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WIC Medicine Bow Lateral Gets FERC Green Light

WIC Medicine Bow Lateral Gets FERC Green Light

FERC yesterday gave Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. (WIC) the go-ahead to construct and operate the Medicine Bow Lateral that would connect its system to significant coal-bed methane gas reserves in Wyoming.

The project calls for the construction of a 149-mile, 24-inch gas transmission line with the capability to move about 260 MDth/d of gas reserves from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana to downstream markets. The lateral would connect WIC to a new gathering header in the basin, which is being built by a consortium of five companies - including Colorado Interstate Gas, Barrett Resources, CMS Continental, Western Gas Resources and Enron Capital and Trade.

Before entering the WIC system, the unprocessed gas would be treated in a carbon dioxide extraction facility, which is being built by Western Gas Resources (WGR). The proposed lateral would connect to the outlet of the treatment plant, making it an "integral and significant element" in the development of reserves in the region, WGR noted. The $78 million lateral project is targeted for completion by Dec. 1 of this year.

Powder River producers urged the Commission to approve the Medicine Bow Lateral at Wednesday's meeting, saying that any further delay would force them to shut in production, given that all the existing lines out of the basin already were running at full capacity.

The Commission approved the project despite the considerable environmental concerns of landowners.

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