After reporting a 44% increase in crude volumes on its network in first-quarter 2024, Energy Transfer (ET) plans to keep its aggressive stance towards growth in the future, according to co-CEO Tom Long.

“Overall, worldwide demand for crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and refined products remains strong, as does demand for our products and services,” said Long, speaking during ET’s first-quarter conference call on May 8. “We will continue to position ourselves to meet this demand by strategically targeting optimization and expansion projects that enhance our existing asset base and generate attractive returns.”

For the quarter, the company reported $21.6 billion in revenue, a 14% increase in revenue over the same period in 2023. The company pointed to several major additions to its assets, both organic and through M&A, that contributed to its financial results.

Since 2022, ET has bought Woodford Express, Lotus Midstream and Crestwood Equity Partners in deals valued at about $9 billion in total, according to Energy Transfer’s presentation.

In 2024, the company benefited from Sunoco’s acquisition of NuStar, which closed on May 3. Energy Transfer owns Sunoco’s general partner. ET bumped up its 2024 EBITDA guidance by $500 million to between $15 billion and $15.3 billion, largely because of the Sunoco deal.

The company plans to keep looking for other assets to add in the near future, upping its 2024 growth capex to $2.9 billion from the earlier guidance of $2.5 billion. Long said the extra cash will be spent primarily on facilities for NGL and other refined products, as well as midstream segments.

“We still feel like consolidation makes sense in the midstream space,” he said. “We are still fully intent on evaluating various opportunities as we look out. So, we're not going to slow down on that front.”

One other area of supply growth is in the natural gas market. The company approved eight 10-megawatt natural gas-fired generators— expected to enter service over the next two years—to support ET’s operations in Texas. The company has also been in conversations with utilities and, in some cases, manufacturers, who are interested in a power supply.

Energy Transfer is in talks with a Texas chip manufacturer for a gas pipeline and sees a growing opportunity for natural gas demand that dovetails with data center growth, said ET co-CEO Mackie McCrea.

“We're believers like everybody else,” McCrea said. “The data centers—especially around AI—it's going to happen.”

A TPH Energy analysis said Energy Transfer could benefit from an AI data center boom.

“We have even more conviction that ET is in one of the best positions to capture the upcoming AI and natural gas demand ramp, especially in the Texas region,” analyst Zack Van Everen wrote in a May 9 report.

Litigation status

The company gave no updates on several lawsuits regarding rights-of-way on its network in Louisiana.

Last year, Energy Transfer took legal action to prevent other midstream companies, Williams (WMB), DT Midstream and Momentum Midstream, from crossing ET’s pipeline network. The suit alleges the companies did not meet Energy Transfer’s safety standards.

The other companies responded in their various lawsuits that ET was more interested in protecting its market share. In April, a Louisiana appeals court ruled against Energy Transfer in its case against DTM. The other rulings are pending. Williams Cos. executives said during the company’s May 7 first-quarter earnings call that they expect to win their case.