Three-week shutdown coming to Cochin Pipeline

November 1, 2013 By    

The Cochin Pipeline was originally scheduled to be out of service for two weeks in November and another two weeks in December because of the ongoing pipeline reversal project. But Kinder Morgan, which operates the pipeline, confirmed to the Minnesota Propane Association (MPA) that Cochin will be out of service for 21 days between Nov. 27 and Dec. 17, MPA announced.

According to Roger Leider, MPA’s executive director, Cochin is staying open longer to accommodate high demand for the late crop-drying season in Minnesota. MPA anticipates a heavy propane draw to continue over the next couple of weeks but for demand to diminish later this month.

Still, a three-week shutdown means marketers will have to consider alternatives to provide propane for the start of the coming winter heating season. Leider suggests retailers consider addressing their scheduled December fills early, as well as make sure their storage facilities are full leading into Thanksgiving. Leider adds that maintaining a reserve for emergency needs is a prudent measure to take.

A three-week shutdown of Cochin is also significant considering Minnesota’s role as a propane supplier. According to the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) 2011 Sales of Natural Gas Liquids and Liquefied Refinery Gases report, released earlier this year, Minnesota ranked sixth in the nation with 207.5 million gallons of propane sold to the residential market. Minnesota’s contribution to the ag market is a significant one, too, as the state ranked second behind Iowa with 67.6 million gallons sold in 2011, according to the API report.

“Marketers are encouraged to work with their suppliers, shippers and transporters to ensure adequate supply during this pipeline outage time,” Leider says in a Nov. 1 e-newsletter to MPA members. “There are other terminals that may be able to help fill the gap. If we all work together, we will be able to meet this challenge with successful performance.”

5 Comments on "Three-week shutdown coming to Cochin Pipeline"

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  1. Lee Deneys says:

    To Cochin Pipeline, You could not have picked a worse time to shutdown a L P pipeline. Can’t this shutdown work be performed in better period of time, (LIKE SUMMER OR FALL)or is this just to create a phony shortage just to jack up the price. You BIG CORP people don’t know just how many of us peons you hurt by creating this shortage. But,then again what do any big corporation really care.

    Lee D

  2. Bill says:

    Today I heard you are shutting down the pipeline to Minnesota for good. There are many of us who rely on the affordable price of propane, we have no other way to heat our homes, now the price is $5.00 a gallon and will no doubt go up, we can’t afford five dollars a gallon and we will not be able to afford what it will be in a week or the future.

  3. John O. says:

    I cannot believe the State Department is allowing this (reversal) to occur, especially in light of their desire to block any new pipelines. Where are the politicians now? They are hiding behind their windmills since their ethanol initiative (corn drying) is partially the cause of our propane short supply.

  4. Mike S says:

    It turns out this is just the start. The Cochin pipeline is fully converting to another use this summer. That use is to pump condensates north for Canadian processing of the Oil Sands. And you thought the Keystone pipeline was only about American jobs.
    The alternative supply idea was to have rail replace the delivery from Cochin at least by the winter of 2014-15. We’ll see. Doesn’t help much this year.

  5. John Jewel says:

    There was plenty of notice given to both state officials as well as key propane distributors. There still are commodity markets for which the same vendors can hedge against issues as we all have experienced. The real shell game is Cochin will be reversing their pipeline from Illinois to Canada which will provide a thinning effluient which they need to pump thick crude South to the USA in the
    new Keystone XL pipeline. US Legislature had not approved the 6 Billion dollar pipeline to run into the USA and into Nebraska. Amazing timing, amazing to place families into harms way through manipulation of their product. Another reason to think twice about corporate blackmail to the US Citizen and our Legislation. Use USA Crude from the Dakota’s and don’t allow any product through our Northern border until legislature can be assured of national benefits in the future, without that there will be more profits for them and less money in your wallet.