FERC oks pipeline to move Rocky Mountain natgas

WASHINGTON Fri May 30, 2008 5:49pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday approved the REX-East pipeline, the third leg of a huge pipeline project to bring natural gas drilled in the Rocky Mountain region to markets in the Midwest and Eastern United States.

The Rockies Express-East pipeline would transport more than 1.8 billion cubic feet of gas a day. The 639 mile (1,028-km) pipeline would connect with the eastern end of the REX-West pipeline in Missouri, stretch through Illinois and Indiana, and terminate at a connection with three other pipelines in Ohio.

"This project, one of the largest pipelines to be constructed in the United States, is needed to meet ever-rising demand for natural gas to generate electricity and serve consumers in the Midwest and in the eastern regions of our country," said FERC Chairman Joseph Kelliher.

The pipeline's owners are Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Sempra Energy and ConocoPhillips. REX-East is expected to be in service in the summer of 2009.

FERC approved the first leg of the Rockies Express project in August 2005 with 327 miles of new pipeline that would carry 1.1 billion cubic feet of gas a day from Colorado and Wyoming to the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colorado.

The second leg was of the pipeline was the REX-West project, which was approved in 2007 and consists of 717 miles of pipeline connecting the Cheyenne hub to the delivery point in Audrain County, Missouri. REX-West can move up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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