May 17 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Inc added another project to the list of proposed pipes seeking to move growing amounts of natural gas from the Permian shale in Texas with its announced open season for an expansion of the Gulf Coast Express pipe in Texas.
If the solicitation generates enough interest, Kinder said in a release on Monday that Gulf Coast Express will increase the pipe's capacity by nearly 0.570 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd).
The open season for the Gulf Coast Express expansion follows another open season by Kinder in April to expand the Permian Highway gas pipe by nearly 0.650 bcfd.
One billion cubic feet is enough gas for about 5 million U.S. homes.
The Permian in West Texas and eastern New Mexico is the biggest shale oil producing basin in the United States.
Energy firms have increased drilling activity in the Permian in recent months with oil prices over $100 a barrel. That oil comes out of the ground with a lot of gas, called associated gas.
With Permian associated gas production also growing fast and demand for gas rising from new liquefied natural gas export plants on the Gulf Coast, several companies are looking to add new gas pipes in the region, including units of Energy Transfer LP and MPLX LP.
Kinder said the Gulf Coast Express project will involve primarily compression expansions to increase gas deliveries from the Permian to South Texas markets.
Pending customer commitments, Kinder said the target in-service date for the Gulf Coast Express project is Dec. 1, 2023.
The in-service date for the Permian Highway project is Oct. 1, 2023.
Gulf Coast Express is operated by Kinder's Texas Pipeline subsidiary and is jointly owned by units of Kinder (34%), DCP Midstream LP (25%), ArcLight Capital Partners LLC (25%) and Kinetik Holdings Inc (16%).
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino Editing by Marguerita Choy)