Russia's invasion of Ukraine has changed the game for the U.S. natural gas industry. Energy security has become a top priority for countries, leading them to lock up contracts for supplies of natural gas. That's benefiting the companies that own and develop infrastructure for transporting natural gas and liquefying it for export.

One of those beneficiaries is Kinder Morgan (KMI -0.88%), and its second-quarter results -- delivered after the bell Wednesday -- clearly reflect that. Here's a closer look at those numbers and what its management team sees ahead for the natural gas market.

Drilling down into Kinder Morgan's second-quarter results

During the second quarter, Kinder Morgan generated $1.176 billion, or $0.52 per share, of distributable cash flow. That was up 15% overall from the year-ago period, and up 16% on a per-share basis thanks to the positive impact of the company's stock-buyback program. That was enough cash to cover Kinder Morgan's 6.4%-yielding dividend with $545 million to spare. 

The company delivered strong results across all four of its business segments.

Kinder Morgan's earnings by segment in the second quarter of 2022 and 2021.

Data source: Kinder Morgan quarterly reports. Chart by the author.

Earnings from Kinder Morgan's core natural gas pipelines segment were up 6%. The primary driver of that growth was its Stagecoach acquisition. The company also benefited from favorable pricing on two gathering systems and higher volumes on another one.

Product pipeline earnings increased by 2%. The company benefited from favorable pricing, especially in its transmix business, and increased volumes from its petroleum condensate processing facility.

Terminals segment earnings rose 3%. The company profited from higher volumes at its truck rack terminals and refined product hub facilities.

Finally, carbon dioxide segment earnings soared by 40%. Kinder Morgan benefited from higher prices for crude oil, natural gas liquids, and carbon dioxide. While crude oil volumes were down, output from its SACROC field was higher than forecast.

What management sees ahead

Kinder Morgan had initially forecast that it would produce $4.7 billion, or $2.07 per share, of distributable cash flow this year. That would have been 9% higher than last year's level after adjusting for the positive impact of the major winter storm that struck Texas in February 2021. However, with market conditions improving, management now expects its 2022 results to come in about 5% above that number. 

Meanwhile, company leadership is increasingly optimistic about what lies ahead for the natural gas market. CEO Steve Kean stated in the earnings press release: "Our natural gas pipelines segment continues to see strong demand for the extensive firm transport and storage services we offer, as well as favorable contract renewals." He further noted: 

We are also prepared to invest more in the near term to support LNG growth as we pursue a robust set of opportunities for additional LNG transport capacity. We currently transport approximately 50% of the natural gas used for U.S. LNG exports and given the proximity of our assets to planned LNG expansions, we expect to maintain or grow that share as we pursue that set of opportunities.

Also in Q2, Kinder Morgan received regulatory approval to move forward on the two-phase Evangeline Pass project to serve Venture Global's proposed Plaquemines LNG facility. The $627 million project will provide the facility with 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, with an in-service date aligned with the expected phased starts of the facility. The company and its partners also recently made a final investment decision to expand the Permian Highway Pipeline, which will move more gas from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast starting in November 2023. And it's working toward securing enough customer contracts to expand the Gulf Coast Express pipeline, which would transport more gas from the Permian to the Gulf Coast. 

The growth picture is getting brighter

With energy security rapidly becoming an extremely pressing concern for governments around the world, energy companies are having an easier time securing the contracts they need to move forward with new natural gas infrastructure projects. As a leader in natural gas infrastructure, Kinder Morgan is capitalizing on these market conditions by moving forward with new projects. That should enable it to continue growing, and potentially give it the fuel to keep increasing its high-yielding dividend.