El Paso Corp. said it is progressing toward a fourth quarter 2007 initial public offering of a pipeline master limited partnership (MLP). The Houston-based company intends to file a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the offer and sale of $500 million of common units, representing limited partner interest in subsidiary El Paso Pipeline Partners LP.

The expected MLP offering is larger than announced at El Paso’s February analyst meeting, the company said (see Daily GPI, Feb. 22). At that time, CEO Doug Foshee estimated that about $500 million of El Paso’s pipe assets could be dropped into an MLP.

El Paso Corp. would own the general partner of the MLP and a “substantial number” of its common and subordinated units. El Paso Pipeline Partners initially would own interests in several interstate natural gas pipelines that are currently owned by the corporation.

El Paso’s pipe system touches about a quarter of every molecule of natural gas delivered in the United States. Several systems are wholly owned: Tennessee Gas Pipeline, El Paso Natural Gas, Southern Natural Gas, Colorado Interstate Gas, Wyoming Interstate Co., Mojave Pipeline and Cheyenne Plains Gas Pipeline.

The company is scheduled to to announce its 2Q2007 earnings on Tuesday.

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