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N. Border Plans Extension to Tap Powder River

N. Border Plans Extension to Tap Powder River

Powder River Basin gas producers may be about to get a more direct route to Midwest markets. Northern Border Pipeline has released plans to build a new 325-mile greenfield pipeline from McCabe, MT, to Gillette, WY, to tap the rapidly growing production in the Powder River, which is estimated to hold between 10 and 30 Tcf of gas.

The basin's rapid production growth has captured the attention of the industry, with numerous proposed pipelines, including several new interstate plans that would bring gas to the Midcontinent gas grid. Northern Border's project, called the Bison Pipeline, would add a new route out of the basin for between 375,000 and 500,000 MMBtu/d of production starting in November 2003. The pipeline is holding an open season on the proposal through Dec. 5.

Receipt points are proposed with Bighorn, Fort Union Gas Gathering, MIGC and Thunder Creek Gas Services. A bi-directional interconnect accessing Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline's Baker storage field also is proposed.

The connection with Northern Border will provide Powder River producers with direct access to several local distribution companies, including Montana-Dakota, Alliant Interstate Power, MidAmerican Energy, Nicor Gas, People Gas and Nipsco. It also provides access to ANR Pipeline, Midwestern, NGPL, Northern and Vector.

The projected recourse rate is 26 cents/Dth/d, but a negotiated 10-year demand rate cuts 4 cents off that. The pipeline is offering "mileage-sensitive rates," which are expected to allow a shipper to tailor supply access and optimize transportation value.

Northern Border plans to hold a briefing on the project in Denver on Nov. 14. For more information, contact project director Paul Miller in Omaha, NB, at (402) 398-7758 or James Hoff in Denver at (303) 575-6475, or see the pipeline's Web site at www.northernborderpartners.com.

Rocco Canonica

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