FERC Tuesday approved Questar Overthrust Pipeline Co.'s application to further expand its system to meet increased market demand and provide greater access to Rocky Mountain natural gas.

Questar Overthrust, a wholly owned subsidiary of Questar Pipeline Co., proposes to build approximately 43.3 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline looping and associated facilities on its existing Main Line 116 pipeline, extending westward from Overthrust's existing Rock Springs Compressor Station at Cabin 31, all located within Sweetwater and Uinta counties in Wyoming.

The expansion facilities would create up to 800,000 Dth/d of firm east-to-west capacity. The pipeline said previously that it hoped to have the expansion in place by the end of the year (see Daily GPI, July 7). Overthrust is a 212-mile, mostly 36-inch diameter pipeline located in southwestern Wyoming with current capacity of 1.9 Bcf/d. It provides delivery services for producers in the Green River and Overthrust basins with interconnects to several major pipeline systems.

Overthrust said it has entered into three firm transportation agreements with Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. (WIC) to deliver 548,457 Dth/d from interconnections with Rockies Express Pipeline and WIC on the eastern end of Overthrust's system to interconnections with Kern River Gas Transmission and the recently authorized Ruby Pipeline LLC near Opal, WY. The agreements have 10-year terms and provide WIC with the right to extend the term for a minimum of two years up to an additional five years, then year-to-year thereafter.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied Questar Overthrust's request for a predetermination to roll the project costs, which were pegged at $94.3 million, into its existing rates at its next Section 4 rate proceeding. "We cannot grant a presumption that rolling the costs associated with the Loop Expansion Project into Overthrust's system rates in a future rate case would not result in existing customers subsidizing the new construction. Therefore, we deny Overthrust's request for preapproval of rolled-in rate treatment for these facilities," the order said [CP10-3].

This is the latest in a series of expansions that FERC has approved for Questar Overthrust in the past four years. In 2006 the Commission authorized Overthrust to build a 27.1-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline from Cabin 31 near the Black Fort Plant to Opal (see Daily GPI, Sept. 11, 2006). A year later, Questar Overthrust got the go-ahead to construct a 77.2-mile, 36-inch diameter pipeline extension of its existing transmission facilities from Kanda, WY, eastward to an interconnect with Rockies Express in Wamsutter, WY (see Daily GPI, April 20, 2007). And in 2009 FERC gave Questar Overthrust the green light to add compression at two sites in Sweetwater to increase capacity on its transmission system (see Daily GPI, Aug. 5, 2009).

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