KMEP launches Marcellus NGL pipeline open season

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, June 15 -- Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP launched a 30-day nonbinding open season June 14 to further gauge shipper interest for its Marcellus lateral project, providing Marcellus shale natural gas liquids transportation to fractionation plants and petrochemical facilities near Sarnia, Ont.

The initial project would include about 230 miles of new pipeline from the Marcellus shale in southern Pennsylvania to the Cochin interconnect at Riga, Mich. From Riga, the company anticipates product will travel through its existing Cochin system to Windsor, Ont., and then through the Windsor-Sarnia Pipeline to Sarnia.

KMEP, however, also anticipates reversing 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, refineries, and chemical plants (OGJ Online, Apr. 21, 2010).

Subject to regulatory approvals and necessary investments, KMEP says Marcellus NGL shipments could begin as soon as mid-2012. KMEP anticipates moving more than 150,000 b/d through the system at a rate as low as 9¢/gal, given sufficient shipper support.

Cochin is a 1,900-mile, 12-in. OD multiproduct pipeline operating between Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and Windsor, passing through the Chicago market on the way. The pipeline, with a capacity of 70,000 b/d, includes 31 pump stations spaced at 60-mile intervals and five US propane terminals. It currently transports only propane. Underground storage, owned by third parties and KMEP, is available at Fort Saskatchewan and Windsor.

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

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