November 7, 2022 [Reuters] – Pipeline operator Energy Transfer LP (ET.N) raised its profit forecast for the third time this year, helped by an acquisition, and by rising volumes of natural gas moving on its network.
U.S. natural gas production and demand is set to touch record highs in 2022 on soaring prices and exports as European governments seek to wean themselves off Russian gas following its invasion of Ukraine.
The transportation and storage company raised its forecast for adjusted earnings by $200 million to between $12.8 billion and $13 billion for the full year. The high end of its latest forecast is about $1 billion above the company’s original estimate for the year.
“It continues to be pricing that was running a little higher than what we had anticipated,” said co-Chief Executive Officer Thomas Long, when asked about the drivers behind the higher forecast.
However, Long warned that recent weakness in domestic gas prices could trim some of the price boost. Spot natural gas prices at the Waha hub in the Permian basin in West Texas turned negative for the first time since April this month as mild weather cut demand.
The full year profit forecast includes a $126 million charge related to a legal settlement that was in the original outlook.
Natural gas transportation volumes surged due to the acquisition of an Oklahoma pipeline and storage system, as well as increased production in the Haynesville natural gas basin in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas, Energy Transfer said.
The company also benefited from oil production growth in Texas and North Dakota that boosted crude oil transportation volumes by 10%.
Transport and terminal storage volumes were helped by the sale of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the company said.
Higher SPR volumes and increased activity in the region drove transportation and terminal volumes at its Nederland and Houston terminals to new records during the third quarter, according to Energy Transfer.