Questar Receives Final Green Light on Utah Pipe

Almost a month after receiving FERC approval for its 75-mile Main Line No. 4 expansion/extension in Utah, Questar Pipeline reported last week it has cleared the final regulatory hurdles necessary to begin construction. The proposed facilities would transport to western markets the growing coal-seam natural gas production near Price, UT, and the volumes delivered to Questar from Colorado Interstate Gas' (CIG) Uinta Basin Lateral at Natural Buttes.

The 272,000 Dth/d expansion loop received its FERC certificate on June 13 (see NGI, June 18), a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notice to proceed with construction on July 2, and the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service issued final approval last Tuesday to begin construction on public lands. The $80 million pipeline is expected to help satisfy the growing demand for gas along Utah's Wasatch Front.

"Not only will it help meet the rapidly increasing energy needs of customers along the Wasatch Front, it will also help other locations in the West," said Nick Rose, Questar Pipeline's CEO.

The pipeline will start near Price and run west to a proposed interconnect with Kern River Gas Transmission Co. near Elberta, UT. The company said it will travel parallel to a section of Questar's Main Line No. 40 and all of Main Line No. 41, then through a new 17-mile pipeline corridor from Payson, UT to its interconnect.

Questar previously signed capacity commitment service agreements with five customers, fully subscribing the entire capacity of the project. They are: CIG Resources Co., 94,000 Dth/d; Questar Gas Co., a 10-year agreement for 50,000 Dth/d; Questar Gas, a five-year agreement for 50,000 Dth/d; Texaco Natural Gas Inc., a five-year agreement for 20,000 Dth/d; Texaco Natural Gas, a 10-year agreement for 25,375 Dth/d; Dominion Exploration and Production Inc., 17,625 Dth/d; and Phillips Gas Marketing Co., 15,000 Dth/d.

At Questar's Oak Spring Compressor Station outside of Price, work has already begun on the installation of two high-horsepower compressor engines early last week. Since the company's shippers need the new capacity for this coming winter, Questar said crews will begin construction on the 24-inch diameter pipe "immediately." Service is expected to begin as early as November.-- just in time for the winter heating season.

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