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FERC OKs More Processing for Uinta Producers

July 23, 2012
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FERC last Thursday issued two orders that will allow Questar Pipeline Co. and Chipeta Processing LLC to modify their facilities to provide producers in the Uinta Basin with greater transportation and cryogenic processing capability for liquids-rich natural gas.

Questar got the green light to construct new and/or modify existing gas pipeline facilities in Utah's Duchesne and Uinta counties, so shippers can transport high-Btu gas produced in the Uinta Basin to the Chipeta facility. Chipeta provides refrigeration and cryogenic processing services for production from the Natural Buttes Gathering System, which is 100% owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corp., and from the Three Rivers Gathering System.

Questar proposes to modify existing facilities located at Pete's Wash, Fidlar Compressor Station and River Bend on its southern transmission system. Specifically, it seeks to physically sever its ML40 (mainline) at Pete's Wash, creating east and west segments. The east segment of ML40 would transport higher Btu gas to the Chipeta plant for processing. The west segment of ML40 would deliver gas to downstream markets, according to the certificate order issued by the Federal energy Regulatory Commission [CP12-40].

At Questar's Fidlar Compressor Station, which is about 33.5 miles east of Pete's Wash and is a point of intersection of Questar's ML40, ML104, ML103 and ML80, the pipeline seeks to install a new 200 MMcf/d delivery point, a 300 MMcf/d receipt point and associated facilities. The higher Btu gas would be delivered to Chipeta at the delivery point and processed gas from the facility would be received back into Questar's system at the receipt point.

At the River Bend site, located about halfway between Pete's Wash and the compressor station, Questar proposes to remove an existing pig launcher and replace it with a small diameter pipeline.

The project "will allow [Questar] shippers to transport high-Btu gas from Uinta Basin production areas southward on Questar's jurisdictional laterals 46 and 47 to an interconnection on Questar's ML40 at its Pete's Wash facility. From there, the high-Btu gas will move in an easterly direction on ML40 to the interconnection with Chipeta's plant receipt line where Questar will deliver the higher-Btu gas to Chipeta processing," the Questar certificate order said.

Chipeta proposes to independently construct new facilities to receive and process the higher Btu content gas from Questar. It plans to build a 400-foot plant receipt line to connect to Questar's Fidlar Compressor Station [CP12-47]. FERC approved Chipeta's request for the facilities to be exempt from the agency's jurisdiction. Chipeta already delivers processed gas to interconnections with Wyoming Interstate Co., Colorado Interstate Gas Co. and QEP Field Services Co.

According to the Questar order, Berry Petroleum Co., Gasco Production Co., BP Energy Co. and Ute Energy Upstream Holdings LLC have committed to capacity on the project. The total volumes for all agreements committed for the first three years of operation ranges from 74,359 Dth/d for the first year of operation to 77,459 Dth/d for the second and third years of operations.

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