Kinder Morgan Receives Favorable Ruling for PHP Project

Kinder Morgan, Inc.’s KMI Permian Highway Pipeline (“PHP”) project recently received a favorable ruling from a federal judge in Texas, per Reuters. Even though the $2.3-billion pipeline experienced ample opposition from environmental groups, the project is close to completion.

In April, an environmental group, Sierra Club challenged the federal approval of the project as it feared that the completion of the pipeline would affect wetlands and endangered species. In March, gallons of drilling fluid leaked in Blanco County, which triggered a containment process that led to the collection of the total 90 gallons of fluid. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued permits for the project as it views the construction lawful and expects no significant harm to the environment from the same.

The environmental group could not establish a definitive threat from the project in the future, noted the judge of the U.S. District Court. With the latest ruling, the group will likely look for other options. Legal obstacles have pushed back several projects like Energy Transfer LP’s ET Dakota Access Pipeline, TC Energy’s Keystone XL and others.

The 42-inch PHP pipeline, with a length of about 430 miles, is intended to carry about 2.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. The gas will be sourced from the Waha to Katy areas, and have links to the U.S. Gulf Coast and Mexico markets. Notably, more than 85% of the pipeline project is mechanically complete and operations can commence in January.

The project — with all its capacity fully subscribed under long-term agreements — is anticipated to offer additional capacity for steady transportation of natural gas to the U.S. Gulf Coast. EagleClaw, Exxon Mobil Corporation’s XOM unit XTO Energy Inc. and Apache Corporation APA are incorporated in the list of shippers for the pipeline. The pipeline is expected to help the producers in the Permian Basin to reduce the flaring problem.

Price Performance & Zacks Rank

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s shares have declined 10% over the past three months compared with 1.9% fall of the industry it belongs to.

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