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Utah OKs Proposed Changes to Magnum Gas Storage Project

Utah officials have reviewed proposed changes to Magnum Gas Storage LLC's plans to construct, own and operate a natural gas storage facility and a major pipeline header system in western Utah, and the state supports the project, according to documents filed at FERC.

"The Utah Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and the Utah Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM) will be authorizing permits for the construction, development and operation of the Magnum Natural Gas Caverns...as well as approvals and a special board order issued by DOGM," Kathleen Clarke, director of the state's Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, wrote in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

"DWQ's Ground Water Protection Program will ensure ground water protection from the brine storage ponds through issuance of construction permits and ground water discharge permits."

The state's green light comes nearly five years after FERC approved the initial proposal by Magnum Gas [CP10-22] (see Daily GPIMarch 18, 2011). The certificate order approved plans to build a storage facility with 54 Bcf of total capacity, including 42 Bcf of working gas.

The project, to be built in Utah’s Millard, Juab and Utah counties, would have four salt caverns, each with a working gas capacity of 10.5 Bcf and about 3 Bcf of base gas, for a total cavern volume of 13.5 Bcf.

The company also has proposed building a 61.6-mile, 36-inch diameter natural gas pipeline header that would extend from the storage site to interconnections with interstate gas pipelines owned by Kern River Gas Transmission Co. and Questar Pipeline Co. at the end of the header near Goshen, UT. The header pipe would be capable of bidirectional flow and be able to transport up to 1.2 Bcf/d, according to the FERC order.

The proposed amendment to the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued to Magnum Gas in 2011 remains pending at FERC following Utah's endorsement.

In an abbreviated application at FERC, Magnum Gas proposed relocating the approved gas storage caverns and associated surface facilities within the previously analyzed project area.

The company asked the Commission for authority to provide a new firm wheeling transportation service under market based rates, and to extend the time by which facilities have to be ready for service. FERC previously directed Magnum Gas to make the facilities available for service by March 17, 2016; the company now proposes to make the facilities ready for service "no later than three and one-half years following an order approving this amendment."

The proposed changes "are critical to the continued timely development and completion of the Magnum Gas Storage Project," according to the company.

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