El Paso to build Arizona pipeline supplying gas to Mexico

El Paso Natural Gas Co. LLC affiliate Sasabe Pipeline Co. will provide 200 MMcfd of firm transportation capacity via a 60-mile, 36-in. OD lateral pipeline extending from EPNG’s existing south mainlines, near Tucson, Ariz., to the US-Mexico border at Sasabe, Ariz. The Sasabe Pipeline would interconnect with a 36-in. OD pipeline to be built by Sempra International in Mexico via an international border crossing.

Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) last month awarded contracts to Sempra International to build, own, and operate a 500-mile, $1 billion pipeline network connecting the northwestern states of Sonora and Sinaloa (OGJ Online, Oct. 26, 2012). The Sempra pipeline will supply natural gas to fuel-oil-fired power generation plants scheduled for conversion as well as new gas-fired power plants to be built during the next 15 years. The Sasabe Pipeline would interconnect with this network.

The Sasabe Pipeline requires US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval and a presidential permit for an interconnection-border crossing at the international boundary at Sasabe. EPNG initiated the National Environmental Policy Act prefiling process with the FERC in April and anticipates filing the FERC certificate and presidential permit applications in early 2013. Subject to regulatory approvals, EPNG expects to begin building the Sasabe lateral first-quarter 2014 for a September 2014 in-service date.

EPNG, owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Kinder Morgan Inc., signed a 25-year transportation precedent agreement to support the $200 million project.

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

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