UPDATE 1-Kinder Morgan seeks to send more natgas from U.S. to Mexico
By Jeanine Prezioso
NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Inc's Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC (KMTP) requested authorization from U.S. federal energy regulators to allow it to ship more natural gas from Texas to Mexico as companies line up to capitalize on the domestic natural gas shale boom.
Kinder Morgan on Friday filed an application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to amend a presidential permit and authorization under the Natural Gas Act to permit it to ship 700 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of natural gas on the Mier-Monterrey pipeline from the existing 425 mmcfd.
"The increase in capability to move gas through the existing cross-border facilities will be accomplished by system modifications to nonjurisdictional facilities upstream of KMTP's cross-border facility," Kinder said in the filing.
The 95-mile Mier-Monterrey pipeline runs through international borders between Starr County, Texas, into Monterrey, Mexico, where it connects to a 1,000 megawatt power plant complex and into Pemex-Gas Y Petroquimica Basica's natural gas transportation system, Kinder said on its website.
Pemex currently ships gas on the pipeline.
Kinder is asking for the authorization by no later than June 1.
A Kinder spokesman said the company had "no announcements regarding customers or additional color to provide at this time."
Natural gas producers have fine-tuned a technology known as "hydraulic fracturing" or "fracking" that has let loose reams of natural gas from horizontal layers of rock below ground.
Firms who had invested in terminals to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the U.S. are now looking to convert them and build new terminals to export gas as production has grown.
Prices for the fuel on the global market fetch at times five-to-six times the U.S. price.
Exporting natural gas has become a hot button issue as supplies have grown.
The U.S. Department of Energy commissioned a study on LNG exports which was released in December to both supporters and detractors who fear exports would mean rising prices for U.S. consumers.
In the scenarios considered in the study "benefits that come from export expansion more than outweigh the losses from reduced capital and wage income to U.S. consumers, and hence LNG exports have net economic benefits in spite of higher domestic natural gas prices," it said.
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