Mitsui to Invest in Kinder Morgan’s $200 Million Gas Pipeline

Mitsui & Co., Japan’s biggest iron ore supplier, agreed to buy 30 percent of a U.S. gas pipeline started by Kinder Morgan Inc. to benefit from an export boom in fuel extracted from shale rock.

The project run by Kinder Morgan’s Sierrita Gas Pipeline LLC will connect an existing pipeline link at Tucson, Arizona with Sasabe on the Mexican border, a 100-kilometer (62-mile) route that will cost about $200 million to build, Tokyo-based Mitsui said in an e-mailed statement today. Kinder Morgan will also sell a 35 percent stake in the pipeline to Mexico’s state-run oil producer Petroleos Mexicanos, according to the Mitsui statement.

The pipeline, which will transport about 200 million cubic feet of gas a day, is due to begin operating by September 2014 after obtaining approvals from U.S. regulators, Mitsui said in the statement. The Japanese trading company, which owns stakes in U.S. shale gas production assets, is seeking to build a “gas value chain,” it said.