Duke, BP to Expand Rockies Gathering, Processing

Jumping into the rush to expand the Rocky Mountain region's natural gas infrastructure, Duke Energy Field Services (DEFS) and BP America Inc. have signed a 12-year agreement to expand gathering and processing infrastructure and services to accommodate BP's Greater Green River Basin drilling program in Wamsutter, WY.

The companies said the agreement dedicates gas produced by BP within nine townships in the Bitter Creek and Laney Wash areas on the western flank of the Wamsutter field to DEFS. BP said it expects to drill more than 300 new gas wells in the area.

The news of expanded infrastructure comes at a time when the Rocky Mountain region needs it the most. Currently, gas producers are being forced to limit their production due to transportation capacity constraints within, as well as out of the region (see related story this issue).

Over the 12-year period, BP said gas production rates are currently estimated to peak at 100 MMcf/d. "Overall, this expanded infrastructure will enable new gas supplies to be delivered to consumers within the Midwest market areas," said Steve Blossom, asset manager for BP.

DEFS said its new gathering system, which is currently under construction, will consist of 32 miles of 12-inch and 16-inch pipelines connecting BP's new gas wells to DEFS' Patrick Draw natural gas processing plant. The company said a temporary pipeline was installed in February to minimize gas vented to the atmosphere during BP's completion of the first six wells. This line will enable BP to move up to 5 MMcf/d to energy markets until the permanent gathering pipeline has been built and tested later this year.

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