Totem Polls Colorado Market For Storage Demand
With retail energy competition around the corner and power
generation growing by leaps and bounds, Colorado is in need of new
gas storage capacity, according to Brandt Energy President Michael
Wright, one of the designers of the Wild Goose Storage project
in California, is teaming up with Star Natural Gas, Renegade Oil
& Gas, and Fairchild, Ancell & Wells, to develop Colorado's
first independent gas storage facility. Called Totem Gas Storage,
the project will be located about 12 miles east of the Denver
Airport in a depleted gas field in the J Sand reservoir of the
Denver Julesburg Basin and will target growing power generation
load and marketers serving customers along the Front Range.
There's currently a dearth of storage in the state, and what is
there is either under contract or being used by the local utility,
said Wright. Totem will be one of only six storage fields in the
state, which currently totals about 40 Bcf of working gas capacity
and only 1 Bcf/d of deliverability.
The Totem project will have one of the highest deliverability
rates of any of the existing facilities. "We have pretty good
permeability and porosity, and we're able to come up with a
deliverability of over 200 MMcf/d," said Wright. "It will have to
reach about half of the 9 Bcf of working gas capacity before
deliverability starts falling off.
"One of the things we'll be able to do is to inject and withdraw
gas on any day at any point in the year, which is different than
the other reservoirs, which have active water drives," he said.
"There's a requirement that they have to get their gas out every
year otherwise they may lose it behind the water." Wright said
Totem will have sufficient injection capability to provide a
minimum of two cycles per year.
There will be a greater need for the flexibility Totem will
provide as gas and electric competition heats up in the state,
Wright noted. "Any marketer, gas supplier or trader that plans on
supplying small commercial or residential loads is going to have to
have swing and balancing capabilities.
Totem also hopes to serve a number of power projects being
developed in response to a shortfall in power supply last summer
and resulting brownouts.
Storage developers expect the project to be in service in the
second quarter of 2001 with connections to Colorado Interstate Gas
and PSCo. Wright said Totem has filed an application with the
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for approval to
convert the field into a storage facility and will apply with the
Colorado Public Utilities Commission for market-based rates. Totem
currently is holding an informal open season. For details call
Wright at (214) 954-1886, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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