NEW YORK - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP said Wednesday its natural gas storage facilities in the U.S. Southeast were at or near full capacity.

The company's Natural Gas Pipeline Co of America unit had also discontinued service to interruptible customers on its U.S. Gulf Coast gas lines.

Interruptible customers typically pay lower fees to ship gas with the understanding that volumes can be curtailed during periods of peak demand or during unplanned outages.

According to the company's website, NGPL is the largest transporter of natural gas into the high-demand Chicago market. The nearly 9,800-mile interstate system has 265 billion cubic feet of working gas storage and peak day deliverability of 5.8 bcf per day.

U.S. gas storage is at record levels and NGPL storage in the producing region is also at or near record levels and those record levels also include recent expansions to storage, company spokesman Joe Hollier said.

Storage in the market region is at higher levels than last year, but they are below full capacity, Hollier added.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed total domestic gas inventories hit another all-time high last week, climbing to 3.658 trillion cubic feet with four more weeks left in the stock building season.

Most analysts expect total storage to set new highs above 3.8 tcf by winter, and some still expect stocks this year to test EIA's revised limits of working gas capacity of 3.9 tcf.

Total inventories currently stand 473 bcf, or 15 percent, above last year and 480 bcf, or 15 percent, above the five-year average.

Hollier said nominations on the system's Gulf Coast lines had increased to very high levels, and, as a result, service to interruptible customers was discontinued.

No firm services were affected on the Gulf Coast lines and they will attempt to provide interruptible service again when feasible, Hollier added.

Effective gas day Oct. 13, evening cycle, Natural will schedule IBS Banks and Take Paybacks on the Amarillo System in the Market Delivery Zone. Natural will not schedule IBS Banks or Take Paybacks or LPS Parks or Loan Paybacks on the Gulf Coast System due to current operating conditions, a website notice said.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is a Houston-based pipeline transportation and energy storage company that owns an interest in or operates more than 28,000 miles of pipelines and 170 terminals transporting or natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, CO2 and other products.

The general partner of KMP is owned by Kinder Morgan, Inc, a private company. (Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; Editing by Christian Wiessner)