Dec 4 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan on Monday forecast higher 2024 earnings as the U.S. pipeline operator bets on increased demand for transporting crude oil and gas liquids.

Net income attributable to Kinder Morgan for 2024 is expected to be $1.21 per share, up 11% from its forecast of $1.09 per share for 2023.

"We expect to continue benefiting from strong natural gas market fundamentals driving growth on our existing natural gas transportation, storage, and gathering and processing assets as well as expansion opportunities," Kim Dang, chief executive officer of Kinder Morgan, said in a statement.

The pipeline operator also anticipates to benefit from increased rates in refined products businesses, demand for renewable diesel and renewable diesel feedstocks, and demand for renewable natural gas.

Profits for oil and gas transportation have been helped by strong demand due to low U.S. inventory levels and increased exports, as buyers sought alternatives to Russian oil since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year.

Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America and operates about 82,000 miles of pipelines.

Canadian peers TC Energy and Enbridge also earlier estimated higher adjusted core earnings for 2024.

Kinder Morgan expects to generate $8 billion of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) in 2024, up 5% from the 2023 forecast of $7.6 billion.

The company added that it expects to invest $2.3 billion in discretionary capital expenditures, including expansion projects and contributions to joint ventures. (Reporting by Tanay Dhumal and Arunima Kumarin in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)