KM Launches Open Season For Light Crude Oil Service

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Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. launched an open season to solicit market interest for its Cochin Bakken Crude Project, which would enable the pipeline to offer a new service for light crude oil transportation from the Bakken producing region in North Dakota to destination points in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.  Subject to shipper support, regulatory approval and necessary capital improvements, Bakken crude oil shipments could begin as soon as Feb. 1, 2011, and Kinder Morgan could move up to 30,000 bopd. 

Kinder Morgan is seeking binding commitments from interested customers for contract terms of three or five years, with service beginning Feb. 1, 2011. 

The proposed expansion capitalizes on Kinder Morgan’s ability to expeditiously modify the existing excess capacity on the pipeline into light sweet crude oil service.

Cochin is a multi-product pipeline consisting of approximately 1,900 miles of 12-inch pipeline operating between Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Windsor, Ontario.  Cochin traverses three provinces in Canada and seven states in the United States, transporting propane, butane and natural gas liquids to the midwestern United States and eastern Canadian petrochemical and fuel markets.  The pipeline includes 31 pump stations spaced at 60-mile intervals and five U.S. propane terminals.  Underground storage, owned by third parties and KMP, is available at Fort Saskatchewan and Windsor.

“This proposed expansion gives shippers in the Bakken producing region a significant and cost-effective alternative to move their crude oil to markets in the upper Midwest and beyond,” said Tom Bannigan, president of Kinder Morgan’s Products Pipelines group.  “In addition, the Cochin Pipeline provides refineries in the region with a new, reliable supply of high quality crude oil.”