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Wyoming 53 Bcf Storage Field Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

An Opal Hub underground natural gas storage facility closed by a fire in 2013, Ryckman Creek, reopened at the end of December, the head of the Wyoming Pipeline Authority (WPA) told NGIon Friday.

The reopening adds additional operational flexibility to pipelines that are connected to the privately held Peregrine Midstream Partners' storage facility, said WPA's Brian Jeffries. "This benefits Wyoming generally."

The facility has a certificated capacity of 53 Bcf and is expected to have 35 Bcf of storage capacity online by the end of last year, according to the Peregrine website.

The company indicated that in addition to revenue from storage services, Peregrine also expects to generate incremental revenue from:

  • Providing storage services to power plants or pipelines serving power plants to better meet their hourly load requirement;
  • Park and loan services including utilizing spare system capacity for the temporary storage of natural gas;
  • Capturing seasonal spreads and market volatility working with a gas marketer; and
  • Selling oil and natural gas liquids retrieved through enhanced oil recovery.

Commercial natural gas storage services started at the Ryckman Creek in Uinta County, WY, in the southwest corner of the state in summer 2012 (see Daily GPIAug. 22, 2012).

When it opened, Ryckman Creek was expected to reach a total injection rate of nearly 300 MMcf/d in its first month of operation, according to Peregrine executives. Company officials expected an active fall-winter storage season back then and do again.

Ryckman has operational interconnections with Northwest Pipeline, Overthrust Pipeline, Questar and Kern River, and Ruby Pipeline. All of the pipelines are connected to the Opal Hub. Receipts and deliveries with Cheyenne Plains, Colorado Interstate Gas, Wyoming Interstate Co. and Rockies Express can also be scheduled through the Overthrust pipeline. Combined meter capacity is more than 1 Bcf/d.

Construction of the multi-cycle storage facility began in 2011, following a nonbinding open season for firm service in 2010 (see Daily GPINov. 4, 2010). Ryckman Creek received final tariff approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July 2012.

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