Kinder Morgan Beats Profit Estimates on Higher Natural Gas; Permian Pipeline Expansion Delayed

(Reuters) — Kinder Morgan Inc. on Wednesday beat profit expectations for the first quarter as the U.S. pipeline operator transported higher volumes of natural gas primarily from Haynesville and Eagle Ford systems.

The company recorded a rise in demand as volumes increased on El Paso natural gas pipeline due to its return to service, while the retirement of coal-fired power plants and cooler weather supported a surge in gas consumption.

The Houston, Texas-based pipeline and terminal operator said earnings from its natural gas pipelines rose about 26% to $1.5 billion from last year, as it exported higher volumes of the super-cooled fuel.

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"Our extensive and interconnected network continued to generate strong earnings this quarter, particularly in our Natural Gas Pipelines and Terminals business segments," said CEO Steve Kean, who is slated to step down in August.

Total delivery volumes, which include refined products and crude, stood at about 2 million barrels of oil per day, about 1.5% lower than last year.

Kinder Morgan, which is the largest operator of carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines in North America, said its earnings from the transportation of CO2 fell about 17% to $173 million from last year, due to lower realized prices and volumes.

Its first-quarter revenue of $3.9 billion missed analysts' estimates of $4.8 billion.

For 2023, the company reiterated its forecast to generate net income of $2.5 billion or $1.12 per share.

The pipeline operator also said that expansion of its Permian Highway Pipeline is facing supply chain constraints, causing a delay and pushing expected in-service to December from November 2023.

Permian Highway Pipeline is jointly owned by subsidiaries of Kinder Morgan, Kinetik Holdings Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

Kinder Morgan posted adjusted profit of 30 cents per share, above the analysts' estimates of 29 cents per share, according to data from Refinitiv.

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