Calif. gasoline pipeline unaffected by blackouts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tuesday March 20, 12:00 pm Eastern Time

Calif. gasoline pipeline unaffected by blackouts

HOUSTON, March 20 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE:KMP - news) on Tuesday said its Pacific pipeline system, which carries 1 million barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel throughout California and neighboring states, was not affected by the rolling power blackouts which hit California on Monday.

In January several lengthy power outages seriously disrupted the flow of refined oil products through the pipeline, pushing U.S. West Coast gasoline prices higher and leading to a a severe shortage of jet fuel at San Francisco International airport.

But Kinder Morgan spokesman Larry Pierce said rolling blackouts such as those implemented on Monday typically lasted 60 to 90 minutes and did not pose a serious threat to the pipeline.

``We can be down up to four hours a day and it doesn't affect our deliveries, so rolling blackouts are pretty easy for us to manage and work around,'' he said.

In January the Kinder Morgan pipeline lost power on several occasions for at least 16 hours a day as utilities invoked a clause in the company's electricity supply contract that allowed them to interrupt power at times of acute shortage.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) later granted the pipeline an indefinite exemption from such contractual interruptions of its electricity supply.

California power officials warned on Tuesday that continued warm weather and a severe shortage of electricity threatened to force the state into a second consecutive day of rolling blackouts.

-- Swissrose (, March 20, 2001

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