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Kinder Morgan pipeline applies for expansion to deliver gas to Sabine Pass LNG

Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC asked FERC to authorize a pipeline expansion that would create north-to-south firm transportation capacity for gas delivery to Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass liquefaction and LNG terminal.

In a Dec. 13 application, the Kinder Morgan Inc. affiliate said the modifications would enable the transport of at least 600,000 Dth/d from existing pipeline interconnects to Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and would make existing delivery points bidirectional. The application also seeks permission to replace a meter station with a larger one at the same site. The expansion is estimated to cost $151 million.

"The project is a market-driven response to the availability of increasing domestic natural gas supplies, coupled with a rising and robust international demand for natural gas to assist in reducing emissions from the increased electrification of developing nations as well as maturing international economies," the company wrote to FERC.

The pipeline was originally designed for south-to-north transportation of regasified natural gas from the Sabine Pass LNG import terminal to various pipelines in Louisiana and "currently has no firm shippers since the anchor shippers that supported the initial construction of [Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline] bought out of their firm contracts in 2014 and 2015," according to the application.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline company entered into a precedent agreement with Sabine Pass to transport gas using a new north-to-south path as a result of a 2014 open season, the application said. (FERC docket CP17-22)

Sabine Pass receives natural gas via the Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline Co. LP and Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America LLC, or NGPL. The terminal has two liquefaction trains online and is expected to put two more into service in 2017.

The Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline system consists of two pipelines that originate at Sabine Pass, with one ending at Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC in Evangeline Parish, La., and the other connecting with NGPL and then continuing to two delivery interconnects near Johnson Bayou, La., Kinder Morgan's website said. The 135-mile pipeline system has a total design capacity of 2.2 Bcf/d.