FERC Friday issued a favorable environmental assessment of Questar Pipeline's proposed Southern System Expansion II that would bolster westbound deliveries of Rocky Mountain natural gas to Goshen, UT, where the pipe interconnects with the Wyoming-to-California Kern River Gas Transmission system.

"Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment," said FERC staff, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in an environmental assessment of the proposed expansion [CP07-25].

In separate action, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the environmental go-ahead for UGI LNG Inc.'s proposal to acquire an existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) peak-shaving facility located near the town of Temple in Berks County, PA, as well as pipeline facilities that interconnect with Texas Eastern Transmission [CP06-442, CP06-443].

The Southern System expansion project calls for Questar Pipeline, a subsidiary of Salt Lake City, UT-based Questar Corp., to build approximately 58.6 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline and modify two existing compressor stations in Carbon, Duchesne and Uintah counties in Utah. The proposed facilities would help move Rocky Mountain gas near Colorado and the Uintah Basin in central eastern Utah westward, said Questar Pipeline spokesman Steve Chapman.

The project would enable Questar Pipeline to transport up to an additional 175,000 Dth/d of natural gas from various receipt points on Questar's southern interstate pipeline system to Questar's Main Line No. 104, which is interconnected with Kern River at Goshen. Questar has targeted the project, which it estimates will cost about $107.7 million to build, for operation on Nov. 1 of this year.

The pipeline said it has negotiated agreements for firm transportation service with seven shippers for the entire 175,000 Dth/d of the project's capacity, with terms varying between 10 and 11 1/2 years.

Questar Pipeline completed the initial expansion of its southern system in November 2005. The project, which included 18 miles of new pipe extending westward from near Price, UT, to the Oak Spring Compressor Station, added 102 ,000 Dth/d of delivery capacity to Questar's southern system.

The Temple peak-shaving facility, which UGI LNG seeks to acquire, currently is operated by UGI Energy Services Inc. and provides full-requirements LNG delivery services to UGI Utilities Inc. The Temple facility includes a 250,000 Mcf storage tank, a vaporization system designed to deliver up to 50,000 Dth/d , a liquefier designed to deliver 4,000 Dth/d and an eight-inch pipeline connecting the facility to Texas Eastern's system.

The facility under UGI LNG's ownership would offer firm and interruptible LNG liquefaction, storage and vaporization services in interstate commerce, the company said.

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