Rockies Express gas line sees Northeast US interest

NEW YORK Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:59pm EST

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NEW YORK Dec 12 (Reuters) - Rockies Express Pipeline LLC said Wednesday it completed a successful nonbinding open season, gauging interest on a 375-mile, Ohio to New Jersey extension of the huge pipeline that is currently under construction.

The "Northeast Express" project would run from Clarington, Ohio, adding capacity to receive volumes from Lebanon, Ohio, to an endpoint in Princeton, New Jersey, the company said in a statement.

Market interest from producers, marketers, local distribution companies and power generators during the open season exceeded the pipeline's initial design estimate of 1.5 million dekatherms per day.

Subject to receipt of binding commitments and regulatory approvals, the extension could begin service in late 2010, the company said.

The 1,678-mile, $4.4 billion Rockies Express pipeline is a joint venture of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP (KMP.N), Sempra Energy (SRE.N) unit Sempra Pipelines and Storage, and ConocoPhillips (COP.N).

When complete in June 2009, the pipeline will be one of the largest natural gas lines constructed in North America, transporting 1.8 billion cubic feet per day of supply.

The first 328-mile segment running from the Meeker Hub in Rio Blanco County, Colorado, to the Wamsutter Hub in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, to the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado, began service in early 2006.

The 713-mile REX-West segment extending from the Cheyenne Hub to an interconnection with Panhandle Eastern Pipeline in Audrain County, Missouri is expected to begin interim service in late December, with full service by February 2008. (Reporting by Eileen Moustakis)

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