FERC on Thursday issued a certificate to El Paso Corp. subsidiary Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. (WIC) to proceed with an expansion of its pipeline system to step up natural gas deliveries by mid-winter out of the prolific Rocky Mountain region.

“We find that Wyoming Interstate’s proposal is in the public interest because it will meet increasing shipper demand for the transportation of natural gas produced in the Piceance Basin, located in the Rocky Mountain region, to downstream markets,” the order said [CP05-54]. The Piceance Basin is situated in western Colorado, and has an estimated resource base of 5-10 Tcf of proved and potential gas reserves.

The $120 million WIC project consists of the construction of 142 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline looping from the existing Greasewood Hub in Rio Blanco County, CO, northward through Moffat County, CO, to interconnects with WIC’s mainline and the interstate pipeline facilities of affiliate Colorado Interstate Gas Co. (CIG) at Wamsutter in Sweetwater County, WY. The project also calls for the construction of an additional 1,650 hp compressor station at the Greasewood Hub, and metering facilities at the hub and Wamsutter.

The proposed facilities are designed to transport 341 MMcf/d of natural gas from the supply basins of the central Rocky Mountains to the CIG system at the Wamsutter Compressor Station in Sweetwater County. From there, other interstate transporters would ship the gas to markets in the western and central United States. Construction on the project is expected to begin this fall, with in-service slated for January 2006, according to WIC.

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