Kinder Morgan’s El Paso Natural Gas Co. LLC (EPNG) is holding a binding open season for a proposed new pipeline that would extend from its South Mainline System near Tucson, AZ, to the U.S.-Mexico border near Sasabe, AZ.

The Sasabe Pipeline would be a 36-inch diameter line and tie in at approximate milepost (MP) 502.6 on EPNG’s existing 26-inch-diameter Line No. 1100 and 30-inch-diameter Line No. 1103 and would extend about 60 miles southwest to the border, where it would connect with a new pipeline to be constructed in Mexico.

Initial capacity of the pipeline would be about 200,000 Dth/d. Service could begin by Sept. 30, 2014, depending upon shipper commitments and regulatory approvals, EPNG said.

The open season ends at 1 p.m. MST Nov. 15. For more information, access the customer notice on the EPNG bulletin board.

FERC recently approved two companion applications to allow EPNG to modify its border-crossing facilities in Arizona (see Daily GPI, Oct. 16).

In one application El Paso had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to amend and reissue three separate border crossings to increase the combined maximum daily export capacity to 446,000 Mcf from 208,000 Mcf of gas from the United States to two new power plants to be sited in Sonora, Mexico [CP12-7].

In the other, EPNG had sought to modify facilities on the 61-mile Willcox Lateral upstream of EPNG’s border-crossing facilities [CP12-6]. EPNG’s Willcox Compressor Station in southern Arizona does not provide any compression for the Willcox Lateral, and EPNG had proposed to reconfigure the compressor station from mainline service to lateral service to serve future power plants in the State of Sonora.

From 2010 to 2011, Mexico imported about 500 Bcf of natural gas from the United States, according to Energy Information Administration data (see Daily GPI, Sept. 28). Mexico is expected to import more gas from the United States as demand there grows and supplies from shale plays in the United States increases.

Earlier this year Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Transmission LP proposed a pipeline expansion to carry gas produced in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas across the Mexican border. “The South Texas Expansion Project is designed to provide an efficient means to transport these supplies to a delivery point with Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex),” the pipeline said in a document describing the project, which could begin service in summer 2014. The expansion would have a maximum overall capacity of 300,000 Dth/d, depending upon open season results, Spectra said (see Shale Daily, June 22).

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