From: Reuters
Published May 30, 2008 03:06 PM

FERC staff OKs Midcontinent pipeline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The proposed Midcontinent Express pipeline would do little harm to the environment and should be approved, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff said on Friday.

The $1.3 billion project would be able to transport 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day to markets in the Midwest, Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States.

The 500-mile pipeline would stretch from southeastern Oklahoma, across northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and central Mississippi before it connects with the Transco Pipeline in west central Alabama.

In a final report, FERC staff said if approved, the pipeline "would result in limited adverse environmental impacts."

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FERC commissioners will consider the staff's recommendations when they decide at a later date whether to approve the project. The commissioners usually follow the staff's advice.

Construction on the pipeline is set to begin this summer, pending FERC approval, and be completed by March 2009.

The pipeline project is joint venture between Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Energy Transfer Partners L.P..

All 1.4 billion cubic feet of the pipeline's daily capacity were fully subscribed by last month by creditworthy shippers, according to the project's owners.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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