October 26, 2020 [Houston Chronicle] – Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan posted a third-quarter profit Wednesday as the oil and gas industry continues to show signs of stabilizing amid a historic downturn.
The company made $455 million in the quarter, a 10 percent decline from $506 million in the same quarter of 2019. But the profit marks a stark turnaround from the $637 million loss in the second quarter of 2020, when the company wrote down $1 billion in assets.
“We are very proud of how our team has performed during this challenging time,” CEO Steve Kean said in a statement. “We have maintained our vigilance with respect to capital spending, expenses and increased operational efficiency.”
The pipeline operator cut $175 million from its initial 2020 operating budget. It also slashed planned capital spending by $680 million, or nearly 30 percent.
Kinder Morgan shareholders, meanwhile will continue to receive a dividend after the board of directors approved a payout of 26.25 cents per share for the third quarter, payable on Nov. 16. The company has paid a dividend during each quarter of 2020.
“We are now in the seventh month of an unprecedented reduction in energy demand due to the pandemic,” Executive Chairman Richard Kinder said in a statement. “Yet, our company continued to produce considerable earnings.”
The company’s Permian Highway Pipeline, which faced considerable opposition from Hill Country landowners, is 97 percent complete, the company said, and on schedule to begin service in the first quarter of 2021.
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