El Paso to sell Mexican pipeline assets to Sempra

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Feb. 24 -- El Paso Corp. agreed to sell its interest in Mexican pipeline and compression assets to Sempra Pipelines & Storage, a unit of Sempra Energy. The sale includes El Paso’s 50% interest in a joint venture with Mexico’s state owned Petroleos Mexicanos consisting of the 15,000-hp Gloria a Dios compression station, the 23.4-mile Samalayuca pipeline, the 70.8-mile San Fernando pipeline (and 75,000 hp of accompanying compression), and the 117.4-mile Burgos LPG pipeline (with 1,200 hp of pumping), all near the Mexico-Texas border.

The 12.75-in. OD, 30,000 b/d Burgos LPG pipeline extends from Pemex’s Burgos gas processing center to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

The sale also includes El Paso’s wholly owned 14,000-hp Naco compression station and 7.8-mile Agua Prieta pipeline, originating at the Arizona border.

El Paso expects the $300 million transaction to close in the second quarter, pending lender consent and regulatory approval.

The sale did not include El Paso’s interest in the proposed 1.3-bcfd Sonora LNG terminal, covered by a separate joint venture with Houston’s DKRW Energy LLC. Sonora Terminal and Pipeline would deliver natural gas to northern Mexico and the southwestern US from the terminal site in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, Mexico.

El Paso says the project has received permits to develop the terminal and associated pipelines but is still in the process of securing Pacific Rim LNG supplies. It anticipates commercial operations by 2014-15, pending supplier agreements.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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