Kinder Morgan resumes construction of Texas natgas pipeline as suspicious package probed


Construction resumed on the controversial $2.3-billion Texas natural gas pipeline, a spokeswoman for pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc said, as authorities investigated a suspicious package found at the construction site the previous day.

Construction was halted temporarily on Tuesday, and a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said a bomb squad neutralized the suspicious device, but gave no information about the nature of the package on Wednesday according to Reuters.

The local sheriff’s office, Texas Rangers, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating.

There have been no claims of responsibility for the package, said Sergeant Deon Cockrell of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The 428-mile (689 km) pipeline that stretches from the Permian Basin oilfield in west Texas to the U.S. Gulf Coast has faced challenges from local officials and environmentalists opposed to its path through sensitive wetlands and areas occupied by endangered species.

The wrapped package was found by construction workers at the Blanco County site on Tuesday and reported to local authorities.

The pipeline is about 90% complete and commercial operation is scheduled to begin early next year. It will carry up to 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and is owned by Kinder Morgan, Exxon Mobil, Altus Midstream and Blackstone Group’s EagleClaw Midstream Ventures. (Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio)

Source: Reuters