Kinder, Calpine Waste No Time on Sonoran Pipeline

With so many proposed new pipelines and expansions in the works to serve the wild demand growth in California, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Calpine Corp. wasted no time last week in marketing space on their massive $1.7 billion gas pipeline project, which was announced last week (see Daily GPI, May 3). The companies launched an open season on Monday to take binding market requests for service through June 1 on their 1,030-mile Sonoran Pipeline.

The project is being split into two phases with two separate open seasons. Phase one would run from the San Juan Basin in New Mexico to the California border, and the second phase would extend from the border to the San Francisco Bay area. Sonoran already has received an acceptable binding commitment from Calpine Energy Services LP for 400,000 Dth/d on Phase One and a non-binding commitment for 500,000 Dth/d for Phase Two.

KMP and Calpine plan to jointly develop the Sonoran Pipeline, subject to a successful open season and other approvals. The proposed pipeline will be a high-pressure interstate natural gas pipeline from the San Juan Basin in northern New Mexico to markets in California. The project will provide much needed natural gas transportation capacity to California to serve rapidly growing electric generation demand. The projected in-service date for Sonoran is the summer of 2003.

After finalizing precedent agreements, in which shippers make binding contractual commitments to capacity on the line, Sonoran said it expects to file an application for a FERC certificate by Dec. 1. The pipeline will utilize existing right-of-way corridors as much as possible to minimize potential environmental impact, the companies said. Shippers seeking additional information on the project should contact Vice President Scott Parker at (630) 691-3689, Project Director Ron Happach at (630) 691-3622 or David Oros at (630) 691-3196.

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