TransColorado Seeks 3rd Pty Operator

A legal battle between Kinder Morgan and Questar over their TransColorado Gas Transmission partnership could lead to a third party entering the picture to operate the 292-mile pipeline. In a bulletin board notice yesterday, TransColorado invited third parties interested in becoming the independent operator of its system to provide statements of qualification in order to receive requests for proposals.

"Because there is a lawsuit between the two companies and [the partnership is being dissolved], we have decided to look for a third party operator," said Kinder Morgan spokesman Larry Pierce.

Kinder Morgan filed the lawsuit against Questar in Colorado District Court in Garfield County in June charging Questar with a breach of its fiduciary duty to the TransColorado pipeline partnership after Questar announced plans to build a competing pipeline that would transport gas from the Uinta Basin to the Kern River Pipeline.

"We were disappointed in their decision to do that and frankly quite dismayed at their decision to do that," Pierce said. "We felt we had no alternative but to file a lawsuit." He said the trial date for the suit has been scheduled for February 2002.

The third-party operator of the pipeline will perform, or engage others to perform, administrative, legal, regulatory and marketing functions currently performed by the partners, the bulletin board announcement said. Candidates must provide a statement of qualifications by 4 p.m. CST Jan. 24. The RFP will be sent by Jan. 31.

TransColorado consists of 292 miles of 22-inch and 24-inch pipe extending from Piceance Basin near Meeker, CO, to San Juan Basin near Blanco, NM. To obtain details, including an organizational chart, call Dianne Barrett at (303) 763-3676 or Evelyn Zimmerman at (801) 324-5564.

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