Rockies Express Pipeline May Reverse Flow To Move Shale Gas

August 2011, Vol. 238 No. 8

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP is now considering reversing its Rockies Express Pipeline, acknowledging that with plenty of natural gas along the East Coast, the pipeline may better serve customers in the West.

Mark Kissel, president of Kinder’s western region, said the company “stands ready” to reverse the two-year-old multibillion-dollar pipeline to bring gas from the East Coast as far west as California.

Reversing the pipeline would cost Kinder Morgan about $1 million on each of 18 compressor stations. If the company moves ahead with its reversal plan, an east-to-west pipeline would help smooth out a mismatch in supply and demand that has created a disparity in pricing, with utilities on the coasts often paying far more for fuel, said a report in the Wall Street Journal. A reversed Rockies Express could go a long way toward creating one gas price throughout the U.S. by removing local gluts and shortages, said Cathy Landry, spokeswoman for the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.

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