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Kinder Morgan Cancels Gas Pipeline Project

Kinder Morgan has decided to shelve its Utica Marcellus Texas Pipeline project, the company said at the presentation of its third-quarter financial results. Instead, Kinder Morgan said, it will focus on its existing Tennessee Gas Pipeline, which transports natural gas from the Gulf Coast in Louisiana to the northeast, including New York and Boston.

The UMTP was supposed to transport natural gas liquids from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays to the Gulf Coast in Texas. Back in 2015, the company filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to abandon the TGP project in favor of the UMTP, which would have had a design capacity of 430,000 barrels daily. Now, the company will instead start working on reversing the flow of the TGP and is looking for producer commitments for the route between Appalachia and the Gulf Coast.

Kinder Morgan exceeded analyst expectations with its third-quarter results, reporting a net profit of US$693 million and announcing a quarterly dividend of US$0.20 per share. The net result compares with US$334 million booked in the third quarter of 2017. Cash flow also improved, rising 4 percent from Q3 2017 to US$1.1 billion, Kinder Morgan said.

The company earlier this year abandoned another, much more prominent project, in Canada. The Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion that should have increased the flow of heavy crude from Alberta to the Canadian West Coast substantially was sold to the federal government in Ottawa after it became clear to Kinder Morgan that same government could not guarantee that the project would go through thanks to massive opposition from environmentalists and the new provincial government in British Columbia. Kinder Morgan said it expected cash proceeds from the Trans Mountain sale would total US$900 million.

At the same time, the company made a final investment decision on another pipeline, this time in the Permian, where producers have been faced with growing pipeline bottlenecks as production grows faster than the pipeline network. Kinder Morgan said it had secured sufficient long-term commitments for the Permian Highway pipeline to begin construction.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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