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Energy Transfer expects $2.4 bln boost from winter storm

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By Laila Kearney

May 6 (Reuters) - Energy Transfer LP expects to gain roughly $2.4 billion from Winter Storm Uri, which knocked out power and halted the distribution of natural gas in Texas to homes and businesses, company executives on Thursday said. Dallas-based Energy Transfer, which operates energy pipelines and storage tanks, was able to cash in on soaring prices for natural gas during and after the storm froze in production and crippled energy transportation infrastructure.

Most of the windfall expected to be realized in 2021 came from trading and selling natural gas in Energy Transfer's energy storage system.

"The increased results were primarily driven by our significant ability to transport large volumes of natural gas from our storage facilities and from market hubs in Texas to power plants, cities and to (utilities) throughout the state during the historic freezing conditions," Thomas Long, co-chief executive officer, said on a company earnings call.

The company appears to be one of the biggest winners to emerge from a group of natural gas suppliers, pipeline companies and banks that trade commodities to reap major financial benefits from the historic winter storm.

Shares of Energy Transfer jumped in post-settlement trade following the earnings report and were last seen trading at $9.20 and were up around 3% on the day.

The financial boost comes as the Dakota Access Pipeline, which Energy Transfer operates, faces the possibility of a court-ordered shutdown during an environmental review of the line.

Volumes on the 570,000 barrel-per-day crude oil line out of North Dakota fell amid uncertainty over the pipeline's future, Long said.

A U.S. District Court judge is expected to rule on whether the line should shut pending the environmental review, which is expected to be completed in March 2022, this month.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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