El Paso Plans Wyoming-Oregon Pipeline

El Paso Corp. announced Monday that it has filed a federal right of way application with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management for El Paso’s Ruby Pipeline project--a 680-mile, 42-inch natural gas transmission pipeline that begins at the Opal Hub in Wyoming and terminates at the Malin, Ore., interconnect near California’s northern border. Ruby will have an initial capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and is expandable to 2 Bcf/d. In addition, El Paso announced that it is planning to partner in the project with Bear Energy LP, a subsidiary of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. Partnering discussions include Bear Energy becoming an initial shipper on the pipeline.

“The Ruby Pipeline connects Rocky Mountain natural gas producers with one of the most attractive natural gas demand regions in the country,” said Jim Cleary, president of El Paso’s Western Pipeline Group. “Ruby will provide natural gas users in northern California, Nevada, and the Pacific Northwest with competitively priced natural gas from the nation’s most important growth supply region.”

"We are excited about working with El Paso on this project,” said Jeff Rawls, managing director of Bear Energy. “Given the production growth from the prolific Rocky Mountain region and the supply reliability objectives of the western U.S. states, the Ruby Pipeline is the right solution."

El Paso is in discussions with other prospective shippers and will announce a formal open season shortly. Subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other regulatory approvals, and after obtaining necessary customer commitments, the Ruby Pipeline is anticipated to be in service in the first quarter of 2011.

El Paso Corp. owns North America’s largest interstate natural gas pipeline system and one of North America’s largest independent natural gas producers.