Energy giant Kinder Morgan is expected to maintain its regional offices in downtown Colorado Springs for at least another two decades.

Kinder Morgan has signed a 20-year lease extension on the building at 2 North Nevada Ave. as well as an adjoining parking garage. The building is the headquarters of Kinder Morgan's Natural Gas Pipelines West Region and also houses "some critical corporate functions," according to an e-mail by Mark Kissel, president, Natural Gas Pipelines West Region. Renovations on the building, which houses about 400 Kinder Morgan full-time and contract employees, are scheduled to begin in the next year.

Kinder Morgan, which specializes in the transport, storage and handling of natural gas and other energy products, moved into the building after acquiring El Paso Corp. in May 2012 for around $21 billion; the building had housed the headquarters for El Paso's Western Pipelines operation. Local officials scrambled when the acquisition was announced to keep the downtown office open and Kinder Morgan subsequently said it intended to maintain "a long-term presence" in the Springs, despite having a regional office in Lakewood, just 75 miles away.

"Colorado Springs was chosen as our western pipe headquarters because of its strategic location with respect to our assets (and) its air transportation capabilities, and it is a city that can attract professional talent to fill required jobs," Kissel said in the email.

Kinder Morgan is the largest natural gas pipeline and storage operator in the U.S., according to its website. The company owns interests in or operates approximately 80,000 miles of natural gas and other pipelines and 180 terminals.

Springs Mayor Steve Bach said via email that he had thanked Richard Kinder, chairman of Kinder Morgan, for the "new, long term commitment" to maintain offices downtown.

"Retaining and attracting primary employers like Kinder Morgan is essential to our community's future success," Bach said.


Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.