Viking Gas Expansion Gets Green Light
Viking Gas Transmission got some good news Wednesday as FERC
approved a looping expansion of its system that will make it
possible for existing customers between the northern Minnesota
border and West-Central Wisconsin to receive up to 28,000 Dth/d of
additional gas supplies by the end of the year.
Viking Gas plans to construct loops at five different
segments-all in Minnesota-of its 497-mile system, which would
result in a 5.5% increase in the pipeline's current capacity of 480
MMcf/d, said Viking President Gregory Palmer. "It's kind of a
benchmark for us" because it will boost Viking's total system
capability to over half a Bcf per day.
"It's another step forward in the growth of Viking and in
providing service to our customers," he told NGI. He estimated that
the $21.4 million planned expansion, which has a target in-service
date of Nov. 1, was 100% subscribed for winter and 89% subscribed
Five shippers have signed 15-year agreements for the expansion
capacity, including Cardinal FG; the City of Perham, MN; Northern
States Power-Minnesota (Viking's parent); Northern States
Power-Wisconsin; and UtiliCorp United.
For the expansion, FERC approved Viking's request of incremental
monthly demand rates of $10.65/Dth for service from its Emerson
interconnect (at the U.S.-Canadian international boundary) to any
Zone 1 delivery point and $13.65/Dth for service from Emerson to
any Zone 2 delivery point. It also approved initial commodity
rates, subject to the outcome of Viking's pending general rate
The Commission did not impose an at-risk condition on the Viking
project to shield non-expansion customers from costs associated
with any underutilized capacity. However, it said, "if Viking later
proposes in a section 4 rate case to roll in the expansion costs,
it will bear the burden to justify the proposal and show that it
would not adversely affect its other customers."
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