Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP said Tuesday that it's Texas Intrastate Pipeline Group is soliciting interest in firm pipeline and storage capacity that is expected to be available in April 2006. About 400,000 MMBtu/d of firm intrastate pipeline capacity and 4 Bcf of storage space is being offered in the open season. Kinder Morgan said the pipeline space will be accessible via various receipt points along its Texas intrastate system and gas can be delivered to certain industrial end users as well as other pipelines. The storage space will include nine storage cycles annually with 150,000 Dth/d of injection capability and 300,000 Dth/d of withdrawal capability. KMP's Texas intrastate system covers 5,800 miles and has a peak transport capacity of about 5 Bcf/d with 120 Bcf of working storage capacity. For details on the available storage and pipeline space, contract Bruce Page at (713) 369-9303.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) said it assigned a "B+" rating to the proposed $500 million senior unsecured notes and corporate credit of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal developer Cheniere Energy Inc. with a stable outlook. S&P analysts said the junk bond rating primarily reflects the risk and uncertainties of the company rather than the operations of its four proposed LNG projects. The notes will be used to fund construction of proposed LNG terminals along the Gulf Coast, including one in Freeport, TX (1.5 Bcf/d), another in Sabine Pass, LA (2.6 Bcf/d), one in Corpus Christi, TX (2.6 Bcf/d) and the last near Lake Charles, LA (3.3 Bcf/d). Only two of the projects, Freeport and Sabine Pass, have final regulatory approvals in place and are fully contracted and financed. The total expected investment in the projects is more than $3 billion. "The projects are expected to have strong economics and stable cash flows, especially at Sabine Pass, where long-term contracts have been executed and the terms are known," said S&P analyst Swami Venkataraman. "The primary credit risk for the noteholders comes from the fact that except for an interest escrow account, there are minimal restrictions on the use of the funds should future terminals not be built." Meanwhile, Moody's assigned a similar B3 rating to Cheniere's pending $500 million of 10-year senior unsecured notes, a B1 senior implied rating, and an SGL-2 liquidity rating with a stable outlook. Moody's expects Cheniere's first material operating cash flow to begin in second half 2008.
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