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FERC OKs Start of Construction on REX-East

FERC staff last Wednesday granted Rockies Express LLC's (REX) request to begin construction of facilities associated with the eastern leg of the 1,678-mile pipeline, which will transport Rocky Mountain natural gas to Midwest and eastern markets.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's letter order authorized the construction of Rockies Express East's (REX-East) facilities in Illinois (between mileposts 144.1 and 190.66), along with the Ameren Meter Station and an associated lateral [CP07-208].

In late May FERC issued a certificate for REX-East, the third and possibly final leg of the $4.4 billion REX pipeline (see NGI, June 2). The Commission's approval of REX-East closely followed the start-up of the entire 717-mile REX-West portion, which spans from the Cheyenne Hub in Colorado to Missouri (see NGI, May 26).

The proposed REX-East segment, when completed, will be a 638-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline that extends from an interconnection with the eastern terminus of REX-West in Audrain County, MO, through Illinois and Indiana, terminating at an interconnection with three pipelines at the Clarington Hub in Monroe County, OH. The three pipes are Dominion Transmission Inc., Dominion East Ohio and Texas Eastern Transmission.

The REX-East leg, much of which will run parallel to existing pipeline and utility corridors, would have the capability to deliver more than 1.8 Bcf/d while providing access to an additional 19 interstate and intrastate pipelines through 13 interconnection points. REX-East is expected to be fully operational by June 2009, according to Rockies Express.

The already-completed REX-West is a 713-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline running from the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, CO, to Audrain County. The completion of REX-West increased the capacity on the pipeline to 1.5 Bcf/d. REX-West interconnects with Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission, Northern Natural Gas Co., Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America, ANR Pipeline and Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co.

REX-West is the largest segment of the REX system, which is being built in three main sections -- the 327-mile REX-Entrega line and the REX-West and REX-East portions. The REX pipeline is a joint venture of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP; Sempra Pipelines and Storage, a unit of Sempra Energy; and ConocoPhillips.

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