Ruby Pipeline Shipper Receives Favorable California Regulatory Decision
El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP) announced today that the anchor shipper on El Paso’s Ruby interstate natural gas pipeline project, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), recently received a favorable proposed decision regarding the project from a California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge. If approved by the Commission, the proposed decision would allow the utility to finalize an agreement announced last year to obtain 375,000 dekatherms per day of capacity on the Ruby Pipeline for delivery of natural gas to PG&E’s gas and electric customers. The proposed decision was issued October 7, 2008 and is before the Commission for final disposition as early as November 6. The full text can be accessed at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/published/proceedings/A0712021.htm
“This is a significant and welcome proposed decision, which clearly recognizes the benefits of the Ruby Pipeline Project to California consumers,” said Jim Cleary, president of El Paso’s Western Pipelines.
In his proposed decision, the judge found that Ruby will serve the public interest by enhancing competition, increasing reliability, promoting gas supply diversity, lowering transportation costs, reducing environmental impacts, and providing consumers with favorable rates.
PG&E’s request for Commission approval of its Ruby agreement received support from a number of public interest groups, including the Commission’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and Californians for Renewable Energy (CARE). In Commission filings, both DRA and TURN stated that the increased supply diversity that Ruby brings from the Rockies will enhance reliability and promote competition. CARE noted that Ruby’s commitment to environmentally responsible operations will be particularly advantageous to California.
In June 2008, Ruby announced that it had received more than 1.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of commitments from customers under 10- to 15-year contracts and is moving forward with the pipeline project, subject to regulatory approvals.
The Ruby Pipeline is an approximately 680-mile interstate natural gas pipeline that will extend from the Opal Hub in Wyoming to a pipeline interconnect at Malin, Oregon, near California’s northern border. The 42-inch diameter pipeline will have an initial design capacity of between 1.3 Bcf/d and 1.5 Bcf/d, depending on the final level of customer commitments. Issuance of the proposed decision, together with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) September 26, 2008 issuance of a notice of intent to prepare Ruby’s federal environmental impact statement, means that Ruby is on track to be in service by March 2011. In January 2009, Ruby plans to file with FERC an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity.
For more information on the Ruby project, visit www.rubypipeline.com.
El Paso Corporation provides natural gas and related energy products in a safe, efficient, and dependable manner. The company owns North America’s largest interstate natural gas pipeline system and one of North America’s largest independent natural gas producers. For more information, visit www.elpaso.com.
El Paso Corporation Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release includes certain forward-looking statements and projections. The company has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and assumptions on which these statements and projections are based are current, reasonable, and complete. However, a variety of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release, including, without limitation, our ability to obtain all necessary federal, state and local regulatory approvals; our ability to successfully construct and operate the proposed facilities described in this release on time and within budget; our ability to obtain additional contractual commitments; changes in steel prices for a portion of the pipeline to be purchased from our steel mills; creditworthiness of our shippers; the successful close of our financing transactions; general economic conditions in geographic regions or markets served by El Paso Corporation and its affiliates, or where operations of the company and its affiliates are located, and other factors described in the company’s (and its affiliates’) Securities and Exchange Commission filings. While the company makes these statements and projections in good faith, neither the company nor its management can guarantee that anticipated future results will be achieved. Reference must be made to those filings for additional important factors that may affect actual results. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or any other forward-looking statements made by the company, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Contacts: Investor-Media Relations Bruce Connery Vice President Office: (713) 420-5855 Media Relations Richard Wheatley Manager Office: (713) 420-6828
SOURCE: El Paso Corporation