Tallgrass Buys Out Sempra’s Portion of REX Pipeline for $440M

Just a few years ago that Tallgrass Energy, majority owner of the Rockies East Express (REX) pipeline–a 1,712-mile pipeline which runs from Colorado and Wyoming to Ohio–had an “Oh crap!” moment. The pipeline was built to bring then-abundant natural gas from the West to markets in the Midwest (like Chicago) and the East–via connections with other pipelines. Then the Marcellus and Utica happened, forever changing the natural gas dynamic in the United States. Nobody in the Midwest and East wanted western gas anymore. What to do?! Tallgrass knows how to pivot, and pivot they did–deciding to reverse the flow for a portion of the REX pipeline (see REX Reverses Pipeline Flow from OH for Mystery Utica Customer). Their bright idea worked, and beginning last August, the REX pipeline from Monroe County, OH to Mexico, MO reversed its flow (see 1.8 Bcf/d of Marcellus/Utica Gas Heads West on REX Starting Aug 1). What was a huge negative turned into a big positive for Tallgrass. Now Marcellus/Utica rides the pipeline west every single day–and there’s no sign of it letting up. If anything, REX will reverse more of the line at some point. That got Tallgrass to thinking, maybe REX had become the crown jewel of the company. So Tallgrass has decided to buy out one of partners in REX, Sempra Energy, to the tune of $440 million…

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