Two weeks after Bluegrass Pipeline LLC launched an open season to test support in a pipeline to carry natural gas liquids (NGL) from Appalachia to Gulf Coast markets, another team officially joined the horse race on Monday.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) and MarkWest Utica EMG LLC’s binding open season through Dec. 20 is seeking binding commitments for a proposed Y-grade pipeline to carry NGLs from the Utica and Marcellus shales to Mont Belvieu, TX (see Shale Daily, Aug. 9).

The venture involves converting to liquids more than 1,000 miles of KMP’s 24- and 26-inch Tennessee Gas Pipeline system from Mercer, PA, to Natchitoches, LA. About 200 miles of new pipeline would travel from Natchitoches to Mont Belvieu. The pipeline, which could be in service by mid-2016, is designed to carry 150,000 b/d initially and be expandable to 400,000 b/d.

Bluegrass, whose open season launched Oct. 29, is sponsored by Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP. It not only has a head start, but it offers more takeaway from the Marcellus and Utica plays, as well as potentially more options and a tentative in service date of late 2015 (see Shale Daily, Oct. 25; Aug. 12). Bluegrass is offering 200,000 b/d of mixed NGL takeaway capacity from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Sponsors also are offering a liquefied petroleum gas export terminal near Lake Charles, LA (see Shale Daily, Oct. 3).

For information on the KMP/MarkWest project, contact Kinder Morgan Midstream’s Russ Mahan at (713) 369-9870.