Rockies Express Pipeline LLC's (REX) projected time frame -- early February -- for completing the remainder of its western leg known as REX-West has come and gone.

The company now expects the remaining 213 miles of the REX-West project, running eastward from an ANR Pipeline interconnect in Brown County, KS, to Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line (PEPL) in Audrain County, MO, to be in service sometime in March. It said "extreme weather conditions have significantly impacted progress" on construction of the line, prompting it to further push back the start-up date.

The delay apparently is not expected to have much impact on producers in the Rocky Mountain states due to the high local demand for natural gas by western states this winter. However, this could change if service on the entire REX-West, which would take Rockies gas eastward, is postponed until the warmer spring period.

On Jan. 12, REX began interim service on the bulk of the REX-West system stretching 500 miles from the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, CO, to the ANR delivery point in Kansas (see NGI, Jan. 14). Throughput was pegged at 1.4 Bcf.d.

The $4 billion REX pipeline is owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, Sempra Pipelines & Storage and ConocoPhillips. The nearly 1,700-mile REX system is being built in three main sections, including the 327-mile REX-Entrega line, the REX-West leg and the REX-East portion, which would take gas from Audrain County to Clarington, OH. REX-Entrega and most of REX-West are in operation, but REX-East is still in the permitting stage.

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