KM Buys Shell’s Share in Elba LNG Export Plant, Marcellus Exports?

Kinder Morgan, the country’s largest midstream/pipeline company, announced yesterday they are buying out Shell’s share of a joint venture in building an LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility at the existing LNG import facility on Elba Island, Georgia–near Savannah. Currently Kinder owns 51% of the Elba Island LNG export project and Shell owns 49%. Kinder will now own 100% of the project after they pay Shell $630 million. Depending on how fast the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) acts, Kinder believes construction will begin by the end of this year an LNG exports will begin “in late 2017.” What does this have to do with Marcellus/Utica? Maybe nothing, but we suspect something. Kinder’s arch rival Williams owns the mighty Transco pipeline that connects, via the Elba Express pipeline, to the LNG facility. Currently Elba Island imports LNG. However, Williams has been on a mission to send Marcellus gas south–including to Georgia (see Marcellus Gas Heading to Georgia via Transco Pipeline). We don’t think it’s much of a stretch that Marcellus Shale gas, via the Transco, will be at least some of, if not the primary, source for gas exported from the Elba facility…

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