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FERC issues draft EIS for Midcontinent Express

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 12 -- The proposed Midcontinent Express natural gas pipeline would have minimal environmental impacts under recommended mitigation measures, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded in a draft environmental impact statement on Feb. 8.

The 500-mile system is being developed by Midcontinent Express Pipeline LLC, a joint venture of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Energy Transfer Partners LP. It would extend from southeastern Oklahoma across northeastern Texas, northern Louisiana, and central Mississippi, to Alabama, the sponsors said on the project's web site.

The system would have 1.4-1.5 bcfd of gas capacity, which could be expanded to 1.8 bcfd of gas with compression. It would go into service on Mar. 1, 2009, assuming all necessary regulatory approvals are received and construction proceeds on schedule, the sponsors said.

The project also would include a 4.1-mile lateral pipeline in Louisiana, a total of 111,720 hp of compression at one booster and four main line compressor stations, and associated ancillary facilities, FERC said.

It noted that Midcontinent Express plans to use existing rights-of-way for 257.2 miles, or about 51%, of the proposed route. The sponsors plan to use a project plan and procedures to minimize and mitigate impacts on natural resources during the proposed project's construction and operation, the federal regulatory agency said.

FERC said that commissioners will consider the staff's recommendation and final EIS before issuing a final decision on the project. It is accepting comments on the draft EIS through Mar. 31.

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