Kinder Morgan

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Kinder Morgan
Traded as NYSEKMI
S&P 500 Component
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 1997
Founder Richard Kinder, William V. Morgan
Headquarters Houston, Texas, U.S.
Area served
USA and Canada
Key people
Richard Kinder
(Executive Chairman)
Services Pipeline transport
Oil storage
Number of employees
~12,000 (2015)
Company headquarters

Kinder Morgan is a company headquartered in downtown Houston, Texas.[1] It is the largest energy infrastructure company in North America.[2]

Kinder Morgan owns about 165 terminals that store and handle products such as gasoline, coal, and petroleum coke. Kinder Morgan's CO2 division provides carbon dioxide (CO2) for enhanced oil recovery projects in North America.[3] In 2014, a third of the natural gas that moved in the United States passed through a Kinder Morgan asset.[4]

Kinder Morgan has been cited by the U.S. government in 24 incidents which led to five federal enforcement actions from 2006 to 2014.[5]

In addition to the company's Houston, Texas headquarters, the company also has large offices in Birmingham, Alabama and Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Mr. Steven J. Kean, also known as Steve, has been the President at Kinder Morgan, Inc., since March 31, 2013 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since June 1, 2015. Mr. Kean served as Chief Operating Officer of Kinder Morgan, Inc. since February 2011. Mr. Kean has been President of El Paso Pipeline GP Company, L.L.C., the general Partner of El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. since March 31, 2013 and has been its Chief Operating Officer since May 25, 2012.[6][7]


Kinder Morgan was founded in 1997 when a group of investors acquired the general partner of a small, publicly traded pipeline limited partnership (Enron Liquids Pipeline, L.P., later renamed Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P.).[2]

In 1999, Kinder Morgan conducted a reverse merger with KN Energy, a utility and pipeline company.[8] The utility operations were sold to GE Energy Financial Services and Alinda Investments in 2007.[9]

Leveraged buyout[edit]

On August 28, 2006, Kinder Morgan announced that it would be taken private in a management-led leveraged buyout totaling approximately $22 billion. Outside participants in the transaction include Fayez Sarofim, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Highstar Capital (then owned by American International Group).[10]

On September 8, 2010, a notice of a class action settlement was filed in the District Court of Shawnee County Kansas. The proposed settlement is to resolve claims of breach of fiduciary duty owed to Kinder Morgan shareholders by persons involved with the buyout. The settlement payment is to be $200 million. A hearing on the settlement was scheduled for November 12, 2010.[11]

In October 2011, Kinder Morgan Inc. agreed to buy El Paso Corp. (EP) for $21.1 billion and gave the combined company 67,000 miles (107,000 kilometers) of gas lines, eclipsing Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) as the biggest U.S. pipeline operator. The transaction paid with shares of Kinder Morgan, Kinder Morgan warrants, and all of cash portion $11.5 billion through Barclays Plc (BARC) borrowing.[12]

American Petroleum Tankers[edit]

On December 23, 2013, Kinder Morgan announced that, through its Kinder Morgan Energy partner subsidiary (ticker KMP on NYSE), it would acquire the US oil tanker operator American Petroleum Tankers (APT) and its affiliated company SCT (State Class Tankers) from the US private equity investment firms Blackstone Group and Cerberus Capital management. APT operates a fleet of five US flagged MR 50,000 tons - 330,000 barrels - oil tankers and has four other similar tankers on order from the General Dynamics shipbuilding company NASSCO in California. This acquisition appears to be the first case whereby a pipeline operator will also be able to offer marine transportation.[13]

This acquisition would facilitate the export of U.S. natural resources to overseas markets, and Kinder Morgan has lined up "some LNG export customers" as of July 2014.[14]

Subsequent Events[edit]

On August 10, 2014, Kinder announced it was moving to full ownership of its partially owned subsidiaries Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Kinder Morgan Management, and El Paso Pipeline Partners in a deal worth $71 billion.[15]

Prior to November 26, 2014, the Kinder Morgan group publicly traded companies included Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB); a merger transaction combined all under Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), on November 26, 2014.[16]

In addition to its role in the energy transportation and storage industry, Kinder Morgan operates in two major oil fields in Texas: the Yates Oil Field and the SACROC Unit. Kinder Morgan produces approximately 55,000 barrels per day between the two areas, and claims to be the second-largest oil producer in Texas.[17]


Kinder Morgan Brisbane Terminal in Brisbane, California. The 20 tanks here can hold up to 618,000 barrels of petroleum products.

Key to Abbreviations:

  • GG Gas Gathering
  • GT Gas Transmission
  • HL Hazardous Liquids

This list may not be up to date due to turnover in holdings:

  • Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, SFPP (Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines), Mission Valley, California
  • Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., Houston, Texas
  • Cypress Gas Pipeline (HL), North System, Heartland Partnership, and Central Basin Pipeline (1997)
  • Plantation Pipeline (2000)(HL)
  • Calnev Pipeline (2001) (HL)
  • Central Florida Pipeline (2001)(HL)
  • Tejas Gas LLP (2002) (GT,GG)
  • Midcontinent Express Pipeline (KM owned 50% by 2007) (GT)
  • Fayetteville Express Pipeline LLC (co-owned with Energy Transfer Partners 2008) (GT)
  • Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) purchased 2009 (GT). km owned it and Trailblazer Pipeline until November 2012; sold Trailblazer & 50% of REX to Tallgrass Energy.
  • Kinder Morgan Altamont LLC (GG)
  • Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC (HL)
  • Kinder Morgan CO2 Company, Houston, Texas (HL)
  • Kinder Morgan Management, LLC, Houston, Texas
  • Kinder Morgan, Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (co-owned with Myria Holdings by 2007) (GT)
  • Kinder Morgan Terminals, Houston, Texas (HL)
  • Kinder Morgan Power Company, Lakewood, Colorado
  • Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC (KMLP), Crowley, Louisiana (GT)
  • Kinder Morgan North Texas Pipeline (GT)
  • Kinder Morgan Wink Pipeline (HL)

El Paso Corporation was purchased in 2012 with subsidiaries:


Kinder Morgan, through a subsidiary, is the general partner and owner of many of the interests in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, a publicly traded pipeline and terminal limited partnership. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. is a leading pipeline transportation and energy storage company in North America. Kinder Morgan owns or operates approximately 82,000 miles of pipelines transporting primarily natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products.

Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline[edit]

In Canada, Kinder Morgan operates the Trans Mountain oil pipeline which links Alberta with Vancouver, BC, as well as the Cochin natural gas pipeline between Western Canada and the US Midwest.

In 2013, Kinder Morgan filed its application to the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB) for building a second pipeline roughly parallel to Trans Mountain, which would nearly triple the transportation capacity from 300,000 to 850,000 barrels per day, for an estimated investment of $5.4 billion. This expansion would enable the export of larger volumes of Alberta's bituminous sands oil to the US and to Asian countries. The Trans mountain pipeline has been called "controversial"[18]" for this reason.

Kinder Morgan had the support of several large petroleum industry customers for this expansion, (BP Canada Energy Trading Co., Canadian Natural Resources, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., Devon Canada Corp., Husky Energy Marketing Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd., Nexen Marketing Inc., Statoil Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Marketing Inc., Suncor Energy Products Partnership, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. and Total E&P Canada Ltd[citation needed]).

This project continues to face strong opposition from civic governments, First Nations, environmentally concerned citizens, and others. Protests in November 2014 focused on Kinder Morgan's surveying work.

Challenges to Kinder Morgan Pipelines[edit]

  • The existing Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline for transporting diluted bitumen between Edmonton, Alberta and Burnaby, east of Vancouver, BC would be nearly tripled with a capacity of 850,000 barrels per day from 300,000, for a total investment of $5.4 billion. [1] [19][20]

This project is controversial, as are similar pipeline projects Northern Gateway from Alberta to Kitimat, BC, Keystone XL to the US south and Line 9 (Enbridge's project, from Sarnia to Montreal), all of which expand the transportation capacity of heavy crude to refineries or loading ports for export to the US or overseas, a significant contributor to climate change and ocean acidification, and a threat to aquifer and watershed integrity where the lines run.

Members of the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations of British Columbia, Canada paddled canoes on the waters of Burrard Inlet to the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Terminal for a ceremony to protest the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, in North Vancouver, B.C., on September 1, 2012. Tsleil-Waututh leaders hoped to shut down the project altogether.[21]

The existing and proposed pipelines ship diluted bitumen through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, an extremely sensitive environmental region. The tankers have to pass through a very narrow channel of shallow water to reach the open sea, making the project controversial and strongly opposed by some Canadians [2] and Americans, for reasons similar to the opposition to Keystone XL, Line 9, and Northern Gateway and offshore deep ocean oil drilling.

A study by Simon Fraser University claims that Kinder Morgan has overestimated the economic benefits of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. [3]

  • Kinder Morgan's proposed Northeast Development pipeline through upstate New York and Massachusetts faces stiff opposition, as does their proposed Palmetto Pipeline in Georgia.[22]

Pipeline safety[edit]

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Safety Standards[edit]

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allows high-pressure 30-42" diameter interstate natural gas pipelines to be built less than fifty feet away from occupied dwellings.[23]

Thus a FERC-approved pipeline could be well within the blast radius of roughly 800-1100 feet for pipelines of those diameters.[24]

Kinder Morgan Safety Violations[edit]

In 2009, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) cited Kinder Morgan for violating safety standards regarding the distance between a natural gas pipeline and a "high consequence area" such as a school or hospital; the pipeline was too close for safe operation in case of a leak.[25]

In 2011, PHMSA cited Kinder Morgan for these safety violations:

  • failing to maintain update maps showing pipeline locations,
  • failing to test pipeline safety devices,
  • failing to maintain proper firefighting equipment,
  • failing to inspect its pipelines as required,
  • failing to adequately monitor pipes’ corrosion levels.[26]

Also in 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation cited Kinder Morgan for violations including the company's failure to have and follow written startup and shutdown procedures, and failing to have or use other measures to detect abnormal operating conditions, and proposed a fine of $425,000.[27]

In 2013, the headline "Wall Street Worries About Kinder Morgan’s Safety Record: BC pipeline operator slashes and defers maintenance spending" was a concern to anyone who lived or worked near a Kinder Morgan pipeline.[28]

The Wall Street Journal asked, "Is Kinder Morgan Scrimping on its Pipelines?" after an investment analyst charged the company with starving its pipelines of routine maintenance spending in order to return more cash to investors.[29] Deferred maintenance may account for the high number of Kinder Morgan pipeline accidents in the last decade.

PHMSA's incident reports for Kinder Morgan's onshore gas transmission pipelines show that faulty infrastructure causes 45% of the significant leaks. Failure of the pipe, cracked welds, and faulty pipeline equipment together account for 28.3% of pipeline leaks, and corrosion of the pipe causes 16.8%.[30]


In Texas from 2003 to 2014, Kinder Morgan experienced 36 "significant incidents" resulting in fatalities or hospitalization, fires, explosions, or spills.[31]

Throughout the U.S. since 2003, Kinder Morgan and its subsidiaries' pipelines (of all kinds) have been responsible for more than 400 spills, evacuations, explosions, fires, and fatalities in 24 states, incurring more than 110 federal enforcement actions. Kinder Morgan's natural gas transmission pipeline accidents caused more than $224 million in property damage.[32]

This list below is not complete; see the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration operator data at for more incidents.

Some notable examples (including spills in Canada):

  • 2003

In August 2003, in Caddo County, Oklahoma, a Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipeline of America failed in a rural farming area about just east of the town of Stecker. A 26" diameter pipe exploded, throwing a 54-foot long section of pipe 30 feet from the ditch. The cause was environmental cracking along the length of the failed section parallel to the longitudinal weld seam.[33]

  • 2004

On April 27, 2004, an underground Kinder Morgan 14" pipeline ruptured at Suisun Marsh in Solano County, California, spilling over 120,000 gallons of diesel fuel directly into the marsh. The cause was pipe corrosion. The company failed to notify authorities about the spill for 18 hours, another safety violation for which it was later cited. Kinder Morgan was fined $5.3 million for the spill, and agreed to enhance spill prevention, response and reporting practices. The company had 44 spills in 31 months, indicating "widespread failure to adequately detect and address the effects of outside force damage and corrosion," according to an order issued in August 2005 by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).[34][35]

On November 9, 2004, a Kinder Morgan pipeline in Walnut Creek, California was struck by a backhoe, causing a gasoline spill that ignited in an explosive fireball that incinerated five workers and severely injured four others. CalOSHA (California Occupational Safety and Health Administration) cited Kinder Morgan for failure to accurately mark or map the pipeline location.[36] In 2005, the California Fire Marshal fined Kinder Morgan $500,000 for its role in the "completely preventable" tragedy. Kinder Morgan agreed to upgrade pipeline inspection methods and improve corrosion control.[37]

  • 2005

A Kinder Morgan Energy Partners petroleum products pipeline was found to be leaking gasoline into Summit Creek, near Truckee, California, on April 1.About 300 gallons were spilled.[38][39]

In May 2005, a Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipeline of America 30" diameter pipe exploded near Marshall, Texas, sending a giant fireball into the sky and hurling a 160-foot section of pipe onto the grounds of an electric power generating plant. Two people were hurt, 40 evacuated. The cause was stress corrosion cracking.[40]

  • 2006

On July 22, 2006, near Campbellsville, Kentucky, a Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline exploded. A 25-foot chunk of pipe blew out of the ground and landed 200 feet away, the pipe twisted and mangled, its external coating burned off. The 24" pipeline ruptured due to external corrosion more than two feet long at the bottom of a valley in an area of wet shale, known to cause corrosion on buried pipelines in this part of Kentucky.[41]

On November 11, 2006, a subcontractor on Kinder Morgan’s Rockies Express (REX) pipeline outside Cheyenne, Wyoming struck an existing pipeline, causing a rupture and explosion. Two months after this explosion, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission threatened to shut the project down if REX didn’t improve its "poor compliance record" involving construction activity outside the approved work area.[42]

On November 27, 2006, the Kinder Morgan Plantation Pipeline at Charlotte, North Carolina released about 4,000 gallons of gasoline from a Plantation Pipe Line Company block valve on a delivery line into a terminal owned by a third party company.[43]

  • 2007

On July 24, 2007, the Trans Mountain Pipeline, operated by Kinder Morgan Canada, released over 250,000 litres of crude oil (70,000 of which flowed into Burrard Inlet, requiring a C$15-million cleanup) after a backhoe broke the improperly-marked line in Burnaby.[44][45]

  • 2008

On September 23, 2008, a Kinder Morgan pipeline exploded and burned for more than ten hours at Pasadena, Texas. One person died; another was injured.[46] The cause of this "significant event" was corrosion. The Pasadena pipeline experienced at least 18 "significant incidents" 2004 to 2013.[47]

  • 2009

In May 2009, near Palm City, Florida, a Kinder Morgan Florida Gas Transmission Company 18" diameter natural gas pipeline ruptured in a sparsely populated rural area of Martin Co. and "displaced" about 106 feet of buried pipe onto the right-of-way between Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike (SR-91). About 106 feet of pipe weighing about 5,000 pounds was blown out of the ground. The rupture was near a high school that was within the 366-foot potential impact radius (PIR). Injuries included two people in a car that ran off the road and a Sheriff's deputy treated for inhaling gas.[48]

On July 15, 2009, a pipeline accident at Sylvarena, Mississippi involved Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, Southern Natural Gas and Kinder Morgan in an explosion that killed one person and injured three.[49] The explosion occurred at a natural gas metering station under construction while it was being pressure tested with nitrogen. There was no fire.[50] The workers were "literally right on top" of the explosion; their injuries were the result of pressure, not heat. One was injured when part of the pipe fell on him. The explosion snapped and bent a pipeline connected to a massive separator unit which was slung several yards.[51]

On October 28, Kinder Morgan's Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America above-ground storage tank north of St. Elmo, Illinois caught fire, injuring two workers. Welding caused the tank to ignite resulting in several explosions. Two workers were taken to the hospital.[52]

  • 2010

On November 30, 2010, a 30" diameter Kinder Morgan / Tennessee Gas Pipeline failed in a semi-rural area between Highway 1 and State Road 3191, two miles NW of Natchitoches, Louisiana, 1/4 mile NE of a country club, and 200' south of a residential subdivision. Louisiana state police evacuated 100 homes. Pipe cracked: 52.5 inches long & about 0.5 inches in maximum width. The failure site is near where TGP had a previous failure in 1965, with multiple fatalities. That failure was attributed to stress corrosion cracking.[53]

  • 2011

The Carteret, New Jersey, KMLT had a leak and fire during maintenance work on March 14, 2011. On April 4, 2013, the PHMSA Office of Pipeline Safety issued a Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Civil Penalty and Proposed Compliance Order (NOPV) after an inspection. In 2013, KMLT paid a penalty of $63,100 and was required to complete pipeline integrity testing and other corrective measures by May 2015.[54]

On August 17, 2011, Kinder Morgan’s Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America had a flash fire and explosion south of Herscher, Illinois. Five employees went to the hospital. Kinder Morgan was cited for pipeline and workplace safety violations.[55]

On November 16, 2011, near Glouster, Ohio, a weld failed on a Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas Pipeline 36" diameter pipe; the leak exploded, leaving a blast crater 30 feet across and 15 feet deep. Three homes were destroyed by the fire.[56] The leak was caused by "displacement produced by a landslide and an inadequate understanding by (TGP) of the influence of the geotechnical threats on the pipeline in this location."[57] A girth weld failed due to earth movement, inadequate design, materials or workmanship, exceeding operational limits & gaps in integrity management.[58]

  • 2012

In May 2012, at Arvin, California, a Kinder Morgan El Paso Natural Gas pipeline's relief valves and pipe supports failed, causing an explosion that damaged the Mojave facility and a surrounding cherry orchard, causing "the complete structural failure of the overpressure protection support system."[59]

In June 2012, in Gray County, Texas, a Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Pipeline of America 26" diameter pipe failed at Compressor Station 154, Mile Post 52, 4 mi. east of Laketon. The gas ignited, blowing a crater 30 feet in diameter and burning 2 acres of agricultural land as well as two 500-gallon plastic tanks used to store liquid fertilizer plus two telephone poles and transformers. State Highway 152 was closed for several hours. The cause was a 50-foot-long longitudinal rupture in the pipe.[60]

On December 26, 2012, in West Melbourne, Florida, a Kinder Morgan Florida Gas Transmission Company pipeline exploded in a pasture.[61] The blast ejected a 20-foot section of 20" diameter pipe which landed about 15 feet from the rupture.[62]

  • 2013

On May 8, 2013, a Kinder Morgan Tejas pipeline compressor station near Crockett, Texas, had a fire that caused $7,502,188 in property damage.[63]

On June 18, 2013, in Louisiana, a Kinder Morgan Florida Gas Transmission Company 30" diameter pipeline ruptured and exploded before dawn, jolting residents out of their beds in a rural, wooded area of Washington Parish. No one was seriously hurt but 55 homes were evacuated. The blast knocked down trees in an area about 200 yards across and the fire burned those within another 300 yards. "The ground around the crater is completely bare. The dirt around it is just like it had been cooked in a kiln," and an 80-foot section of pipe was destroyed.[64]

  • 2014

On May 17, at Port St. John, Florida, Kinder Morgan's 36" Florida Gas Transmission pipeline ruptured, forcing evacuation of 7 homes and halting train traffic through Brevard Co. for 3 hours near the Florida Power & Light plant. Florida Gas Transmission workers searched for a leak when pressure dropped in the line. Homes, vehicle & train traffic were reopened after the remaining gas escaped from the pipe.[65] This pipeline failure caused $177,321 in property damage.[66]

On June 26, 2014 near East Bernard, Texas, a gas pipeline next to the Kinder Morgan compressor plant blew out, destroying the road and setting a truck on fire at FM 1164 just south of Highway 59. Flames shot as high as 150 feet.[67]

On July 23, at Milledgeville, Georgia, Midway Elementary School faculty and staff were evacuated due to a fire caused by a gas leak at the nearby Southern Natural Gas Company tap station. Fire rescue personnel closed Highway 441 South for an hour. Precautionary measures were taken so pipe wouldn't rupture under the road while Southern Natural Gas tried to determine the cause of the leak, which was thought to be failure in a valve or regulator. No injuries were reported.[68]

  • 2015

On January 16, a transmission pipeline operated by KM subsidiary Southern Natural Gas had an equipment malfunction in Walthall County, Mississippi.[69]

On February 10, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the temperature caused "natural force damage" to a Kinder Morgan / Tennessee Gas Pipeline.[69]

On March 2, a Tennessee Gas Pipeline leaked due to equipment failure, causing $281,890 of property damage in Marshall, Mississippi.[69]

On March 20, a pipe owned by KM subsidiary Southern Natural Gas failed in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, and on March 23, another of that subsidiary's pipes failed due to equipment malfunction in Augusta, Georgia.[69]

On April 13, in Hutchinson County, Texas, a KM subsidiary Natural Gas Pipeline of America failed due to environmental cracking and exploded, causing a fire and $455,000 in property damage.[70] The 30-inch diameter pipe exploded; a 60-foot section and a 30-foot section of pipe were blown about 60-feet and 100-feet from the failure site, respectively. NGPL’s pipeline systems in the area have history of Stress Corrosion Cracking and had failures in 2003 and 2012.[71]

In June, Marshall, Texas experienced its third leak from the Natural Gas Pipeline of America.[69]

On August 3, two individuals were injured in Falfurrias, TX when a natural gas pipeline operated by Kinder Morgan ruptured along a seam and exploded.[72]

  • 2016

On January 6, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined Kinder Morgan $745,000 for violations at two Philadelphia liquid storage facilities, including a spill of 8,000 gallons of fuel grade ethanol from an aboveground storage tank at the Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminal on the Delaware River, as well as allowing storm water to accumulate in containment dykes surrounding storage tanks.[73]


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