Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan starts Energy Transition Ventures group looking into CCUS, renewables

By Rod Walton, Power Engineering and POWERGEN+ Content Director

A big-time fossil fuels player is jumping into the energy transition in a bolder, more focused way.

Kinder Morgan Inc. has formed a new Energy Transition Ventures group to identify and pursue commercial opportunities within the low-carbon sector. The company is one of the biggest in the oil and gas infrastructure sector, with close to 85,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals either under ownership or interest, according to reports.

“While we continue to remain disciplined and focused on attractive returns when evaluating investment opportunities in these new ventures, we are extremely pleased to announce the formation of this new group at a time when energy markets are evolving both nationally and abroad,” said Steve Kean, Kinder Morgan CEO, in a statement.

Kinder Morgan is not the first oil and gas giant firm to make head-turning moves toward lower carbon initiatives. Royal Dutch Shell has vowed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2050 and is investing in renewable energy technologies to meet that goal.

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The Kinder Morgan focus will be on using its in-house financial, commercial and engineering talent to analyze and quantify services tailored to the energy transition and low-carbon ventures. These services could include carbon capture and sequestration, renewable natural gas capture, hydrogen production, renewable power generation, electric transmission and renewable diesel production.

The team consists of a group of in-house financial, commercial and engineering talent that will focus on analyzing and quantifying opportunities for additional assets and service offerings tailored to the ongoing energy transition. They will focus on customer outreach and business development activities in pursuit of those new ventures, which may include services like carbon capture and sequestration, renewable natural gas capture, hydrogen production, renewable power generation, electric transmission and renewable diesel production.

The group will be lead by Jesse Arenivas, President of Energy Transition Ventures and CO2, and Anthony Ashley, Vice President of Energy Transition Ventures.  

“This is an exciting time in the energy sector,” said Arenivas. “As public policies, including tax and other government incentives, align with ESG objectives, our unparalleled asset footprint provides a solid footing to facilitate the energy transition.”

Kinder Morgan already provides transportation and storage services for renewable diesel solutions on the west coast and handles close to 3.8 million barrels per year, according to reports.

Traditionally global oil and gas firms like Total and refiner Valero have invested in renewable energy and battery storage industries, respectively.

British firm BP has invested in wind and solar since the 1980s but, after its 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill accident, decelerated some of those efforts. In 2017, however, BP—which has rebranded from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum, stepped up wind and solar investments.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the POWERGEN+ online series. April’s POWERGEN+ sessions will be focused around Optimizing Plant Performance and will feature Black & Veatch, CPV, NAES, Entergy and Hanara Software. Walton is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry as both a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and rod.walton@clarionevents.com).

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