FERC on Friday gave Transwestern Pipeline Co. the go-ahead to begin service on a project that increases the firm transportation capacity on its San Juan Basin pipeline lateral by about 375 MMcf/d to accommodate new natural gas production from the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and other producing areas in the northern Rockies.

The $138 million supply-driven "San Juan 2005 Expansion Project" consists of 73 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline that loops the lateral from the Blanco Hub in San Juan County, NM, to the point of interconnection with Transwestern's mainline, as well as the modification of compression facilities at the pipeline's Bloomfield, Bisti and Gallup Compressor Stations in New Mexico [CP04-104].

The expansion will provide access to both existing natural gas supplies from the Blanco Hub, as well as anticipated gas supplies from the Rockies and San Juan Basin. The project is expected to alleviate constraints on the San Juan lateral.

Transwestern said it has binding precedent 10-year agreements with several shippers, including BP, ConocoPhillips, Burlington Resources and Red Willow Production, for the bulk of the expansion's capacity.

Transwestern owns and operates 2,600 miles of interstate gas transmission lines, which extend from West Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado through New Mexico and Arizona to the California border.

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