El Paso Gets Go-Ahead for Ruby Pipeline

El Paso Corp. has received Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval for its Ruby Pipeline project. Ruby is a 675-mile, 42-inch interstate natural gas pipeline that will access significant Rockies supplies and make them available to consuming markets in California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.

"We are pleased to receive FERC approval for a major new pipeline that will benefit both natural gas producers and consumers in the western United States," said Jim Cleary, president of El Paso's Western Pipeline Group. "We are proud of the fact that Ruby will be the first carbon-neutral pipeline in U.S. history, employing industry-leading technologies and measures to mitigate potential climate, wildlife and habitat impacts from its construction and operation."

Ruby will transport natural gas from an existing supply hub at Opal, Wyoming, to interconnections near Malin, Oregon. It will have an initial design capacity of up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day. Pending receipt of rights of way from the Bureau of Land Management, construction of the $3 billion project is scheduled to begin in late spring 2010, and it is scheduled to be in service in March 2011.

El Paso has entered into agreements with Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), whereby GIP will invest up to $700 million in the Ruby project. Upon satisfaction of various closing conditions, GIP will acquire a 50 percent equity interest in the project.

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