Jan 16 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, which operates oil and gas pipelines and terminals, said on Wednesday it raised its cash distribution 11 percent in the fourth quarter, helped by higher volumes in most of its businesses.
Kinder Morgan, the largest so-called midstream company in North America, was created when it finalized its purchase of El Paso Corp last year in a deal valued around $38 billion.
The company has benefited from the boom in oil and gas exploration surrounding shale formations in North America because many of those basins had little or no infrastructure.
The Houston company raised its quarterly cash distribution to $1.29 per unit, up from $1.16 a year earlier.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is a master limited partnership (MLP), a tax efficient structure that distributes most of its cash flows to investors. Kinder Morgan Inc owns the general partnership interest in Kinder Morgan Partners.
"We currently have identified approximately $11 billion in expansion and joint venture investments at KMP that we have, or are confident that we will soon have, under contract and we are pursuing customer commitments for many more projects," Chief Executive Officer Richard Kinder said in a statement.
This year alone, Kinder Morgan Partners said it expects to invest nearly $3 billion in expansion and acquisitions, it said.