Rockies Express Pipeline LLC said it received market interest in about 1 Bcf/d of firm transportation capacity on its proposed extension from Clarington, OH, to Oakford, PA. With some space on the proposed extension still available, the company said it intends to continue negotiations with prospective shippers through the rest of the summer before making a determination on the size of the extension.
An extension of the 1.8 Bcf/d, 1,323-mile Rockies Express pipeline, which would bring gas from Wyoming and Colorado to markets in the Midwest and Northeast, would enable western producers to reach premium Northeastern markets. The proposed Oakford Extension would be independent of Rockies Express’ previously announced projects, which are in various stages of the regulatory process before the FERC.
The first segment of Rockies Express, which is jointly owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, Sempra Pipelines & Storage and ConocoPhillips, is a 330-mile pipeline that runs from the Meeker Hub in Rio Blanco County, CO, to the Cheyenne Hub in northeastern Colorado. The initial 136-mile segment from Meeker to the Wamsutter Hub in Sweetwater County, WY, is operational. A second portion from Wamsutter to the Cheyenne Hub is expected to be in service by December 2006. A westward extension of Rockies Express from Wamsutter to the Opal Hub in Lincoln County, WY, also is under way. It will utilize capacity on the Overthrust Pipeline, owned by a subsidiary of Questar Corp. That project, which is expected to be in service by January 2008, could eventually deliver up to 1.5 Bcf/d into the Rockies Express mainline.
The first segment of the mainline, called REX West, will extend from Cheyenne Hub to a connection with Panhandle Eastern in Audrain, MO. The second segment, REX East, will extend from Audrain to the Lebanon Hub in Ohio and then to Clarington, OH.
The previously announced Rockies Express projects will proceed irrespective of the ultimate conclusion of the continued negotiations with prospective shippers on the Oakford Extension Project, the company said. Rockies Express is on schedule to have its proposed facilities in initial service to Clarington, OH, by December 2008, subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.
The pipeline company said the shippers that submitted acceptable binding commitments for the Oakford Extension during a recent open season will not be pro-rated as a result of any additional negotiations to fill the remaining capacity of the project. Prospective shippers also will be offered the same terms presented during the open season for the remaining available capacity.
Rockies Express expects to announce its final intentions related to the project by Sept. 1. If it concludes that it has an economic project after the negotiations are completed, it plans to file an application with FERC and put the project in service by Jan. 1, 2010.
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