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El Paso Pipeline Partners' WIC Expansion Targets Rockies Gas

With natural gas production increasing from the Uinta Basin and Wamsutter areas, El Paso Pipeline Partners LP subsidiary Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. (WIC) said last week it will expand its system upstream of the Opal Hub.

The capital cost of the WIC expansion is estimated at $55 million. WIC said it has executed long-term firm transportation contracts with four shippers for a total of up to 255 MMcf/d. The expansion also supports shippers' transportation needs upstream of El Paso Corp.'s proposed Ruby Pipeline, which would extend from Opal westward and is planned to be in service by March 2011 (see NGI, June 30).

WIC said this latest expansion is expected to generate approximately $4 million of incremental distributable cash flow in 2011, increasing to approximately $8 million in 2015 pursuant to long-term firm transportation contracts.

"This expansion will provide needed capacity and infrastructure to enhance the WIC system and make additional Rockies production available for transport to consuming regions," said El Paso Pipeline Partners CEO Jim Yardley. "With the addition of the WIC expansion, El Paso Pipeline Partners has a portfolio of organic growth projects that total approximately $250 million of capital that provides unitholders with visible long-term distribution growth."

WIC said it will add a new, 6,200-hp compressor station in Utah on the existing 24-inch diameter, 124-mile Kanda Lateral. The new compression will increase Kanda Lateral capacity to 515 MMcf/d by providing approximately 100 MMcf/d of incremental capacity from the outlets of two existing third-party processing plants in the Uinta Basin. The anticipated in-service date for this portion of the project is November 2010.

In Wyoming, WIC said it plans to install three miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline and reconfigure one compressor at its Wamsutter station. The pipeline, with the compression modifications, will provide 155 MMcf/d in natural gas deliveries from the WIC mainline into Overthrust Pipeline and on to the Opal Hub and Ruby Pipeline. The anticipated in-service date for this portion of the project is March 2011.

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