Kinder's gamble on dash for gas

By KelvinR

While parts of Europe prevaricate over the safety of shale gas drilling, there is no such reticence in the US.

This week’s acquisition of El Paso Corp by Kinder Morgan combines the two largest natural gas pipeline operators in North America into a $94 billion company that will control 80,000 miles of pipelines.

Richard Kinder, formerly president of Enron and number 46 on the Forbes list of most wealthy Americans, said the deal was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”, adding: “If you believe in the future of natural gas, you believe in putting together the biggest possible network.”

Kinder clearly does believe that shale gas will be the global energy game-changer that many say it will. In an interview five years ago he said he subscribed to the Warren Buffett mantra that “you can undo 10 years of hard work with one stupendously dumb acquisition” and as such he was always “trying to avoid one stupendously dumb acquisition”.

I doubt anyone believes he has just made a stupendously dumb acquisition.