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ONEOK, Inc. is a midstream energy company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ONEOK owns of one of the nation’s premier natural gas liquids (NGL) systems, connecting NGL supply in the Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, and Permian regions with key market centers. The company also has an extensive network of natural gas gathering, processing, storage, and transportation assets. ONEOK periodically funds business activities through daily borrowing. However, accessing East Coast markets for short-term debt and commercial paper creates some inherent efficiency challenges.

“Being in Oklahoma, we’re in the Central Time Zone,” explains Anita West, supervisor of treasury operations. “A few years ago, our first view of our cash position each day was when we got BAI files from our banks. After the BAI files came in, we could start pulling out any wires we were planning to send that day, and we could factor in the incoming ACH payments and wires that we expected to arrive before our bank closed at the end of the day.”

This process gave West’s team an idea of the company’s overall net position, which they would use to determine how much to borrow for that day. “So if, for instance, it looked like we were going to need $25 million to fund our activities, we would go to the market with the goal of issuing $25 million worth of short-term debt or commercial paper, and our dealers would start looking for investors,” she explains.

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.

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