Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) is holding a binding open season through May for capacity on the proposed 1,025-mile Freedom Pipeline LLC for transporting Permian Basin crude from Texas to refineries in both Southern and Northern California.

KMP management has been thinking about the project since at least last fall (see Shale Daily, Oct. 19, 2012).

KMP said its proposed pipeline is the only westbound project from the Permian and would enable transportation of crude from the Wink-Midland, TX, area to anticipated interconnections with intrastate pipelines in California at Emidio and Pentland. An average daily capacity of 277,000 b/d is anticipated, KMP said.

An in-service for the proposed oil pipeline is set for the fourth quarter of 2016. KMP said that with sufficient customer and regulatory approvals, construction of crude oil facilities and natural gas replacement facilities owned by KMP’s El Paso Natural Gas Co. LLC (EPNG) could begin by June 2015.

“Construction of the KMP Freedom Pipeline largely will be within, or co-located adjacent to, existing utility rights-of-way for almost its entire approximately 1,025-mile length, which will minimize environmental impacts,” KMP said.

As currently planned, the Freedom Pipeline project will consist of several major components:

KMP said it will pursue the acquisition of the required pipelines and facilities now owned by EPNG. Eventually, those transactions and the overall project will need approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.