Kinder Morgan announces westbound Marcellus NGL pipeline

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Apr. 21 -- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP announced Apr. 20 plans to modify and expand the existing Cochin Pipeline system to facilitate transportation of natural gas liquids from the Marcellus shale basin to fractionation plants and chemical markets near Sarnia, Ont., and Chicago.

KMEP plans to build 250 miles of NGL pipeline from the Marcellus shale in southern Pennsylvania to the Cochin interconnect at Riga, Mich. From Riga, the company anticipates product will travel through the existing Cochin system to Windsor, Ont., and then through the Windsor-Sarnia Pipeline to Sarnia. KMEP also plans to reverse the eastern leg of its Cochin line to move NGL from Riga to Chicago, where it expects to build an additional pipeline to connect to existing fractionation facilities and chemical plants.

The line will transport mixed NGL (Y-grade), as well as purity NGLs such as ethane, and will have an initial throughput capacity of 75,000 b/d, expandable to 175,000 b/d.

The recent decision by Canada’s National Energy Board directing reconnection of the Cochin Pipeline to the Windsor-Sarnia Pipeline will give Cochin Pipeline shippers access to the Sarnia chemical complex.

KMEP anticipates offering transportation from Marcellus to Sarnia for under 14¢/gal and expects to move forward with an open season in this year’s second quarter.

Enbridge Inc. announced its own plans Mar. 22 to develop an NGL pipeline from the Marcellus shale to the US Midwest. The proposed line would deliver into the existing NGL system in the Chicago area, including the Aux Sable facility (OGJ Online, Mar. 24, 2010).

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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