A draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) issued by FERC on Friday favors the High Plains Expansion Project proposed by Colorado Interstate Gas Co. (CIG), a 164-mile, large-diameter pipeline to serve the growing natural gas demand along the Colorado Front Range, particularly in the Denver metropolitan area (CP07-207).

The project includes expansion of CIG’s existing pipelines with the construction and operation of four separate pipeline segments and associated aboveground facilities to deliver up to 900 MMcf/d. The line would connect with Public Service of Colorado, which has subscribed for most of the capacity. Other connections would be with CIG’s affiliate Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd., Rockies Express Pipeline and Young Gas Storage.

Slightly more than half of the proposed route would be along existing utility rights-of-way. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) environmental staff concludes that the High Plains Expansion Project with appropriate mitigating measures, as recommended, would have limited adverse environmental impact.

To avoid unnecessary costs and environmental/landowner impacts, CIG proposes to refunctionalize a portion of its Crazy Horse Lateral, which is located near the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County. This would allow the High Plains pipe facilities to directly connect with the Rockies Express Pipeline without having to construct much more extensive interconnecting facilities, CIG said.

In addition, CIG noted that it plans to refunctionalize its small Blue Spruce Lateral near Watkins Compressor Station in Adams County to achieve the same result.

When it filed for the project last spring CIG said it had entered into a precedent agreement with Public Service of Colorado to provide a maximum daily quantity (MDQ) of 874,000 Dth/d of capacity on the expansion facilities for an initial contract term of approximately 21.5 years. It also has executed a precedent agreement with Coral Energy for an MDQ of 25,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service (see NGI May 14).

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