The Ruby Pipeline is now carrying natural gas from the Rockies to Oregon — but since El Paso Corp?. started the $3.7 billion project in 2008 the story of natural gas in the mountain states has dramatically changed.
At the moment, however, spot-price gas at Malin is at or under the cost of transporting it, according to Bentek Energy, an Evergreen- based energy analytics firm.
If the economics don't improve as the contracts expire, there could be few takers for Ruby's capacity, Harpole said.
Still, the value of Ruby has shown itself. After it opened, a damaged turbine cut capacity on the Rockies Express and an explosion closed the Bison pipeline.
"Gas flowed to Ruby," said Sheetal Nasta, a Bentek energy analyst. "The Rockies have more options for moving gas than ever before."
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