El Paso Takes Another Stab at Expanding Bondad Line
Believing in the saying that "if at first you don't succeed, try
again," El Paso began a new open season Friday to solicit interest
in firm service agreements to move gas on an expansion of the
Bondad Line in San Juan Basin. A previous attempt at a Bondad
expansion ultimately broke down after FERC rejected some of the
tariff provisions last year, leading the primary expansion shipper
to withdraw from the project and FERC to vacate its project
certification (see NGI, Sept. 7, 1998; Oct. 19, 1998; Dec. 14,
1998; and Jan. 18, 1999).
El Paso still plans on replacing turbines at Bondad Station and
adding in the neighborhood of 116 MMcf/d capacity to Blanco, Jerry
Strange, director of transportation marketing, told NGI Friday.
But under last year's proposal, the incremental capacity was
earmarked only for the shippers who agreed to pay for construction
costs. In the new plan, El Paso is still seeking agreements for
underwriting the expansion, but sponsoring shippers must share the
incremental capacity with other firm shippers on a pro rata basis,
Strange said. That meets FERC's primary objection to the original
project, he said. A new wrinkle in the current open season is that
El Paso also is offering access to Northwest Pipeline at Ignacio
for shippers who desire that, he added.
The Bondad Line, which runs from the Northwest terminus at
Ignacio in southwest Colorado to the Blanco Hub in northwest New
Mexico, has an existing capacity of 567.7 MMcf/d. The line has
often been overnominated in the past, leading some San Juan Basin
traders to refer to it sarcastically as "Bondage."
The current open season will run through March 12. Subject to
timely FERC approval of the new project, El Paso expects to
complete it by the second quarter of 2000. Call Strange at (915)
496-3139 for information.
Roger Tanner, Houston
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