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CIG Gets Green Light to Begin Service on Portions of Raton Basin Expansion

FERC last week gave El Paso Corp.'s Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG) pipeline the go-ahead to begin service on three portions of its Raton Basin expansion project. The $61 million expansion, which was targeted for in service in October, will add 104,600 Dth/d of transmission capacity to the section of CIG's pipeline system from south-central Colorado to the panhandle of Oklahoma.

"This letter authorizes service on Line 10C Loop and associated pigging facilities in Colorado and Kansas, the Line 12B Loop and associated pigging facilities in Oklahoma, the Line 151B Loop and associated pigging facility work at Picketwire Meter Station in Colorado, and the Wet Canyon Meter Station in Colorado," FERC said in a letter to the company. However, it "does not authorize commencement of service on the Beaver County Compressor Station on the Line 12B Loop."

FERC staff is concerned about CIG "finishing final cleanup, decompaction and seeding of these loops and of the staging area on the Line 12B Loop," the agency noted. "Of special concern is indication from our most recent inspection that some rock cleanup on the Line 151B Loop has not been completed."

The CIG project involves the installation of 102 miles of 16-, 20- and 24-inch diameter pipeline looping,; 1,770 horsepower of additional compression; and new metering facilities. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a certificate for the expansion in May (see NGI, May 30).

The Raton Basin 2005 expansion is expected to increase CIG's capacity in the region to more than 380,000 Dth/d, providing its customers with greater access to growing Raton Basin gas supplies and increased deliverability to Midcontinent pipeline interconnections.

Five producers have negotiated firm agreements with minimum 10-year terms for transportation services on the project: Pioneer Natural Resources Co., El Paso Energy Raton LLC, Red River Ranch Holding LLC, Apple Tree Holdings LLC and XTO Energy.

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