The competition for talent has become increasingly intense and we may experience increased employee turnover due to a tight labor market. If we are unable to recruit and retain an appropriately qualified workforce, we could encounter operating challenges primarily due to a loss of institutional knowledge and expertise, errors due to inexperience, or the lengthy time period typically required to adequately train replacement personnel. In addition, higher costs could result from loss of productivity, increased safety compliance issues, or cost of contract labor. Additionally, approximately 18 percent of our employees are represented by collective-bargaining units under collective-bargaining agreements. Disputes over the agreements or failure to timely and effectively renegotiate new agreements upon their expiration could have a negative effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations or result in a work stoppage. Any future work stoppage could, depending on the breadth and the length of the work stoppage, have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The availability of adequate natural gas pipeline transportation and storage capacity and natural gas supply may decrease and impair our ability to meet customers’ natural gas requirements and our financial condition may be adversely affected.

In order to meet customers’ natural gas demands, we rely on and must obtain sufficient natural gas supplies, pipeline transportation and storage capacity from third parties. If we are unable to obtain these, our ability to meet our customers’ natural gas requirements could be impaired. If a substantial disruption to or reduction in natural gas supply, pipeline capacity or
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storage capacity occurred due to operational failures or disruptions, legislative or regulatory actions, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, extreme cold weather, acts of terrorism, or cyber-attacks or acts of war, our operations or financial results could be adversely affected.

Our business increasingly relies on technology, the failure of which may adversely affect our financial results and cash flows.

Due to technological advances, we have become more reliant on technology to effectively operate our business. We use computer programs and applications to help run our business, including an enterprise resource planning system that integrates data and reporting activities across our Company. Additionally, certain portions of our IT systems and infrastructure are provided or maintained by third-party vendors. The failure of these or other similarly important technologies, the lack of alternative technologies, or our inability to have these technologies supported, updated, expanded, or integrated into other technologies, could hinder our operations, and adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.

The occurrence of cyber breaches or physical security attacks on our business, or those of third parties, may disrupt or adversely affect our operations or result in the loss or misuse of confidential and proprietary information.

Any cyber breaches or physical security attacks, or threats of such attacks, that affect our IT systems, distribution facilities, customers, suppliers and third-party service providers or any financial data could disrupt normal business operations, expose sensitive information, and/or lead to physical damages that may have a material adverse effect on our business. A severe attack or security breach could adversely affect our business reputation, diminish customer confidence, disrupt operations, subject us to financial liability or increased regulation, increase our costs and expose us to material legal claims and liability which may not be fully covered by insurance, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected. As cyber or physical security attacks become more frequent and sophisticated, we could be required to incur increased costs to strengthen our systems or to obtain additional insurance coverage against potential losses. Federal and state regulatory agencies, such as DHS and TSA, are increasingly focused on risks related to physical security and cybersecurity in general and have promulgated more stringent security regulations specifically for certain federal contractors and critical infrastructure sectors, including natural gas distribution. Any failure to comply with such government regulations may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to various risks associated with climate change which could increase our operating costs or restrict our opportunities in new or existing markets, adversely affecting our financial results, growth, cash flows and results of operations.

Climate change may increase the likelihood of extreme weather in our service territory, and our customers’ energy use could increase or decrease depending on the duration and magnitude of any changes. A decrease in energy use due to weather changes may affect our financial condition through decreased revenues and cash flows which are not adequately offset by our WNA mechanisms. Extreme weather conditions in general require increased system resiliency, adding to costs, and can contribute to increased system stresses, including service interruptions. Weather conditions outside of our operating territory could also have an impact on our revenues and cash flows by affecting natural gas prices and the availability of our leased transportation and storage capacity. Weather impacts our operations primarily through severe weather events, including hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, sustained extreme temperatures, snow and ice storms, earthquakes, floods, or other similar events beyond our control. To the extent the frequency of extreme weather events increases, our costs of providing service and our working capital requirements could increase.

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REGULATORY AND LEGISLATIVE RISKS

We are subject to federal, state, and local regulation of the safety of our systems and operations, including pipeline safety, system integrity, and the safety of our employees and facilities that may require significant expenditures or, in the case of noncompliance, substantial fines or penalties.

We are subject to regulation under federal pipeline safety statutes promulgated by PHMSA, DOT, OSHA, and any analogous state regulations. These include safety requirements for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of pipelines, including transmission and distribution pipelines. Additionally, the workplaces associated with our facilities are subject to the requirements of DOT and OSHA, and comparable state statutes that regulate the protection of the health and safety of workers. Compliance with existing or new laws and regulations may result in increased capital, operating and other costs which may not be recoverable in rates from our customers or may impact materially our competitive position relative to other energy providers. The failure to comply with these laws, regulations and other requirements, or an accident or injury to employees could expose us to civil or criminal liability, enforcement actions, fines, penalties, or injunctive measures that may not be recoverable through our rates and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and reputation.

We are subject to federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations that could impact our ability to earn a reasonable rate of return on our invested capital and to fully recover our invested capital, operating costs, and natural gas costs.

We are subject to regulatory oversight from various federal, state, and local regulatory authorities, including the OCC, KCC, RRC and various municipalities in Texas. Regulatory actions from these authorities relate to allowed rates of return, rate design and construct, and purchased gas and operating cost recovery. Therefore, our returns are continuously monitored and are subject to challenge for their reasonableness by regulatory authorities or third-party intervenors. Our ability to obtain timely future rate increases depends on regulatory discretion and therefore, there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain rate increases, fully recover our costs or that our authorized rates of return will continue at the current levels, which could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows.

In the normal course of business, assets are placed in service before regulatory action is taken, such as filing a rate case or seeking interim recovery under a capital tracking mechanism that could result in an adjustment of our returns. Once we make a regulatory filing, regulatory bodies have the authority to suspend implementation of the new rates while evaluating the filing. Because of this process, we may suffer the negative financial effects of having placed assets in service that do not initially earn our authorized rate of return or may not be allowed recovery on such expenditures at all.

We are subject to environmental regulations and legislation, including those intended to address climate change, which could increase our operating costs, adversely affecting our financial results, growth, cash flows and results of operations.

We are subject to laws, regulations and other legal requirements enacted or adopted by federal, state and local governmental authorities, including the EPA and any analogous state agencies, relating to protection of the environment, including those that govern discharges of substances into the air and water, the management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste, the clean-up of contaminated sites, groundwater quality and availability, plant and wildlife protection, as well as work practices related to employee health and safety. Environmental legislation also requires that our facilities, sites, and other properties associated with our operations be operated, maintained, abandoned, and reclaimed to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory authorities. The failure to comply with any laws, regulations, permits and other requirements, or the discovery of presently unknown environmental conditions, could expose us to civil or criminal liability, enforcement actions and regulatory fines and penalties and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

International, federal, regional and/or state legislative and/or regulatory initiatives may attempt to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane, as a response to the threat of climate change. Various states and municipalities have adopted or are considering adopting legislation, regulations or other regulatory initiatives that are focused on areas such as greenhouse gas cap and trade programs, carbon taxes, reporting and tracking programs, and restrictions on emissions. Such laws or regulations could impose costs tied to carbon emissions, operational requirements or restrictions, or additional charges to fund energy efficiency activities. They could also incentivize alternative energy sources, impose costs or restrictions on end users of natural gas, or result in other costs or requirements, such as costs associated with the adoption of new infrastructure and technology to respond to new mandates.

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We are subject to federal, state, and local laws, rules and regulations that could affect our operations and financial results.

Our business and operations are subject to regulation by a number of federal agencies, including FERC, CFTC, IRS and various state agencies in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, and we are subject to numerous other federal and state laws and regulations. Future changes to laws, regulations and policies may impair our ability to compete for business or recover costs and could adversely affect our cash flows, restrict our ability to make capital investments and may cause us to increase debt and take other actions to conserve cash. Any compliance failure related to these laws and regulations may result in fines, penalties or injunctive measures affecting our operating assets. The fines or penalties for noncompliance with laws and regulations may not be recoverable through our rates. Our failure to comply with applicable regulations could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

FINANCIAL, ECONOMIC AND MARKET RISKS

Unfavorable economic and market conditions could adversely affect our financial condition, earnings, cash flows and limit our future growth.

Weakening economic activity in our markets and supply chain disruptions could result in a loss of existing customers, fewer new customers, especially in newly constructed homes and other buildings, or a decline in energy consumption, any of which could adversely affect our revenues or restrict our future growth. These conditions may make it more difficult for customers to pay their natural gas bills, leading to slow collections and higher-than-normal levels of accounts receivable, which in turn could increase our financing requirements and bad debt expense. Customers may also experience difficulties paying their natural gas bills in the instance of severe weather events that result in higher usage and higher natural gas prices, reducing our collections and increasing our financing requirements and bad debt expense, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity, and prospects.

Changes in supply and demand within the natural gas markets, as well as other factors, could cause an increase in the price of natural gas. Market conditions can also lead to short-term price spikes in natural gas prices, such as high demand during periods of extreme cold weather or system constraints at specific delivery locations. An increase in the price of natural gas could cause us to experience a significant increase in short-term or long-term debt because we must pay suppliers for natural gas when purchased.

We cannot predict the timing, severity, or duration of any future economic slowdowns or natural gas market disruptions. Fluctuations and uncertainties in the economy may result in higher interest rates and inflationary pressures on the costs of goods, services, and labor. This could increase our expenses and capital spending and decrease our cash flows if we are not able to recover or recover timely such increased costs from our customers. The foregoing could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Our business activities are concentrated in three states.

We provide natural gas distribution services to customers in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Changes in the regional economies, politics, regulations, regulatory decisions by state and local regulatory authorities, and weather patterns of these states could adversely impact our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The inability to access capital or significant increases in the cost of capital could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

Our ability to obtain adequate and cost-effective financing is dependent upon the liquidity of the financial markets, as well as our financial condition and credit ratings. Our long-term debt is currently rated as “investment grade” by both of our rating agencies. We rely upon access to both the short-term and long-term credit and capital markets to satisfy our liquidity requirements. If adverse credit conditions or a downgrade in our ratings outlook were to cause a significant limitation on our access to the private credit and public capital markets, we could see a reduction in our liquidity. A significant reduction in our liquidity could in turn trigger a negative change in our ratings outlook or a reduction in our credit ratings by one or both of our rating agencies. Such a downgrade could further limit our access to private credit and/or public capital markets and increase our costs of borrowing. Additionally, the inability to access adequate capital or an increase in the cost of capital may require us to conserve cash, prevent or delay us from making capital expenditures, and require us to reduce or eliminate our dividend or other discretionary uses of cash.

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Our financing arrangements subject us to various restrictions that could limit our operating flexibility, earnings, and cash flows.

The indentures governing our Senior Notes and our ONE Gas Credit Agreement contain customary covenants that restrict our ability to create or permit certain liens, to consolidate or merge, or to convey, transfer or lease substantially all of our properties and assets. Events beyond our control could impair our ability to satisfy these requirements. As long as our indebtedness remains outstanding, these restrictive covenants could impair our ability to expand or pursue our growth strategy.

In addition, the breach of any covenants or any payment obligations in any of these debt agreements will result in an event of default under the applicable debt instrument. If an event of default were to occur, the holders of the defaulted debt may have the ability to cause all amounts outstanding with respect to that debt to be due and payable, subject to applicable grace periods. This could trigger cross-defaults under our other debt agreements, including our Senior Notes. Forced repayment of some or all of our indebtedness could require us to incur new debt at a higher cost, which would have an adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

We may pursue acquisitions, divestitures, and other strategic opportunities which, if not successful, may adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

As part of our strategic objectives, we may pursue acquisitions to complement or expand our business, as well as divestitures and other strategic opportunities. We may not be able to successfully negotiate, finance or receive regulatory approval for future acquisitions or integrate the acquired businesses with our existing business and services. These efforts may also distract our management and employees from day-to-day operations and require substantial commitments of time and resources. Future acquisitions could result in potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, a decrease in our liquidity as a result of our using a significant portion of our available cash or borrowing capacity to finance the acquisition, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities and amortization expenses and substantial goodwill. The effects of these strategic decisions may have long-term implications that are not likely to be known to us in the short-term. We may be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire.

ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 1C.    CYBERSECURITY

We commit significant resources to protecting and continuing to improve the security of our computer systems, software, networks, and other information or operations technology assets. Our cybersecurity efforts are designed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and continued availability of all information owned by, or in the care of, the Company and protect against, among other things, cybersecurity attacks by unauthorized parties attempting to obtain access to confidential information, destroy data, disrupt or degrade service, sabotage systems, or otherwise cause damage.

Governance

Our Board of Directors considers cybersecurity risk one of the significant risks to our business. As such, the Board of Directors has retained responsibility for overseeing policies and procedures related to cybersecurity and data privacy matters. The Board of Directors routinely evaluates our cybersecurity strategy to review its effectiveness. Management provides reports to the Board of Directors at least quarterly regarding cybersecurity and other information and operations technology risks.

The Company established a governance committee to provide governance and oversight of security and compliance related activities for security and IT in support of their effective and efficient management of risks, strategies, and operational imperatives for the Company. The committee is chaired by our Chief Information Officer and the membership includes a cross-functional team of executives from IT/cybersecurity, operations, customer service, commercial, risk and insurance, finance, and the legal department. The committee is structured to cultivate collaboration across the enterprise and to align and prioritize resources with our strategic plan.

Risk Management and Strategy

The cybersecurity function is centralized under the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, who has over three decades of experience in information technology. The cybersecurity function is comprised of a dedicated team of professionals who work continuously to monitor risks relating to cybersecurity resilience strategy, policy, standards, architecture, and
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processes. We identify and address cybersecurity risks by employing a defense-in-depth methodology, consisting of both proactive and reactive elements. This requires a comprehensive program involving advanced monitoring and defense technology along with recurring situational drills that exercise incident response and crisis management plans. We leverage dedicated internal resources, along with strategic external partnerships, to mitigate cybersecurity threats to the Company. In the event a cybersecurity incident occurs, we maintain cybersecurity insurance to provide appropriate resources for both financial and cyber expertise. We have partnerships for penetration testing, incident response, and various third-party assessments. We deploy both commercially available solutions and proprietary systems to actively manage threats to our technology environment.

Oversight

Our cybersecurity oversight includes our internal control environment, cybersecurity standards, benchmarks, and internal governance committees. Annually, we assess, either internally or by an independent third-party, against multiple cybersecurity maturity models. We also leverage other industry standards and benchmarks, such as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) best practices to inform our oversight strategy. The governance committee functions to ensure adherence and accountability to these standards and deploy appropriate resources to keep pace with the shifting cybersecurity threat landscape.

We have policies and procedures to oversee and manage the cybersecurity risks associated with both internal or external threats including the regular review of security reports, relevant cyber attestations, and other independent cyber ratings. These practices include technical controls and processes, as well as contractual mechanisms to mitigate risk. Additionally, we utilize cyber ratings, prepared by reputable external agencies which provide an independent ranking of our cybersecurity maturity and coverage, to assess our cyber proficiency on a standalone basis and comparatively against peers and other companies reviewed annually by the Board of Directors. We have also implemented certain third-party risk management processes to vet, select, and monitor suppliers.

Furthermore, we have established an organizational unit within the legal and compliance department that provides independent compliance testing and review for our regulatory obligations, industry standards, and policies and procedures. It supports the IT and cybersecurity department by conducting formal assessments of compliance measures, consulting on control development and enhancement, and facilitating third-party assessments.

Response

In addition to the safeguards in place to minimize the likelihood and impact of a cyber incident, the Company has established response procedures to address in the event they may occur. These response procedures are designed to identify, analyze, contain, and remediate such cyber incidents in a timely, consistent, and compliant manner. Annually, the Company completes incident response, disaster response, and crisis management plan exercises to validate our current readiness. These exercises are intended to test our cybersecurity response plans and resources through simulated cybersecurity incidents, and may include engagement of outside cybersecurity legal counsel, other third-party partners, executive management, and our Board of Directors.

Education

The Company seeks to ensure every employee understands their role in keeping ONE Gas safe from cyber incidents. As part of this commitment, we require our employees to complete recurring cybersecurity awareness training that provides immediate feedback and, if necessary, additional training or remedial action to employees.

Experience

We have experienced no material cybersecurity breaches. As such, we have not spent any material amount of capital on addressing impacts during this time, nor have we incurred any material breach expenses from penalties and settlements. We maintain cybersecurity insurance coverage that we believe is appropriate for the size and complexity of our business.

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ITEM 2.    PROPERTIES

The following table sets forth the approximate miles of distribution mains and transmission pipelines we own as of December 31, 2023:

Properties (miles)OKKSTXTotal
Distribution19,600 11,800 11,100 42,500 
Transmission500 1,500 300 2,300 
Total properties20,100 13,300 11,400 44,800 

We lease approximately 300 thousand square feet of office space and other facilities for our operations. In addition, we have 58.1 Bcf of natural gas storage capacity under contract, with maximum allowable daily withdrawal capacity of approximately 1.7 Bcf.

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

See Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for information regarding legal proceedings.

ITEM 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

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PART II.

ITEM 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

MARKET HOLDERS AND DIVIDENDS

Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the trading symbol “OGS.”

At February 16, 2024, there were 8,969 registered shareholders of our common stock.

In January 2024, we declared a dividend of $0.66 per share ($2.64 per share on an annualized basis) for shareholders of record on February 23, 2024, payable on March 8, 2024.

Performance Graph

The following performance graph compares the performance of our common stock with the S&P MidCap 400 Utilities Index, the S&P MidCap 400 Index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and a ONE Gas peer group during the period beginning December 31, 2018 and ending on December 31, 2023. This graph assumes a $100 investment in our common stock and in each of the indices at the beginning of the period and a reinvestment of dividends paid on such investments throughout the period.


Graph Updated.png.jpg
Cumulative Total Return
As of Each Year Ended
December 31,
20192020202120222023
ONE Gas, Inc.$120.28 $101.36 $105.78 $106.40 $92.79 
S&P MidCap 400 Utilities Index$114.33 $98.47 $117.92 $117.74 $102.19 
S&P MidCap 400 Index$126.17 $143.39 $178.85 $155.42 $180.90 
Dow Jones Industrial Average$125.34 $137.53 $166.34 $154.92 $180.00 
ONE Gas Peer Group*
$118.15 $104.83 $123.73 $127.65 $123.31 
* The ONE Gas peer group used in this graph is the same peer group that will be used in determining our level of performance under our 2023 performance units at the end of the three-year performance period and is comprised of the following companies: Alliant Energy Corporation; Atmos Energy Corporation; Avista Corporation; Black Hills Corporation; CenterPoint Energy, Inc.; Chesapeake Utilities Corporation; CMS Energy Corporation; New Jersey Resources Corporation; NiSource Inc.; Northwest Natural Holding Company; NorthWestern Energy Group, Inc.; Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.; and Spire Inc.
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ITEM 6.    [RESERVED]

ITEM 7.    MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report. 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

We are a 100-percent regulated natural gas distribution company. As such, our regulators determine the rates we are allowed to charge for our service based on the revenue requirements needed to achieve our authorized rates of return. We earn revenues from the delivery of natural gas, but do not earn a profit on the natural gas that we deliver, as those costs are passed through to our customers at cost. The primary components of our revenue requirements are the amount of capital invested in our business, which is also known as rate base, our allowed rate of return on our capital investments and our recoverable operating expenses, including depreciation, interest expense and income taxes. The variable component of our rates is dependent on the consumption of natural gas, which is impacted primarily by the weather and, to a lesser extent, economic activity. While we have WNA mechanisms that adjust customers’ bills when actual HDDs differ from normalized HDDs, these mechanisms are in place for only a portion of the year, except in Kansas, and do not offset all fluctuations in usage resulting from weather variability. Accordingly, the weather can have either a positive or negative impact on our financial performance.

Our financial performance is contingent on a number of factors, including: (1) our regulatory construct, including the rates we are allowed to charge for our service, and the authorized rates of return on our investments in rate base; (2) the consumption of natural gas, which impacts the amount of natural gas sales derived from the variable component of our rates; (3) customer growth; (4) our operating performance; and (5) the perceived value of natural gas relative to other energy sources, particularly electricity, which influences our customers’ choice of natural gas to provide a portion of their energy needs.

We are subject to regulatory requirements for pipeline integrity, pipeline and cyber security, and environmental compliance. These requirements impact our operating expenses and the level of capital expenditures required for compliance. Historically, our regulators have allowed recovery of these expenditures. However, because integrity and environmental regulations are frequently changing, our capital and operating expenditures to comply are changing as well. Although we believe our regulators will continue to allow recovery of such expenditures in the future, we will continue to make these expenditures with no assurance about if, or over what period, we will be permitted to recover them.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Securitization transactions - In March 2023, the TNG Corporation completed the issuance of the Customer Rate Relief (Winter Storm Uri), Taxable Series 2023 Bonds. On March 23, 2023, we received our portion of the net proceeds, which was approximately $197 million. The proceeds were used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

In November 2022, KGSS-I issued $336 million of 5.486 percent Securitized Utility Tariff Bonds. KGSS-I used the proceeds from the issuance to purchase the Securitized Utility Tariff Property from Kansas Gas Service, pay for debt issuance costs, and reimburse Kansas Gas Service for upfront securitization costs paid by Kansas Gas Service on behalf of KGSS-I.

In August 2022, Oklahoma Natural Gas received proceeds of approximately $1.3 billion, which represents the amount of the securitization bonds issued by the ODFA, less issuance costs. The receipt of these proceeds represents Oklahoma Natural Gas’ recovery of approximately $1.3 billion of authorized extraordinary natural gas purchase costs and other operational costs incurred during Winter Storm Uri, as well as carrying costs.

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Long-Term Debt transactions - In December 2023, we issued $300 million of 5.10 percent senior notes due April 2029. The proceeds from the issuance were used to repay amounts outstanding under our commercial paper program and for general corporate purposes.

In August 2022, we issued $300 million of 4.25 percent senior notes due September 2032. The proceeds from the issuance were used to repay amounts outstanding under our commercial paper program and for general corporate purposes.

In August 2022, we called $750 million of the $1.0 billion of 0.85 percent senior notes due March 2023, $150 million of the $700 million of 1.10 percent senior notes due March 2024 and the remaining $400 million of outstanding floating-rate senior notes due March 2023, using the proceeds received from the securitization transaction for Oklahoma Natural Gas. In November 2022, we called the remaining $250 million of the $1.0 billion of 0.85 percent senior notes due March 2023 and $77 million of the $700 million of 1.10 percent senior notes due March 2024, using the proceeds from the securitization transaction for Kansas Gas Service.

See “Regulatory Activities,” “Liquidity and Capital Resources,” and Notes 1 and 3 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for additional discussion of the securitization transactions.

Equity issuances - On December 28, 2023, we settled under forward contracts 1,032,403 shares (289,403 from forwards related to an at-the-market equity distribution agreement and 743,000 from forwards related to underwriting agreements) of our common stock for net proceeds of $79.0 million, or $76.52 per share.

In December 2023, we amended the forward sale agreement we entered into in March 2023 to extend the maturity date of 657,000 shares to December 31, 2024 from December 29, 2023. The amended forward sale agreement provides for settlement on a date, or dates, to be specified at our discretion, but which will occur no later than December 31, 2024, for 1,257,000 shares of common stock.

In September 2023, we entered into an underwriting agreement and two forward sale agreements for 1.2 million and 180,000 shares of our common stock, respectively. The forward sale agreements provide for settlement on a date, or dates, to be specified at our discretion, but which will occur no later than December 31, 2024.

In June 2023, we executed forward sale agreements under our current at-the-market equity program for 926,465 shares of our common stock.

In March 2023, we entered into an underwriting agreement and a forward sale agreement for 2.0 million shares of our common stock. The forward sale agreement provided for settlement on a date, or dates, to be specified at our discretion, but which will occur no later than December 29, 2023, for 1.4 million shares of common stock and by December 31, 2024, for the remaining balance.

In February 2023, we entered into an at-the-market equity distribution agreement under which we may issue and sell shares of our common stock with an aggregate offering price up to $300 million. This at-the-market equity program replaced our previous at-the-market equity program, which began in February 2020, and expired in February 2023. Sales of common stock are made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions on the NYSE, in block transactions or as otherwise agreed to between us and the sales agent. We are under no obligation to offer and sell common stock under the program. At December 31, 2023, we had $225.5 million of equity available for issuance under the program.

ONE Gas Credit Agreement - In October 2023, we entered into an agreement that increased the capacity of the ONE Gas Credit Agreement to $1.2 billion from $1.0 billion.

In March 2023, we entered into an extension agreement related to the ONE Gas Credit Agreement that extended the maturity date to March 16, 2028, from March 16, 2027.

Other than the increased commitments and term extension, all other terms and conditions of the ONE Gas Credit Agreement remain in full force and effect.

Commercial paper program - In November 2023, we increased the capacity of our commercial paper program to $1.2 billion from $1.0 billion. Other than the increased capacity, all other terms and conditions of the commercial paper program remain in full force and effect.

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Dividend - In January 2024, we declared a dividend of $0.66 per share ($2.64 per share on an annualized basis) for shareholders of record as of February 23, 2024, payable on March 8, 2024.

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REGULATORY ACTIVITIES

Oklahoma - As required by our tariff, PBRC filings are made annually on or before March 15 until the next general rate case, which is required to be filed on or before June 30, 2027. In March 2023, Oklahoma Natural Gas filed its required PBRC application for the year ended December 2022. The filed request included a $27.6 million base rate revenue increase, $2.5 million energy efficiency incentive, and $11.9 million of estimated EDIT to be credited to customers in 2024. On June 13, 2023, a settlement in the case was filed with a proposed revenue increase of $26.3 million, a $2.5 million energy efficiency incentive, and a $12.6 million EDIT credit. Pursuant to its tariff, Oklahoma Natural Gas placed new rates into effect on June 29, 2023. In July 2023, the OCC issued an order approving the settlement.

In December 2022, Oklahoma Natural Gas filed a request for an RNG Pilot Program and Voluntary Tariff pursuant to the requirement in the rate case order approved in 2021. The tariff will allow all residential, small commercial and industrial sales customers to voluntarily purchase the environmental attributes of RNG up to the equivalent of 10 Dth per month. In September 2023, responsive testimony was filed by the Public Utility Division of the OCC and the Attorney General’s office supporting Oklahoma Natural Gas’ request. On October 6, 2023, a unanimous settlement recommending approval of the tariff was filed. On October 19, 2023, a hearing before an administrative law judge was held. At the conclusion of the hearing, the administrative law judge recommended approval of the tariff. On November 21, 2023 the OCC issued an order approving the RNG Pilot Program and Voluntary tariff and customer enrollment began on December 1, 2023. Approximately $2.4 million of RNG credits were purchased in December to support the program. Assessment of the tariff and pilot program will be made in the rate case required to be filed on or before June 30, 2027.

Kansas - In August 2023, Kansas Gas Service submitted an application to the KCC requesting an increase of approximately $8.0 million related to its GSRS. The KCC issued an order in November 2023 authorizing the increase, and the new surcharge became effective on December 1, 2023.

Texas - Pursuant to securitization legislation enacted in Texas as a result of Winter Storm Uri and a June 2021 RRC Notice to Gas Utilities, Texas Gas Service submitted an application to the RRC in July 2021 for an order authorizing the amount of extraordinary costs for recovery and other such specifications necessary for the issuance of securitized bonds.

In February 2022, the RRC issued a single financing order for Texas Gas Service and other natural gas utilities in Texas participating in the securitization process, which included a determination that the approved costs will be collected from customers over a period of not more than 30 years. The TPFA formed the TNG Corporation, a new independent public authority, to issue the securitized bonds.

In March 2023, the TNG Corporation completed the issuance of the Customer Rate Relief (Winter Storm Uri), Taxable Series 2023 Bonds and we received our portion of the net proceeds, which was approximately $197 million. The proceeds were used to repay certain indebtedness and for general corporate purposes. Interest costs that exceeded the amount securitized have been deferred and will be addressed in the next general rate proceeding in each applicable jurisdiction in Texas. In October 2023, Texas Gas Service began acting as a collection agent, with responsibility for collecting the securitization charges from customers that are then submitted to the TNG Corporation to repay the securitization bonds.

Central-Gulf Service Area - In February 2024, Texas Gas Service made GRIP filings for all customers in the Central-Gulf service area, requesting a $12.3 million increase to be effective in June 2024.

In February 2023, Texas Gas Service made GRIP filings for all customers in the Central-Gulf service area, requesting an $11.5 million increase to be effective in June 2023. All municipalities, and the RRC, approved the increase or allowed it to take effect with no action, in June 2023.

West-North Service Area - In March 2023, Texas Gas Service made GRIP filings for all customers in the West-North service area, requesting a $7.4 million increase to be effective in July 2023. In June 2023, El Paso, Socorro and Anthony denied the requested increase. Texas Gas Service appealed the municipalities’ actions to the RRC. All other municipalities, and the RRC, approved an increase of $7.3 million or allowed it to take effect with no action. Texas Gas Service implemented the new rates in June 2023, subject to adjustment depending upon the outcome of the appeal. In August 2023, the RRC granted the appeal and approved the increase.

In June 2022, Texas Gas Service filed a rate case seeking to consolidate its West Texas, North Texas and Borger/Skellytown service areas into a single West-North service area and requesting a rate increase of $13.0 million. In January 2023, the RRC
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approved the consolidation and a rate increase of $8.8 million premised on a return on equity of 9.6 percent and a common equity ratio of 59.74 percent equity. The new rates were implemented in February 2023.

Rio Grande Valley Service Area - In June 2023, Texas Gas Service filed a rate case for all customers in the Rio Grande Valley service area, requesting a $9.8 million increase. In November 2023, the parties filed a signed settlement agreement that included a 9.7 percent ROE and an overall revenue increase of $5.9 million. In January 2024, the administrative law judge issued a proposal for decision recommending approval of the settlement. On January 30, 2024, the RRC approved the administrative law judge’s decision and the new rates went into effect.
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FINANCIAL RESULTS AND OPERATING INFORMATION

We operate in one reportable business segment: regulated public utilities that deliver natural gas to residential, commercial and transportation customers. We evaluate our financial performance principally on net income.

Selected Financial Results - Net income was $231.2 million, or $4.14 per diluted share, $221.7 million, or $4.08 per diluted share, and $206.4 million, or $3.85 per diluted share, for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021, respectively.

The following table sets forth certain selected financial results for our operations for the periods indicated:
 Years EndedVariancesVariances
 December 31,
2023 vs. 2022
2022 vs. 2021
Financial Results202320222021Increase (Decrease)Increase (Decrease)
 (Millions of dollars, except percentages)
Natural gas sales$2,154.0 $2,412.9 $1,661.7 $(258.9)(11)%$751.2 45 %
Transportation revenues133.6 126.5 119.0 7.1 6 %7.5 %
Securitization customer charges48.7 5.8 — 42.9 740 %5.8 100 %
Other revenues35.7 32.8 27.9 2.9 9 %4.9 18 %
Total revenues2,372.0 2,578.01,808.6(206.0)(8)%769.4 43 %
Cost of natural gas1,134.5 1,459.1 775.0 (324.6)(22)%684.1 88 %
Operating costs580.1 540.4 516.1 39.7 7 %24.3 %
Depreciation and amortization279.8 228.5 207.2 51.3 22 %21.3 10 %
Operating income$377.6 $350.0 $310.3 $27.6 8 %$39.7 13 %
Net Income$231.2 221.7206.4$9.5 4 %$15.3 %
Capital expenditures and asset removal costs$728.7 $656.5 $544.3 $72.2 11 %$112.2 21 %

Natural gas sales to customers represent revenue from contracts with customers through implied contracts established by our tariffs and rates approved by regulatory authorities, as well as revenues from regulatory mechanisms related to natural gas sales. Additionally, natural gas sales include recovery of the cost of natural gas.

Our natural gas sales include fixed and variable charges related to the delivery of natural gas and gas costs that are passed through to our customers in accordance with our cost of natural gas regulatory mechanisms. Fixed charges reflect the portion of our natural gas sales attributable to the monthly fixed customer charge component of our rates, which does not fluctuate based on customer usage in each period. Variable charges reflect the portion of our natural gas sales that fluctuate with the volumes delivered and billed and the effects of weather normalization.

Transportation revenues represent revenue from contracts with customers through implied contracts established by our tariffs and rates approved by regulatory authorities, as well as tariff-based negotiated contracts.

Securitization customer charges represent revenue from contracts with customers through implied contracts established by the financing order approved by the KCC, related to the securitization of extraordinary costs incurred during Winter Storm Uri in the state of Kansas. See Note 17 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Quarterly Report for additional discussion of the securitization transaction in Kansas.


Other revenues include primarily miscellaneous service charges, which represent implied contracts with customers established by our tariffs and rates approved by regulatory authorities and other revenues from regulatory mechanisms.

Our average cost of gas rate decreased to $7.08 per Mcf for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $8.22 per Mcf in the prior year. Cost of natural gas includes commodity purchases, fuel, storage, transportation, hedging costs and settlement proceeds for natural gas price volatility mitigation programs approved by our regulators and other gas purchase costs recovered through our cost of natural gas regulatory mechanisms and does not include an allocation of general operating costs or depreciation and amortization. These regulatory mechanisms provide a method of recovering natural gas costs on an ongoing basis without a profit. Therefore, although our revenues will fluctuate with the cost of natural gas that we pass-through to our customers, operating income is not affected by fluctuations in the cost of natural gas.


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2023 vs. 2022 - Operating income increased $27.6 million due primarily to the following:
an increase of $61.6 million from new rates;
an increase of $6.3 million in residential sales due primarily to net customer growth; and
an increase of $4.9 million in ad valorem recoveries.

These increases were offset partially by:
an increase of $26.5 million in employee-related costs; and
an increase of $19.3 million in depreciation expense due to additional capital expenditures being placed in service.

Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023, include an increase of $42.9 million associated with KGSS-I, which is offset by an increase of $27.1 million in amortization and operating expense and $15.7 million in net interest expense.

Other Factors Affecting Net Income - Other factors that affect net income for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared with 2022, include an increase of $13.7 million in other income, net, and an increase of $37.8 million in interest expense. The increase in other income, net, is due primarily to a $12.0 million increase in the market value of investments associated with our nonqualified employee benefit plans. The increase in interest expense is due primarily to interest on our commercial paper, the issuance of $300 million of 4.250 percent senior notes in August 2022 and $336 million of 5.486 percent Securitized Utility Tariff Bonds in November 2022, compared with the same period last year.

EDIT - The return of EDIT to our customers is not expected to have a material impact on earnings, as any reduction or credit in rates is offset by a reduction in income tax expense. During the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, we credited income tax expense $22.4 million and $18.0 million, respectively, for the amortization of the regulatory liability associated with EDIT that was returned to customers.

Capital Expenditures and Asset Removal Costs - Our capital expenditures program includes expenditures for pipeline integrity, extending service to new areas, increasing system capabilities, pipeline replacements, automated meter reading, government-mandated pipeline relocations, fleet, facilities, IT assets, and cybersecurity. It is our practice to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure, facilities and systems to ensure safe, reliable, and efficient operations. Asset removal costs include expenditures associated with the replacement or retirement of long-lived assets that result from the construction, development and/or normal use of our assets, primarily our pipeline assets.

Capital expenditures and asset removal costs increased $72.2 million for 2023, compared with 2022, due primarily to expenditures for system integrity and extension of service to new areas. Our capital expenditures and asset removal costs are expected to be approximately $750 million for 2024. While we did not experience a significant impact to our capital expenditure program during the year ended December 31, 2023, our future capital expenditure activity is dependent on a number of factors, including economic conditions and our supply chains for contract labor, materials and supplies.

Selected Operating Information - The following tables set forth certain selected operating information for the periods indicated:

Years EndedVariances
December 31,
2023 vs. 2022
(in thousands)20232022Increase (Decrease)
Average Number of CustomersOKKSTXTotalOKKSTXTotalOKKSTXTotal
Residential836 592 660 2,088 831 592 656 2,079 5  4 9 
Commercial and industrial77 50 35 162 76 50 35 161 1   1 
Other  3 3 — (1)  (1)
Transportation5 6 1 12 12     
Total customers918 648 699 2,265 913 648 695 2,256 5  4 9 

The increase in the average number of customers for 2023, compared with 2022, is due primarily to the connection of new customers resulting from the extension and expansion of our system in our service areas. For 2023, our average customer count includes 23,400 new customer connections compared to 27,100 in 2022.

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The following table reflects total volumes delivered, excluding the effects of WNA mechanisms on sales volumes:

Years Ended December 31,
Volumes (MMcf)
202320222021
Natural gas sales  
Residential114,239 125,286 117,758 
Commercial and industrial40,630 43,184 37,615 
Other1,737 2,725 2,521 
Total sales volumes delivered156,606 171,195 157,894 
Transportation227,875 230,080 229,935 
Total volumes delivered384,481 401,275 387,829 

The impact of weather on residential and commercial natural gas sales is mitigated by WNA mechanisms in all jurisdictions.

The following table sets forth the HDDs by state for the periods indicated:

Years Ended December 31,
20232022
2023 vs. 2022
20232022
HDDsActualNormalActualNormalActual VarianceActual as a percent of Normal
Oklahoma3,125 3,346 3,621 3,346 (14)%93 %108 %
Kansas4,117 4,721 4,779 4,722 (14)%87 %101 %
Texas1,558 1,705 1,950 1,764 (20)%91 %111 %

Normal HDDs are established through rate proceedings in each of our jurisdictions for use primarily in weather normalization billing calculations. Normal HDDs disclosed above are based on:

Oklahoma - A 10-year weighted average as of June 30, 2021, as calculated using 11 weather stations across Oklahoma and weighted on average customer count.
Kansas - A 30-year rolling average for years 1988-2017 calculated using three weather stations across Kansas and weighted on HDDs by weather station and customers.
Texas - An average of HDDs authorized in our most recent rate proceeding in each jurisdiction and weighted using a rolling 10-year average of actual natural gas distribution sales volumes by service area.

Actual HDDs are based on the quarter-to-date weighted average of:

11 weather stations and customers by month for Oklahoma;
3 weather stations and customers by month for Kansas; and
9 weather stations and natural gas distribution sales volumes by service area for Texas.

CONTINGENCIES

We are a party to various litigation matters and claims that have arisen in the normal course of our operations. While the results of litigation and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe the reasonably possible losses from such matters, individually and in the aggregate, are not material. Additionally, we believe the probable outcome of such matters will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position or cash flows. See Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for information with respect to legal proceedings.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

General - We have relied primarily on operating cash flow and commercial paper for our liquidity and capital resource requirements. We fund operating expenses, working capital requirements, including purchases of natural gas, and capital expenditures primarily with cash from operations and commercial paper.

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We believe that the combination of the significant residential component of our customer base, the fixed-charge component of our natural gas sales revenues and our rate mechanisms that we have in place result in a stable cash flow profile and historically has generated stable earnings. Additionally, we have rate mechanisms in place in our jurisdictions that reduce the lag in earning a return on our capital expenditures and provide for recovery of certain changes in our cost of service by allowing for adjustments to rates between rate cases. We anticipate that our cash flow generated from operations and our expected short- and long-term financing arrangements will enable us to maintain our current and planned level of operations and provide us flexibility to finance our infrastructure investments. Our ability to access capital markets for debt and equity financing under reasonable terms depends on market conditions, our financial condition and credit ratings.

Short-term Debt - In October 2023, we entered into an agreement that increased the capacity of the ONE Gas Credit Agreement to $1.2 billion from $1.0 billion.

In March 2023, we entered into an extension agreement related to the ONE Gas Credit Agreement that extended the maturity date to March 16, 2028, from March 16, 2027.

Other than the increased commitments and term extension, all other terms and conditions of the ONE Gas Credit Agreement remain in full force and effect.

The ONE Gas Credit Agreement provides for a $1.2 billion revolving unsecured credit facility and includes a $20 million letter of credit subfacility and a $60 million swingline subfacility. We can request an increase in commitments of up to an additional $300 million upon satisfaction of customary conditions, including receipt of commitments from either new lenders or increased commitments from existing lenders. The ONE Gas Credit Agreement is available to provide liquidity for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and mergers, the issuance of letters of credit, and for other general corporate purposes.

The ONE Gas Credit Agreement contains certain financial, operational and legal covenants. Among other things, these covenants include maintaining ONE Gas’ total debt-to-capital ratio of no more than 70 percent at the end of any calendar quarter. At December 31, 2023, our total debt-to-capital ratio was 52 percent and we were in compliance with all covenants under the ONE Gas Credit Agreement. Excluding the debt of KGSS-I, which is non-recourse to us, our total debt-to-capital ratio was 50 percent. We may reduce the unutilized portion of the ONE Gas Credit Agreement in whole or in part without premium or penalty. The ONE Gas Credit Agreement contains customary events of default. Upon the occurrence of certain events of default, the obligations under the ONE Gas Credit Agreement may be accelerated and the commitments may be terminated.

In November 2023, we increased the capacity of our commercial paper program to $1.2 billion from $1.0 billion.

Under our commercial paper program, we may issue unsecured commercial paper up to a maximum amount of $1.2 billion to fund short-term borrowing needs. The maturities of the commercial paper vary but may not exceed 270 days from the date of issue. Commercial paper is generally sold at par less a discount representing an interest factor. At December 31, 2023 and 2022, we had $88.5 million and $552.0 million of commercial paper outstanding with a weighted-average interest rate of 5.60 percent and 4.75 percent, respectively.

At December 31, 2023, we had $1.4 million in letters of credit issued and no borrowings under the ONE Gas Credit Agreement, with approximately $1.2 billion of remaining credit, which is available to repay our commercial paper borrowings.

Senior Notes - In December 2023, we issued $300 million of 5.10 percent senior notes due April 2029. The proceeds from the issuance were used to repay amounts outstanding under our commercial paper program and for general corporate purposes.

At December 31, 2023, we had outstanding $2.7 billion of Senior Notes with $773.0 million due within the next year. The indenture governing our Senior Notes includes an event of default upon the acceleration of other indebtedness of $100 million or more. Such events of default would entitle the trustee or the holders of 25 percent in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding Senior Notes to declare those Senior Notes immediately due and payable in full.

Depending on the series, we may redeem our Senior Notes at par, plus accrued and unpaid interest to the redemption date, starting three months or six months before their maturity dates. Prior to these dates, we may redeem these Senior Notes, in whole or in part, at a redemption price equal to the principal amount, plus accrued and unpaid interest and a make-whole premium. The redemption price will never be less than 100 percent of the principal amount of the respective Senior Note plus accrued and unpaid interest to the redemption date. The remaining $473 million of outstanding principal of our 1.10 percent senior notes due March 2024 can be called at par with a 30-day notice. Our Senior Notes are senior unsecured obligations, ranking equally in right of payment with all of our existing and future unsecured senior indebtedness.
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Securitized Utility Tariff Bonds - At December 31, 2023, we had outstanding $315.3 million of 5.486 percent KGSS-I Securitized Utility Tariff Bonds with $27.4 million due within the next year. The bonds are governed by an indenture between KGSS-I and the indenture trustee. The indenture contains certain covenants that restrict KGSS-I’s ability to sell, transfer, convey, exchange, or otherwise dispose of its assets.

At December 31, 2023, our long-term debt-to-capital ratio was 52 percent. Excluding the debt of KGSS-I, which is non-recourse to us, our long-term debt-to-capital ratio was 49 percent. See Note 17 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for information with respect to KGSS-I.

Credit Ratings - Our credit ratings at December 31, 2023, were:
Rating AgencyRatingOutlook
Moody’sA3Stable
S&PA-Stable

At December 31, 2023, our commercial paper was rated Prime-2 by Moody’s and A-2 by S&P. We intend to maintain credit metrics at a level that supports our balanced approach to capital investment and a return of capital to shareholders via a dividend that we believe will be competitive with our peer group.

Equity Issuances - On December 28, 2023, we settled under forward contracts 1,032,403 shares (289,403 from forwards related to an at-the-market equity distribution agreement and 743,000 from forwards related to underwriting agreements) of our common stock for net proceeds of $79.0 million.

In December 2023, we amended the forward sale agreement we entered into in March 2023 to extend the maturity date of 657,000 shares to December 31, 2024 from December 29, 2023. The amended forward sale agreement provides for settlement on a date, or dates, to be specified at our discretion, but which will occur no later than December 31, 2024, for 1,257,000 shares of common stock.

In September 2023, we entered into an underwriting agreement and two forward sale agreements for 1.2 million and 180,000 shares of our common stock, respectively. The forward sale agreements provide for settlement on a date, or dates, to be specified at our discretion, but which will occur no later than December 31, 2024.

In June 2023, we executed forward sale agreements under our current at-the-market equity program for 926,465 shares of our common stock.

In March 2023, we entered into an underwriting agreement and a forward sale agreement for 2.0 million shares of our common stock. The forward sale agreement provided for settlement on a date, or dates, to be specified at our discretion, but which will occur no later than December 29, 2023, for 1.4 million shares of common stock and by December 31, 2024, for the remaining balance.

In February 2023, we entered into an at-the-market equity distribution agreement under which we may issue and sell shares of our common stock with an aggregate offering price up to $300 million. This at-the-market equity program replaced our previous at-the-market equity program, which began in February 2020, and expired in February 2023. Sales of common stock are made by means of ordinary brokers’ transactions on the NYSE, in block transactions or as otherwise agreed to between us and the sales agent. We are under no obligation to offer and sell common stock under the program. At December 31, 2023, we had $225.5 million of equity available for issuance under the program.

The following table summarizes all of our outstanding forward sale agreements at December 31, 2023:
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MaturityOriginal SharesRemaining SharesNet Proceeds Available
(in thousands)
Forward Price
December 31, 2024926,465 926,465 $74,396 $80.30 
December 31, 20242,000,000 1,257,000 96,709 76.94 
December 31, 20241,200,000 1,200,000 88,823 74.02 
December 31, 2024180,000 180,000 13,315 73.97 
Total forward sale agreements4,306,465 3,563,465 $273,243 $76.68 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, under our at-the-market equity distribution agreement we sold and issued 403,792 shares of our common stock for $35.0 million, generating proceeds, net of issuance costs, of $34.7 million.

For the year ended December 31, 2022, we executed forward sale agreements under our previous at-the-market equity distribution agreement for 1,451,474 shares of our common stock. On December 30, 2022, we settled forward sales agreements with respect to 1,162,071 shares of our common stock for net proceeds of $93.8 million.

Pension and Other Postemployment Benefit Plans - For the year ended December 31,2023, we contributed $1.3 million to our defined benefit pension plans and $2.5 million to our other postemployment benefit plans. For the year ended December 31, 2022, we contributed $1.5 million to our defined benefit pension plans and $1.9 million to our other postemployment benefit plans. Additional information about our pension and other postemployment benefit plans, including anticipated contributions, is included under “Estimates and Critical Accounting Policies - Pension and Other Postemployment Benefits” and under Note 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

CASH FLOW ANALYSIS

We use the indirect method to prepare our consolidated statements of cash flows. Under this method, we reconcile net income to cash flows provided by operating activities by adjusting net income for those items that impact net income but may not result in actual cash receipts or payments and changes in our assets and liabilities not classified as investing or financing activities during the period. Items that impact net income but may not result in actual cash receipts or payments include, but are not limited to, depreciation and amortization, deferred income taxes, share-based compensation expense and provision for doubtful accounts.

The following table sets forth the changes in cash flows by operating, investing and financing activities for the periods indicated:
 Year Ended December 31,VarianceVariance
 202320222021
2023 vs. 2022
2022 vs. 2021
 
(Millions of dollars)
Total cash provided by (used in):
Operating activities$939.5 $1,570.8 $(1,535.7)$(631.3)$3,106.5 
Investing activities(669.6)(614.1)(501.1)(55.5)(113.0)
Financing activities(248.6)(947.4)2,037.6 698.8 (2,985.0)
Change in cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents21.3 9.3 0.8 12.0 8.5 
Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents at beginning of period18.1 8.8 8.0 9.3 0.8 
Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents at end of period$39.4 $18.1 $8.8 $21.3 $9.3 

Operating Cash Flows - Changes in cash flows from operating activities are due primarily to changes in sales revenues, natural gas costs and operating expenses discussed in “Financial Results and Operating Information,” the effects of Winter Storm Uri discussed in “Regulatory Activities” and changes in working capital. Changes in natural gas prices and demand for our services or natural gas, whether because of general economic conditions, variations in weather not mitigated by WNAs, changes in supply or increased competition from other service providers, could affect our earnings and operating cash flows. Typically, our cash flows from operations are greater in the first half of the year compared with the second half of the year.

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Operating cash flows were lower in 2023, compared to 2022, due primarily to recovery of the winter weather event regulatory asset for Oklahoma Natural Gas through securitization beginning in August 2022, offset by the recovery of the winter weather event regulatory asset for Texas Gas Service through securitization in March 2023, and working capital changes related to accounts receivable which were impacted by new rates in 2023 compared with 2022.

Investing Cash Flows - Cash used in investing activities increased in 2023, compared to 2022, due primarily to an increase in capital expenditures for system integrity and extension of service to new areas.

Financing Cash Flows - Cash used in financing activities decreased in 2023, compared to 2022, due primarily to the repayment in August 2022 of long-term debt related to Winter Storm Uri.

ENVIRONMENTAL, SAFETY AND REGULATORY MATTERS

Environmental Matters - We are subject to multiple laws and regulations regarding protection of the environment and natural and cultural resources, which affect many aspects of our present and future operations. Regulated activities include, but are not limited to, those involving air emissions, storm water and wastewater discharges, handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes, wetland preservation, plant and wildlife protection, hazardous materials use, storage and transportation, and pipeline and facility construction. These laws and regulations require us to obtain and/or comply with a wide variety of environmental clearances, registrations, licenses, permits and other approvals. Failure to comply with these laws, regulations, licenses and permits or the discovery of presently unknown environmental conditions may expose us to fines, penalties and/or interruptions in our operations that could be material to our results of operations. In addition, emission controls and/or other regulatory or permitting mandates under the CAA and other similar federal and state laws could require unexpected capital expenditures. We cannot assure that existing environmental statutes and regulations will not be revised or that new regulations will not be adopted or become applicable to us. Revised or additional statutes or regulations that result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our expenditures for environmental investigation and remediation compliance to-date have not been significant in relation to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows, and our expenditures related to environmental matters had no material effects on earnings or cash flows during 2023, 2022 and 2021.

We own or retain legal responsibility for certain environmental conditions at 12 former MGP sites in Kansas. These sites contain contaminants generally associated with MGP sites and are subject to control or remediation under various environmental laws and regulations. A consent agreement with the KDHE governs all environmental investigation and remediation work at these sites. The terms of the consent agreement require us to investigate these sites and set remediation activities based upon the results of the investigations and risk analysis. Remediation typically involves the management of contaminated soils and may involve removal of structures and monitoring and/or remediation of groundwater. Regulatory closure has been achieved at five of the 12 sites, but these sites remain subject to potential future requirements that may result in additional costs.

We have completed or are addressing removal of the source of soil contamination at all 12 sites and continue to monitor groundwater at seven of the 12 sites according to plans approved by the KDHE. In 2019, we completed a project to remove a source of contamination and associated contaminated materials at the twelfth site where no active soil remediation had previously occurred. In 2022, we completed a remediation project to remove a source of contamination and contaminated materials at one of the MGP sites. In June 2023, we submitted a revised draft remediation plan to the KDHE for review following receipt of agency comments and public feedback. In August 2023, the KDHE approved the remediation plan without comment. We submitted a site investigation work plan for another site and on August 27, 2023 the KDHE approved the document without comment.

We have an AAO that allows Kansas Gas Service to defer and seek recovery of costs necessary for investigation and remediation at, and nearby, these 12 former MGP sites that are incurred after January 1, 2017, up to a cap of $15.0 million, net of any related insurance recoveries. Costs approved for recovery in a future rate proceeding would then be amortized over a 15-year period. The unamortized amounts will not be included in rate base or accumulate carrying charges. Following a determination that future investigation and remediation work approved by the KDHE is expected to exceed $15.0 million, net of any related insurance recoveries, Kansas Gas Service will be required to file an application with the KCC for approval to increase the $15.0 million cap. At December 31, 2023 and 2022, we have deferred $32.0 million and $29.8 million, respectively, for accrued investigation and remediation costs pursuant to our AAO. Kansas Gas Service expects to file an application for amounts deferred in excess of the cap as soon as practicable after the KDHE approves the remediation plans we have submitted.

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We also own or retain legal responsibility for certain environmental conditions at a former MGP site in Texas. At the request of the TCEQ, we began investigating the level and extent of contamination associated with the site under their Texas Risk Reduction Program. A preliminary site investigation revealed that this site contains contaminants generally associated with MGP sites and is subject to control or remediation under various environmental laws and regulations. Impacts have been identified in the soil and groundwater at the site with limited impacts observed in surrounding areas. In April 2022, we submitted a remediation work plan to address the areas impacted to the TCEQ. In August 2023, remediation activities were conducted to address the impacted area in accordance with the remediation work plan. During the third quarter 2023, the TCEQ requested acceptable financial assurance for the projected costs on post-response action care activities at the site. At December 31, 2023, estimated costs associated with expected remediation activities for this site are not material.

Our expenditures for environmental evaluation, mitigation, remediation and compliance to date have not been significant in relation to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows, and our expenditures related to environmental matters had no material effects on earnings or cash flows during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022. The reserve for remediation of our MGP sites was $14.3 million and $12.7 million at December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively.

Environmental Footprint - We cannot assure that existing environmental statutes and regulations will not be revised or that new regulations will not be adopted or become applicable to us. Revised or additional regulations that result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our expenditures for environmental investigation, and remediation compliance to-date have not been significant in relation to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows, and our expenditures related to environmental matters had no material effects on earnings or cash flows during 2023, 2022 or 2021.

Pipeline Safety - We are subject to regulation under federal pipeline safety statutes and any analogous state regulations. These include safety requirements for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of pipelines, including transmission and distribution pipelines. At the federal level, we are regulated by PHMSA. PHMSA regulations require the following for certain pipelines: inspection and maintenance plans; integrity management programs, including the determination of pipeline integrity risks and periodic assessments on certain pipeline segments; an operator qualification program, which includes certain trainings; a public awareness program that provides certain information; and a control room management plan.

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the PIPES Act reauthorized PHMSA through 2023 and directed the agency to move forward with several regulatory actions, including the “Pipeline Safety: Class Location Change Requirements” and the “Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines” proposed rulemakings. Congress has also instructed PHMSA to issue final regulations that will require operators of non-rural gas gathering lines and new and existing transmission and distribution pipeline facilities to conduct certain leak detection and repair programs and to require facility inspection and maintenance plans to align with those regulations. To the extent such rulemakings impose more stringent requirements on our facilities, we may be required to incur expenditures that may be material.

Regulatory - Several regulatory initiatives impacted the earnings and future earnings potential of our business. See additional information regarding our regulatory initiatives in the “Regulatory Activities” section of Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

IMPACT OF NEW ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

Information about the impact of new accounting standards, if any, is included in Note 1 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

CRITICAL ESTIMATES AND ACCOUNTING POLICIES

The preparation of our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures in accordance with GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions with respect to values or conditions that cannot be known with certainty that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements. These estimates and assumptions also affect the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Although we believe these estimates and assumptions are reasonable, actual results could differ from our estimates.

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The following summary sets forth what we consider to be our most critical estimates and accounting policies. Our critical accounting policies are defined as those estimates and policies most important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and that require management’s most difficult, subjective or complex judgment, particularly because of the need to make estimates concerning the impact of inherently uncertain matters.

Regulation - Our operations are subject to regulation with respect to rates, service, maintenance of pipeline and accounting records and various other matters by the respective regulatory authorities in the states in which we operate. We account for the financial effects of the ratemaking and accounting practices and policies of the various regulatory authorities in our consolidated financial statements. We record regulatory assets for costs that have been deferred for which future recovery through customer rates is considered probable and regulatory liabilities when it is probable that revenues will be reduced for amounts that will be returned to customers through the ratemaking process. As a result, certain costs that would normally be expensed under GAAP are capitalized or deferred on the balance sheet because it is probable they can be recovered through rates. Discontinuing the application of this method of accounting for regulatory assets and liabilities could significantly increase our operating expenses, as fewer costs would likely be capitalized or deferred on the balance sheet, which could reduce our net income. Further, regulation may impact the period in which revenues or expenses are recognized. The amounts to be recovered or recognized are based upon historical experience and our understanding of the regulations. The impact of regulation on our operations may be affected by decisions of the regulatory authorities or the issuance of new regulations.

For further discussion of regulatory assets and liabilities, see Note 3 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

Revenue Recognition - For regulated deliveries of natural gas, we read meters and bill customers on a monthly cycle. We recognize revenues upon the delivery of natural gas or services rendered to customers. The billing cycles for customers do not necessarily coincide with the accounting periods used for financial reporting purposes. We accrue unbilled revenues for natural gas that has been delivered but not yet billed at the end of an accounting period. Accrued unbilled revenue is based on a percentage estimate of amounts unbilled each month, which is dependent upon a number of factors, some of which require management’s judgment. These factors include customer consumption patterns and the impact of weather on usage. The accrued unbilled natural gas sales revenue at December 31, 2023 and 2022 was $191.4 million and $269.5 million, respectively, and is included in accounts receivable on our consolidated balance sheets.

We have determined the majority of our natural gas sales and transportation tariffs to be implied contracts with customers, which are settled over time, where our performance obligation is settled with our customer when natural gas is delivered and simultaneously consumed by the customer. In addition, we use the invoice method practical expedient, where we recognize revenue for volumes delivered for which we have a right to invoice. For our other utility revenue, which are primarily one-time service fees that meet the requirements under ASC 606, the performance obligation is satisfied at a point in time when services are rendered to the customer. Certain revenues that do not meet the requirements under ASC 606 as revenues from contracts with customers are reflected as other revenues in determining total revenue. See Note 2 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for additional information regarding our revenues.

Pension and Other Postemployment Benefits - We have defined benefit pension plans covering eligible retirees and eligible employees. We also sponsor welfare plans that provide other postemployment medical and life insurance benefits to eligible retirees and employees who retire with at least five years of service.

To calculate the expense and liabilities related to our plans, we utilize an outside actuarial consultant, which uses statistical and other factors to anticipate future events. These factors include assumptions about the discount rate, expected return on plan assets, rate of future compensation increases, age and mortality and employment periods. We use tables issued by the Society of Actuaries to estimate mortality rates. In determining the projected benefit costs, assumptions can change from period to period and may result in material changes in the costs and liabilities we recognize.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, we contributed $1.3 million to our defined benefit pension plans and $2.5 million to our other postemployment benefit plans. For the year ended December 31, 2022, we contributed $1.5 million to our defined benefit pension plans and $1.9 million to our other postemployment benefit plans. In 2024, our contributions are expected to be $1.4 million to our defined benefit pension plans, and no contributions are expected to be made to our other postemployment benefit plans.

We recorded net periodic benefit credits for our defined benefit pension plans, prior to regulatory deferrals, of $7.5 million in 2023, and estimate that in 2024, we will record a credit of approximately $5.5 million. Net periodic benefits costs for our postemployment benefit plans, prior to regulatory deferrals, were $0.3 million in 2023, and we estimate that in 2024, we will record a credit of approximately $0.4 million, prior to regulatory deferrals.
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The following table sets forth the significant assumptions used to determine our estimated 2024 net periodic benefit cost related to our defined benefit pension and other postemployment benefit plans and sensitivity to changes with respect to these assumptions:
 Rate UsedCost
Sensitivity (a)
Obligation
Sensitivity (b)
(Millions of dollars)
Discount rate for pension 5.30 %$2.3 $21.3 
Discount rate for other postemployment benefits5.40 %(0.2)3.4 
Expected long-term return on plan assets for pension6.70 %2.2  
Expected long-term return on plan assets for other postemployment benefits5.20 %0.4  
(a) Approximate impact a quarter percentage point decrease in the assumed rate would have on net periodic pension costs.
(b) Approximate impact a quarter percentage point decrease in the assumed rate would have on defined benefit pension obligation.

See Note 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for additional information regarding our pension and other postretirement benefit plans.

Contingencies - Our accounting for contingencies covers a variety of business activities, including contingencies for legal and environmental exposures. We accrue these contingencies when our assessments indicate that it is probable that a liability has been incurred or an asset will not be recovered and an amount can be reasonably estimated. We expense legal fees as incurred and base our legal liability estimates on currently available facts and our assessments of the ultimate outcome or resolution. Accruals for estimated losses from environmental remediation obligations generally are recognized no later than the completion of a remediation feasibility study. Recoveries of environmental remediation costs from other parties are recorded as assets when their receipt is deemed probable.

Our expenditures for environmental evaluation, mitigation, remediation and compliance to date have not been significant in relation to our financial position, results of operations or cash flows, and our expenditures related to environmental matters had no material effect on earnings or cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021. Environmental issues may exist with respect to these MGP sites that are unknown to us. Accordingly, future costs are dependent on the final determination and regulatory approval of any remedial actions, the complexity of the site, level of remediation required, changing technology and governmental regulations, and to the extent not recovered by insurance or recoverable in rates from our customers, could be material to our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

See “Environmental Matters” and Note 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for additional discussion of contingencies.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Some of the statements contained and incorporated in this Annual Report are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. The forward-looking statements relate to our anticipated financial performance, liquidity, management’s plans and objectives for our future operations, our business prospects, the outcome of regulatory and legal proceedings, market conditions and other matters. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following discussion is intended to identify important factors that could cause future outcomes to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking and other statements in this Annual Report regarding our environmental, social and other sustainability plans and goals are not an indication that these statements are necessarily material to investors or required to be disclosed in our filings with the SEC. In addition, historical, current, and forward-looking environmental, social and sustainability-related statements may be based on standards for measuring progress that are still developing, internal controls and processes that continue to evolve, and assumptions that are subject to change in the future.

Forward-looking statements include the items identified in the preceding paragraph, the information concerning possible or assumed future results of our operations and other statements contained or incorporated in this Annual Report identified by words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “should,” “goal,” “forecast,” “guidance,” “could,” “may,” “continue,” “might,” “potential,” “scheduled,” “likely,” and other words and terms of similar meaning.

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One should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are applicable only as of the date of this Annual Report. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Those factors may affect our operations, costs, liquidity, markets, products, services and prices. In addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with the forward-looking statements, factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in any forward-looking statement include, among others, the following:

our ability to recover costs, income taxes and amounts equivalent to the cost of property, plant and equipment, regulatory assets and our allowed rate of return in our regulated rates or other recovery mechanisms;
cyber-attacks, which, according to experts, continue to increase in volume and sophistication, or breaches of technology systems that could disrupt our operations or result in the loss or exposure of confidential or sensitive customer, employee, vendor, counterparty or Company information; further, increased remote working arrangements have required enhancements and modifications to our IT infrastructure (e.g. Internet, Virtual Private Network, remote collaboration systems, etc.), and any failures of the technologies, including third-party service providers, that facilitate working remotely could limit our ability to conduct ordinary operations or expose us to increased risk or effect of an attack;
our ability to manage our operations and maintenance costs;
changes in regulation of natural gas distribution services, particularly those in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas;
the economic climate and, particularly, its effect on the natural gas requirements of our residential and commercial customers;
the length and severity of a pandemic or other health crisis which could significantly disrupt or prevent us from operating our business in the ordinary course for an extended period;
competition from alternative forms of energy, including, but not limited to, electricity, solar power, wind power, geothermal energy and biofuels;
adverse weather conditions and variations in weather, including seasonal effects on demand and/or supply, the occurrence of severe storms in the territories in which we operate, and climate change, and the related effects on supply, demand, and costs;
indebtedness could make us more vulnerable to general adverse economic and industry conditions, limit our ability to borrow additional funds and/or place us at competitive disadvantage compared with competitors;
our ability to secure reliable, competitively priced and flexible natural gas transportation and supply, including decisions by natural gas producers to reduce production or shut-in producing natural gas wells and expiration of existing supply and transportation and storage arrangements that are not replaced with contracts with similar terms and pricing;
our ability to complete necessary or desirable expansion or infrastructure development projects, which may delay or prevent us from serving our customers or expanding our business;
operational and mechanical hazards or interruptions;
adverse labor relations;
the effectiveness of our strategies to reduce earnings lag, revenue protection strategies and risk mitigation strategies, which may be affected by risks beyond our control such as commodity price volatility, counterparty performance or creditworthiness and interest rate risk;
the capital-intensive nature of our business, and the availability of and access to, in general, funds to meet our debt obligations prior to or when they become due and to fund our operations and capital expenditures, either through (i) cash on hand, (ii) operating cash flow, or (iii) access to the capital markets and other sources of liquidity;
our ability to obtain capital on commercially reasonable terms, or on terms acceptable to us, or at all;
limitations on our operating flexibility, earnings and cash flows due to restrictions in our financing arrangements;
cross-default provisions in our borrowing arrangements, which may lead to our inability to satisfy all of our outstanding obligations in the event of a default on our part;
changes in the financial markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, particularly those affecting the availability of capital and our ability to refinance existing debt and fund investments and acquisitions to execute our business strategy;
actions of rating agencies, including the ratings of debt, general corporate ratings and changes in the rating agencies’ ratings criteria;
changes in inflation and interest rates;
our ability to recover the costs of natural gas purchased for our customers and any related financing required to support our purchase of natural gas supply;
impact of potential impairment charges;
volatility and changes in markets for natural gas and our ability to secure additional and sufficient liquidity on reasonable commercial terms to cover costs associated with such volatility;
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possible loss of LDC franchises or other adverse effects caused by the actions of municipalities;
payment and performance by counterparties and customers as contracted and when due, including our counterparties maintaining ordinary course terms of supply and payments;
changes in existing or the addition of new environmental, safety, tax, cybersecurity and other laws or regulations to which we and our subsidiaries are subject, including those that may require significant expenditures, significant increases in operating costs or, in the case of noncompliance, substantial fines or penalties;
the effectiveness of our risk-management policies and procedures, and employees violating our risk-management policies;
the uncertainty of estimates, including accruals and costs of environmental remediation;
advances in technology, including technologies that increase efficiency or that improve electricity’s competitive position relative to natural gas;
population growth rates and changes in the demographic patterns of the markets we serve in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, and economic conditions in these areas;
acts of nature and the potential effects of threatened or actual terrorism and war, including recent events in Europe and the Middle East;
the sufficiency of insurance coverage to cover losses;
the effects of our strategies to reduce tax payments;
changes in accounting standards;
changes in corporate governance standards;
existence of material weaknesses in our internal controls;
our ability to comply with all covenants in our indentures and the ONE Gas Credit Agreement, a violation of which, if not cured in a timely manner, could trigger a default of our obligations;
our ability to attract and retain talented employees, management and directors, and shortage of skilled-labor;
unexpected increases in the costs of providing health care benefits, along with pension and postemployment health care benefits, as well as declines in the discount rates on, declines in the market value of the debt and equity securities of, and increases in funding requirements for, our defined benefit plans; and
our ability to successfully complete merger, acquisition or divestiture plans, regulatory or other limitations imposed as a result of a merger, acquisition or divestiture, and the success of the business following a merger, acquisition or divestiture.

These factors are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any of our forward-looking statements. Other factors could also have material adverse effects on our future results. These and other risks are described in greater detail in Part 1, Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this Annual Report. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these factors. Other than as required under securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or change in circumstances, expectations or otherwise.

ITEM 7A.    QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Our exposure to market risk discussed below includes forward-looking statements. Our views on market risk are not necessarily indicative of actual results that may occur and do not represent the maximum possible gains and losses that may occur since actual gains and losses will differ from those estimated based on actual fluctuations in commodity prices or interest rates and the timing of transactions.

Commodity Price Risk

Our commodity price risk, driven primarily by fluctuations in the price of natural gas, is mitigated by our purchased-gas cost adjustment mechanisms through which we pass-through natural gas costs to our customers without profit. We may use fixed-price natural gas contracts or derivative instruments to hedge the cost of a portion of our anticipated natural gas purchases during the winter heating months to reduce the impact on our customers of upward market price volatility of natural gas. Additionally, we inject natural gas into storage during the warmer months, when natural gas prices are typically lower, and withdraw the natural gas during the colder months of the year. Gains or losses associated with these derivative instruments and the costs of our fixed-price natural gas contracts and storage activities are included in, and recoverable through our purchased-gas cost adjustment mechanisms, which are subject to review by regulatory authorities.

Interest-Rate Risk

We are exposed to interest-rate risk primarily associated with commercial paper borrowings, borrowings under our credit agreement, and new debt financing needed to fund capital requirements, including future contractual obligations and maturities
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of long-term and short-term debt. We may manage interest-rate risk on future borrowings through the use of fixed-rate debt, floating-rate debt and, at times, interest-rate swaps. Fixed-rate swaps may be used to reduce our risk of increased interest costs during periods of rising interest rates. Floating-rate swaps may be used to convert the fixed rates of long-term borrowings into short-term variable rates.

Counterparty Credit Risk

We assess the creditworthiness of our customers. Those customers who do not meet minimum standards are required to provide security, including deposits or other forms of collateral, when appropriate and allowed by tariff. With approximately 2.3 million customers across three states, we are not exposed materially to a concentration of credit risk. We maintain a provision for doubtful accounts based upon factors surrounding the credit risk of customers, historical trends, consideration of the current credit environment and other information. We are able to recover the fuel-related portion of bad debts through our purchased-gas cost adjustment mechanisms.

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ITEM 8.    CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Board of Directors and Shareholders of ONE Gas, Inc.

Opinions on the Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of ONE Gas, Inc. and its subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the related consolidated statements of income, of comprehensive income, of equity and of cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023, including the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). We also have audited the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2023 in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the COSO.

Basis for Opinions

The Company's management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A. Our responsibility is to express opinions on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Our audits of the consolidated financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
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Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

Critical Audit Matters

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that (i) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (ii) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

Accounting for the Effects of Regulatory Matters

As described in Note 1 and 3 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company is subject to rate regulation and accounting requirements of regulatory authorities in the states in which it operates, and it follows the accounting and reporting guidance for regulated operations, including evaluating regulatory decisions to determine appropriate revenue recognition, cost deferrals, recoverability for regulatory assets and refund requirements for regulatory liabilities. As disclosed by management, regulatory assets are recorded for costs that have been deferred for which future recovery through customer rates is considered probable and regulatory liabilities are recorded when it is probable that revenues will be reduced for amounts that will be credited to customers through the ratemaking process. As a result, certain costs that would normally be expensed under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America for non-regulated entities are capitalized or deferred on the balance sheet because it is probable they can be recovered through rates. The amounts to be recovered or recognized are based upon historical experience and management’s understanding of regulations and may be affected by decisions of the regulatory authorities or the issuance of new regulations. Should recovery cease due to regulatory actions, certain regulatory assets may no longer meet the criteria for recognition, and accordingly, the Company may be required to write off the regulatory assets at that time. As described in Note 3, as of December 31, 2023, there were $363 million of deferred costs included in regulatory assets and $567 million of regulatory liabilities awaiting cash outflow or potential refund.

The principal considerations for our determination that performing procedures relating to the Company’s accounting for the effects of regulatory matters is a critical audit matter are (i) the significant judgment by management in evaluating the impact of regulatory orders and accounting guidance on relevant transactions and (ii) a high degree of auditor judgment, subjectivity, and effort in performing procedures and evaluating audit evidence related to management’s evaluation of revenue recognition, cost deferrals, and recoverability of regulatory assets, including the securitization of the costs related to the winter weather event and the recovery of the related regulatory assets, and refund requirements for regulatory liabilities.
Addressing the matter involved performing procedures and evaluating audit evidence in connection with forming our overall opinion on the consolidated financial statements. These procedures included testing the effectiveness of controls relating to the impact of regulatory orders and accounting guidance on relevant transactions, including controls over management’s process for evaluating and recording (i) deferred costs, including the amounts to be deferred and the future recovery, resulting in regulatory assets or (ii) a reduction to revenues for amounts that will be credited to customers, resulting in regulatory liabilities. These procedures also included, among others, (i) evaluating management’s process for identifying relevant transactions which require application of regulatory accounting guidance; (ii) evaluating the reasonableness of management’s assessment regarding revenue recognition, probability of recovery and establishment of regulatory assets, including the securitization of the costs related to the winter weather event and the recovery of the related regulatory assets, and the establishment of regulatory liabilities; and (iii) testing the regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities considering the provisions and formulas outlined in rate orders and other regulatory correspondence.


/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Tulsa, Oklahoma
February 22, 2024

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2013.
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ONE Gas, Inc.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 Years Ended December 31,
202320222021
(Thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)
Total revenues$2,371,990 $2,578,005 $1,808,597 
Cost of natural gas1,134,510 1,459,087 775,006 
Operating expenses
Operations and maintenance508,399 472,265 449,676 
Depreciation and amortization279,830 228,479 207,233 
General taxes71,661 68,217 66,424 
Total operating expenses859,890 768,961 723,333 
Operating income377,590 349,957 310,258 
Other income (expense), net
9,476 (4,183)(3,207)
Interest expense, net(115,339)(77,506)(60,301)
Income before income taxes271,727 268,268 246,750 
Income taxes(40,495)(46,526)(40,316)
Net income
$231,232 $221,742 $206,434 
Earnings per share
Basic$4.16 $4.09 $3.85 
Diluted$4.14 $4.08 $3.85 
Average shares (thousands)
Basic55,600 54,207 53,575 
Diluted55,860 54,338 53,674 
Dividends declared per share of stock$2.60 $2.48 $2.32 
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
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ONE Gas, Inc.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
 Years Ended December 31,
202320222021
 
(Thousands of dollars)
Net income
$231,232 $221,742 $206,434 
Other comprehensive income, net of tax  
Change in pension and other postemployment benefit plan liability, net of tax of $140, $(1,705), and $(379), respectively
(478)5,823 1,250 
Total other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax(478)5,823 1,250 
Comprehensive income$230,754 $227,565 $207,684 
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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ONE Gas, Inc.  
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS  
 December 31,December 31,
20232022
Assets
(Thousands of dollars)
Property, plant and equipment  
Property, plant and equipment$8,468,967 $7,834,557 
Accumulated depreciation and amortization2,333,755 2,205,717 
Net property, plant and equipment6,135,212 5,628,840 
Current assets  
Cash and cash equivalents18,835 9,681 
Restricted cash and cash equivalents20,552 8,446 
Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents39,387 18,127 
Accounts receivable, net347,864 553,834 
Materials and supplies77,649 70,873 
Natural gas in storage187,097 269,205 
Regulatory assets75,308 275,572 
Other current assets37,899 29,997 
Total current assets765,204 1,217,608 
Goodwill and other assets  
Regulatory assets287,906 330,831 
Securitized intangible asset, net293,619 323,838 
Goodwill157,953 157,953 
Other assets131,100 117,326 
Total goodwill and other assets870,578 929,948 
Total assets$7,770,994 $7,776,396 
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
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ONE Gas, Inc.  
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS  
(Continued)
 December 31,December 31,
20232022
Equity and Liabilities
(Thousands of dollars)
Equity and long-term debt
Common stock, $0.01 par value:
authorized 250,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding 56,545,924 shares at December 31, 2023; issued and outstanding 55,349,954 shares at December 31, 2022
$565 $553 
Paid-in capital2,028,755 1,932,714 
Retained earnings737,739 651,863 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss(1,182)(704)
Total equity2,765,877 2,584,426 
Other long-term debt, excluding current maturities, net of issuance costs1,877,895 2,352,400 
Securitized utility tariff bonds, excluding current maturities, net of issuance costs282,506 309,343 
Total long-term debt, excluding current maturities, net of issuance costs2,160,401 2,661,743 
Total equity and long-term debt4,926,278 5,246,169 
Current liabilities  
Current maturities of other long-term debt772,984 12 
Current maturities of securitized utility tariff bonds27,430 20,716 
Notes payable88,500 552,000 
Accounts payable278,056 360,493 
Accrued taxes other than income68,793 78,352 
Regulatory liabilities66,901 47,867 
Customer deposits62,187 57,854 
Other current liabilities112,370 72,125 
Total current liabilities1,477,221 1,189,419 
Deferred credits and other liabilities  
Deferred income taxes752,068 698,456 
Regulatory liabilities500,478 529,441 
Employee benefit obligations20,265 19,587 
Other deferred credits94,684 93,324 
Total deferred credits and other liabilities1,367,495 1,340,808 
Commitments and contingencies
Total liabilities and equity$7,770,994 $7,776,396 
See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.


45


ONE Gas, Inc.  
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
Year Ended December 31,
202320222021
 
(Thousands of dollars)
Operating activities  
Net income$231,232 $221,742 $206,434 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization279,830 228,479 207,233 
Deferred income taxes24,773 (22,034)43,449 
Share-based compensation expense12,184 10,741 10,498 
Provision for doubtful accounts9,698 6,003 9,131 
Proceeds from government securitization of winter weather event costs197,366 1,330,582  
Changes in assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable196,272 (213,656)(57,902)
Materials and supplies(6,776)(15,981)(2,126)
Natural gas in storage82,108 (89,559)(85,700)
Asset removal costs(62,023)(47,032)(49,029)
Accounts payable(90,046)85,915 107,207 
Accrued taxes other than income(9,559)11,317 3,235 
Customer deposits4,333 (4,600)(5,574)
Regulatory assets and liabilities - current7,249 52,417 (1,562,574)
Regulatory assets and liabilities - noncurrent38,869 53,992 (367,210)
Other assets and liabilities - current26,070 (23,377)18,461 
Other assets and liabilities - noncurrent(2,048)(14,107)(11,190)
Cash provided by (used in) operating activities
939,532 1,570,842 (1,535,657)
Investing activities  
Capital expenditures(666,634)(609,486)