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El Paso Targets Mid-December for Completion of CIG's Raton Basin Project

El Paso Corp.'s Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG) is looking to complete work on its entire Raton Basin expansion project by mid-December, according to a company spokesman. The $61 million expansion, which was initially targeted for completion and in service in October, will add approximately 104,000 Dth/d of transmission capacity to the section of CIG's pipeline system from south-central Colorado to the panhandle of Oklahoma.

CIG completed construction of the pipeline segment of the expansion -- 102 miles of 16-, 20- and 24-inch diameter pipe looping -- in late September, but it still needs to finish work on two compressor stations in Oklahoma and Colorado, said El Paso spokesman Joe Hollier last week. Service on the new lines has already begun.

He noted that CIG is installing three 1,100 horsepower (hp) units and one 1,700 hp unit at the Beaver, OK, compressor station, and is installing two 4,000 units at the Kim, CO, compressor station.

The Raton Basin 2005 expansion, which was approved by FERC last May, is expected to increase CIG's capacity in the region to more than 380,000 Dth/d, providing its customers with greater access to growing Raton Basin gas supplies and increased deliverability to Midcontinent pipeline interconnections. The Raton Basin is located in southeastern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico, and is rich in coal-bed methane resources (an estimated 10.2 Tcf).

Five producers have negotiated firm agreements with minimum 10-year terms for transportation services on the project: Pioneer Natural Resources Co., El Paso Energy Raton LLC, Red River Ranch Holding LLC, Apple Tree Holdings LLC and XTO Energy.

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