The Biggest Pipeline Companies Are Doing Well

Last week Enbridge (ENB) and Enterprise Products (EPD), North America’s two biggest pipeline companies, were among those reporting earnings. Both beat expectations – ENB reported 2Q EBITDA of $3,312MM versus $3,155MM, helped by strong results in natural gas transmission. EPD came in at $1,961MM versus $1,877MM, boosted by strength in crude oil. Dividend yields of 7.7% (ENB) and 10.1% (EPD) look secure.

The earnings calls that accompany quarterly results often provide some interesting additions. The ENB call included several exchanges with analysts on renewables. For example, CEO Al Monaco noted, “…we know the supply profile is going to change globally for energy. It’s not going to be a quick transition by any stretch, but slowly renewables will be a bigger portion.” He continued, “U.S. offshore wind is certainly an attractive opportunity but… the supply chains are not as developed yet”

Bill Yardley, President of Gas Transmission & Midstream, added,“…on the ISO website… wind is 30 megawatts, natural gas is 10,200. You could quadruple the amount of wind as they’re projecting and it’s just–on the peak hours, it’s just not there.”

Although ENB expects renewables to gain market share, conventional fuels still get most of their spending on new projects. Al Monaco explained, “In terms of the asset mix today, I think when we repositioned the asset mix to almost 50/50, I’m going to call it, between natural gas and the liquids businesses, with a little bit in there for renewables, I think we’re happy with the mix there.”

Hydrogen as a potential renewable fuel has been drawing a lot of interest recently. For example, on Nextera’s (NEE) call, hydrogen appears 25 times in the transcript. But it’s still way off in the future.  Rebecca Kujawa, CFO, noted that NEE is, “really excited about hydrogen, particularly in the 2030 and beyond time frame”

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