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Open Season Expected For Kern River Capacity

Open Season Expected For Kern River Capacity

After the recent successful completion of an open season on an added 124,5000 Dth/d of firm transportation capacity into California along its 922-mile interstate pipeline, Williams' subsidiary Kern River Gas Transmission will announce another open season this week, perhaps as early as today for additional new capacity on the pipeline carrying Rocky Mountain supplies from southwest Wyoming, a Salt Lake City-based Kern River spokesperson said Tuesday.

Although the spokesperson indicated the current 700 MMcf/d-capacity pipeline is running full these days, Kern River has no plans to re-open its previous proposals to build transmission laterals within California, heading north and south into major industrial areas of the state. The growing supplies, which are expected to come into the state to fuel the accelerating demand for new natural gas-fired electric generation plants, will be fulfilled by adding compression and looping, the spokesperson said.

Kern River is planning on bringing "a lot more volumes" into California in the years ahead, said the spokesperson, noting that the recent capacity expansion will be made possible by an $80 million project to add three new compressor stations, additional compression at an existing Wyoming station, restage a compressor in Utah and upgrade two meter stations. The new open season is expected to run for two months through the end of January for marketers, merchant generators, large industrial plants and utilities along the pipeline route in Utah, Nevada and California, all of which have been experiencing tremendous energy load growth. The bulk of the interest is still expected to come from California, the spokesperson said.

Richard Nemec, Los Angeles

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