Kinder Plans Trading Move to Become Even Bigger Force in Fuels

Kinder Morgan Inc., the pipeline giant that made almost $1 billion selling natural gas during the Texas freeze, now plans to also trade fuels like gasoline to squeeze more profits from its vast shipping and storage network.

The company, which gets most of its revenue from pipeline and storage fees, will seek to also gain from buying and selling petroleum products, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be named because the plan isn’t public. In a job post on LinkedIn, the company is looking for someone with at least seven years of experience in marketing and trading refined petroleum products who will be “responsible for developing profitable commercial opportunities.”

The shift means that one of the most powerful companies in the U.S. fuel business is poised to gain even more clout. Co-founded by billionaire Rich Kinder, the Houston-based firm operates about 3,000 miles of refined-product pipelines from Texas and California to Oregon and Washington.

Major U.S. pipeline companies don’t usually trade petroleum products. Rivals like Plains All American Pipeline LP and Enterprise Products Partners LP, for instance, trade mostly crude and natural gas liquids on a regular basis.

Energy Transfer LP, however, owns Sunoco LP, which actively trades fuels like gasoline and diesel. The pipeline giant controlled by billionaire Kelcy Warren also emerged as a winner from the Texas storm in February, making about $2.4 billion.

Both Kinder and Energy Transfer shocked many in the energy industry when they reported gains from selling natural gas at skyrocketing prices during the deadly winter storm that left millions without power and heating.

Kinder declined to comment.

The company’s shares have jumped 34% this year.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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