Viking Gas Expansion Gets Nod at FERC
Viking Gas Transmission got some good news last week when FERC
approved a looping expansion of its system that will make it
possible for existing customers between the northern Minnesota
border and West-Central Wisconsin to receive up to 28,000 Dth/d of
additional gas supplies by the end of the year.
Viking Gas plans to construct loops at five different segments -
all in Minnesota - of its 497-mile system, which would result in a
5.5% increase in the pipeline's current capacity of 480 MMcf/d,
said Viking President Gregory Palmer. "It's kind of a benchmark for
us" because it will boost Viking's total system capability to over
half a Bcf per day.
He estimated that the $21.4 million planned expansion, which has
a target in-service date of Nov. 1, was 100% subscribed for winter
and 89% subscribed for summer [CP98-761].
Five shippers have signed 15-year agreements for the expansion
capacity, including Cardinal FG; the City of Perham, MN; Northern
States Power-Minnesota (Viking's parent); Northern States
Power-Wisconsin (affiliate); and UtiliCorp United. The Viking
affiliates picked up the lion's share of the capacity.
FERC approved Viking's request for incremental monthly demand
rates of $10.65/Dth for firm service from its Emerson interconnect
(at the U.S.-Canadian international boundary) to any Zone 1
delivery point and $13.65/Dth for firm service from Emerson to any
Zone 2 delivery point. Given that the proposed commodity rate for
the project was equal to the existing commodity rate for firm
service, FERC said its acceptance of the rate was subject to the
outcome of Viking's pending general rate case [RP98-290].
Because Viking proposes to recover its annual $3.9 million cost
of service entirely through incremental rates, the Commission did
not believe it needed to include an at-risk condition on the
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