The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of year-end 2011:
The preceding table does not reflect unrecognized tax benefits as of year-end 2011 of $39 million. As a large taxpayer, we are under continual audit by the IRS and other taxing authorities. Although we do not anticipate that those audits will have a significant impact on our unrecognized tax benefit balance during the next 52 weeks, it remains possible that our liability for unrecognized tax benefits could change over that time period. See Footnote No. 2, “Income Taxes,” of the Notes to our Financial Statements for additional information.
The following table summarizes our guarantee commitments as of year-end 2011:
In addition to the guarantees noted in the preceding table, we have provided a project completion guarantee in favor of lenders with an estimated aggregate total cost of $498 million (Canadian $508 million), and a $3 million carrying value for our associated liability as of year-end 2011. During 2010, our joint venture partners executed documents indemnifying us for any payments that may be required in connection with this guarantee.
For additional information on this project completion guarantee, including our pro rata ownership percentage in the associated entity, as well as additional information on our guarantees, including their nature and the circumstances under which they were entered into, see the “Guarantees” caption within Footnote No. 15, “Contingencies,” of the Notes to our Financial Statements.
In addition to the guarantees described in the preceding paragraphs, in conjunction with financing obtained for specific projects or properties owned by joint ventures in which we are a party, we may provide industry standard indemnifications to the lender for loss, liability or damage occurring as a result of our actions or the actions of the other joint venture owner.
We also had the following other commitments, including loan and investment commitments, outstanding at year-end 2011:
For further information on our loan and investment commitments, including the nature of the commitments and their expirations, see the “Commitments and Letters of Credit” caption within Footnote No. 15, “Contingencies,” of the Notes to our Financial Statements.
At year-end 2011, we also had $65 million of letters of credit outstanding ($64 million outside the Credit Facility and $1 million under our Credit Facility), the majority of which related to our self-insurance programs. Surety bonds issued as of year-end 2011 totaled $108 million, the majority of which were requested by federal, state or local governments related to our lodging operations, including our self-insurance programs.
In the normal course of the hotel management business, we enter into purchase commitments to manage the daily operating needs of hotels we manage for owners. Since we are reimbursed from the cash flows of the hotels, these obligations have minimal impact on our net income and cash flow.