Kinder Morgan Steps Up Marcellus/Utica Investment with NGPL Buyout

On Monday the largest pipeline company in the United States, Kinder Morgan, and their partner Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, announced a deal to buy out a third partner in the Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL). When the deal is done, both Kinder Morgan and Brookfield will each own 50% of NGPL, although Kinder is the pipeline operator. NGPL, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a huge interstate pipeline system located in the Midwest and southwest. (See a copy of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline systems map below. The dark green lines represent NGPL.) So why is the NGPL buyout in the Midwest/southwest a Marcellus/Utica story? Because NGPL is currently building an expansion in the Chicago area, appropriately called the Chicago Market Expansion Project. That expansion will carry gas coming into the NGPL pipeline where it intersects with the Rockies Express (REX) pipeline in in Moultrie County, Illinois northward into the Chicago area. REX recently reversed its flow and now carries Marcellus/Utica gas to Moultrie—meaning more Marcellus/Utica gas will be flowing to the Chicago area starting in 2016 when the Expansion Project is put into service (see 1.8 Bcf/d of Marcellus/Utica Gas Heads West on REX Starting Aug 1). A little over two months ago Kinder Morgan announced they would reverse the flow for part of NGPL and begin sending northeast gas south, to the Gulf Coast (see Marcellus/Utica Gas Heading to TX LNG Export Plant…in 2018), meaning gas arriving at Moultrie will not only go north, it eventually will go south too. So the NGPL purchase is very much about the Marcellus/Utica…

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