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Colorado County Rejects Permit for NGL Pipeline

published by NGI's Shale Daily: August 5, 2013

Elected officials in Adams County, northeast of Denver, CO, have rejected a land use permit request for the proposed 435-mile, natural gas liquids (NGL) Front Range Pipeline, which is targeted to traverse the county on its way to an interconnection in the Texas panhandle.

The Adams County Board of Commissioners said the pipeline would cut through a portion of the county that is targeted for future residential and business development.

"[We] support reasonable pipeline development that does not impact growth areas identified in the 'Imagine Adams County Comprehensive Plan,' the blueprint that guides all county development through 2040," said Board Chair Eva Henry.

Since early last year, a three-company joint venture of Enterprise Products Partners LP, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and DCP Midstream LLC has planned to construct the NGL pipeline from the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin in Weld County, CO, to Skellytown, in Carson County, TX (see Shale DailyApril 13, 2012). Initial capacity of the Front Range Pipeline is expected to be 150,000 b/d.

The project is touted for giving DJ Basin NGL production access to the Gulf Coast, the largest NGL market in the country. "The Front Range project is anchored by NGL volumes produced from facilities operated by affiliates of Anadarko and DCP Midstream," said Enterprise CEO Michael A. Creel in announcing the project last year, noting that it would extend his company's pipeline network into the DJ Basin.

Adams County Planning and Development Director Abel Montoya encouraged the pipeline sponsors to move the project further east, into the two-thirds of the county that is undeveloped and outside targeted growth areas. He said revised plans would also need to have clearly identified plans for water quality and environmental protections.

"Adams County is not only one of the fastest-growing areas in Colorado, but in the United States," Montoya said. "It is only prudent that we protect our county's future growth opportunities."

A Houston-based spokesperson for the proposed pipeline was not immediately available to respond to NGI's Shale Daily, but Enterprise spokesman Rick Rainey told theDenver Post all options are on the table, including diverting around the county. He told the Post that pipeline sponsors intend to continue working with the county commissioners to develop a mutually acceptable solution.

 Weld, Elbert and El Paso counties in Colorado already have given permits for the pipeline, and Arapahoe County commissioners are scheduled to vote on the project Aug. 13. Arapahoe County staff have recommended approval of the project.

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