Kinder Morgan shelves Texas-to-California crude pipeline project

HOUSTON Fri May 31, 2013 2:21pm EDT

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HOUSTON May 31 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP shelved a potential $2 billion plan to convert a natural gas pipeline to carry cheap West Texas crude to Southern California on lack of shipper interest, the company said on Friday.

"We don't believe in the concept of build it and they will come," said West Region Gas Pipelines President Mark Kissel. "We stated at the outset that we would not move forward with the project without customer support."

The project would have involved converting a 740-mile (1,19km) natural gas pipeline to move crude oil from the Permian Basin to refiners in Southern California that otherwise rely on pricey imports.

However, a two-month-long open season didn't garner enough shipper interest to justify the investment, the company said.

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