Kinder Morgan Inc. said its Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL) subsidiary is moving forward with a 200,000 Dth/d expansion of its Gulf Coast and Louisiana mainlines to support greater transportation of gas from growing supply basins to the Henry Hub.

The go-ahead came after the company conducted a binding open season from April 11 through May 2 (see Daily GPI, April 12). The $69 million expansion project is supported by long-term, firm gas transportation contracts with shippers, the company said. As part of the project NGPL will install 31,000 horsepower of compression and three miles of 36-inch diameter line looping. The scope of work also includes reconfiguring NGPL’s compressor station 304 on the Gulf Coast mainline in Harrison County, TX, to allow the flow of natural gas southward into the Louisiana Line.

“The expansion will provide valuable takeaway capacity for some of the most prolific and fastest growing producing areas in the country, including the Fayetteville Shale and Barnett Shale plays,” said Scott Parker, president of KMI’s Natural Gas Pipelines group. “By providing greater access to the Henry Hub and other interstate pipeline systems, the project will also enhance the ability of shippers to reach important consuming markets along the East Coast.”

The Gulf Coast mainline, which extends to the Chicago area from South Texas, is one of the main arteries on the NGPL system. The Louisiana Line, which originates at NGPL’s Gulf Coast mainline in Montgomery County, TX, extends eastward, connecting to other major interstate systems and terminating at the Henry Hub. Capacity on the Louisiana Line is currently sold out.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the expansion project is expected to begin service in January 2008.

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