FERC on Friday approved Questar Overthrust Pipeline’s application to build an expansion that would more than double the existing transportation capacity of its system located in Southwest Wyoming.

The project would allow Overthrust, which currently has a capacity of 500,000 Dth/d, to transport up to an additional 550,000 Dth/d of natural gas from its interconnect with Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd (WIC) at the Kanda-Nightingale-Coleman Compressor Complex in Kanda, WY, to Opal where it would interconnect with Kern River Gas Transmission.

The project calls for Overthrust, which is owned and operated by Salt Lake City, UT-based Questar Pipeline, to build an additional 27.1 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline and associated facilities beginning at a tie-in point on the pipeline’s existing system near the Uinta and Sweetwater counties in southwestern Wyoming and terminating at a proposed interconnect with Kern River near Opal.

In addition to WIC and the proposed tie-in with Kern River, the Overthrust line currently interconnects to Colorado Interstate Gas and Questar Pipeline.

The aim of the project is to extend Overthrust’s existing pipeline infrastructure to transport Rocky Mountain gas supplies to downstream markets. Overthrust said producers in the Rocky Mountain region are currently drilling and developing extensive gas supplies in the area, but only limited pipeline capacity is available to deliver them to markets.

“We find that the proposed pipeline project will benefit the public by providing a new option for increasing supplies of Rocky Mountain gas to reach markets without subsidies and without adverse impacts on existing pipelines or customers,” the FERC order said [CP06-167].

The pipeline has targeted the $52 million expansion to be in service by Jan. 1, 2007.

The Questar-owned pipeline said it has already negotiated a binding precedent agreement with WIC for up to 300,000 Dth/d of the incremental transportation capacity with an 11-year term. The agreement would provide WIC with firm transportation service from its existing Overthrust interconnect at Kanda in Sweetwater County to Kern River at Opal.

The Overthrust pipeline currently extends 88 miles from the Whitney Canyon producing area in Uinta County in southwestern Wyoming to the interconnect with WIC at Kanda.

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