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Guardian Files to Extend System into Growing Eastern Wisconsin Market

Guardian Pipeline LLC, which is owned by ONEOK Partners LP, has filed an application to expand and extend its existing system to meet the growing demand for natural gas in eastern Wisconsin and to provide pipeline-on-pipeline competition for many customers for the first time.

The project calls for Guardian to extend the length of its system by 106 miles from its current terminus near Ixonia in northwestern Jefferson County, WI, to Green Bay, as well as add two compressor stations and six meter stations. The proposed expansion will result in an additional 537,200 Dth/d of gas transmission capacity to serve the state of Wisconsin.

The proposed pipeline extension will consist of 79 miles of 30-inch diameter pipe and about 27 miles of 20-inch diameter pipe. Guardian estimated that the project will cost $220-240 million to construct. Assuming FERC approval, the pipeline said it plans to begin construction in early 2008, and place it into operation by later that year.

The Guardian project would establish a second interstate gas pipeline presence in eastern Wisconsin to benefit those utilities and consumers who have yet to experience pipeline competition in their area, the company said. ANR Pipeline, which is owned by El Paso Corp., has been the sole pipeline provider in much of eastern Wisconsin for years, it noted.

Guardian's existing pipeline system runs 143 miles from the Chicago Hub near Joliet, IL, to Ixonia, and has the capability to transport 750 MMcf/d of gas to customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. The pipeline has been in service since December 2002, and is 98% subscribed, according to Guardian.

In February, Guardian signed precedent agreements with two Wisconsin utility companies -- Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and Milwaukee-based We Energies -- for capacity on the expanded and extended pipeline (see Daily GPI, Feb. 9). The companies, which are Wisconsin's two largest natural gas utilities, will be major shippers on the project.

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