Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) on Wednesday launched a binding open season to solicit support for the proposed Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline (UMTP), a $4 billion project that would carry natural gas liquids (NGL) to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The pipeline, to include connectivity to a Kinder dock on the coast, would require abandoning and converting 964 miles of natural gas service on its existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP), constructing 200 miles of pipeline from Louisiana to Texas, adding storage in Ohio and building 120 miles of laterals to provide basin connectivity.

“Repurposing the existing TGP asset provides increased optionality, reliability and market connectivity to shippers for all products, and supports the increasing production growth in the basin,” said KMI’s Don Lindley, president of natural gas liquids and products pipelines.

The project would be designed to transport propane, butanes, natural gasoline, y-grade and condensate in batches, with a maximum design capacity of 430,000 b/d. With support and regulatory approvals, UMTP could be in service by late 2018.

Moving NGLs to the Gulf Coast has been proposed by other operators in various configurations, including KMI. Two years ago Tennessee launched a package of proposals to transport gas from the Utica to the Gulf Coast, including one that also would have repurposed a mainline to carry NGLs from Ohio (see Daily GPINov 21, 2013). That project at that time involved partnering with MarkWest Utica EMG LLC.

The proposal faced stiff competition from other operators, including the now dead Bluegrass Pipeline offered by Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP that would have carried NGLs starting as soon as this year (see Shale DailyFeb. 20, 2014). Williams CEO Alan Armstrong said last year his company wouldn’t make a bet on a liquids takeaway solution for Appalachia until shippers stepped up support (see Shale DailyMay 1, 2014).

The open season for UMTP ends Sept. 15. Prospective shippers may contact Mike Sims, who directs NGL business development, via email or (713) 420-4731. Information is available at