Kinder Morgan extends period for expanded-pipeline contracts

Kinder Morgan Canada has expanded its "open season," to allow for additional customers to commit to being served by a proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

The open season, held between Oct. 20, 2011 and Feb. 16, "received strong binding commercial support from a diverse group of shippers," according to a company press release.

It announced Tuesday it will extend the open season, for another two weeks ending April 10. "This will enable interested parties to provide additional binding volume commitments as a result of project scoping changes.

"The company intends to proceed with extensive and thorough consultation to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline, once final commitments are known."

Kinder Morgan is proposing to twin its 60-year-old pipeline which stretches 1,150 km from Edmonton to Burnaby.

"Extensions to open seasons are common in the industry," said Lexa Hobenshield of Kinder Morgan Canada by email. "In this case we have decided to offer an extension because based upon our current scope and level of commitments, we have room for more participation. More information on our proposed scope will be available later this spring."

Meanwhile, the company also announced it has signed a long-term contract with a major Canadian oil producer to support construction of another 1.2-million barrels of storage capacity at Trans Mountain pipeline's Edmonton terminal.

With a previously-announced 2.4 million barrels of storage being built there, it expects to have 3.6 million barrels of storage capacity in service by late 2013.

"The Edmonton hub will also play a very important staging role for crude oil in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal," said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, in a press release.

The company is currently in discussions with other companies for further expansion that will eventually create more than six million barrels of storage at the Edmonton terminal.

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