Viking Gas Transmission last week proposed plans for a 45-mile,28 MMcf/d looping of its existing system in northwestern andcentral Minnesota in 1999. This is “a smaller project matched tomeet incremental market demand,” said Viking Gas President GregoryH. Palmer, but he noted it’s the first of a series of expansionsthe pipeline plans to carry out over the next couple of years.

“Basically what we’re going to do is expand every year just tomatch up with the market, whatever the demand is at the time. Whatwe’ve told shippers is we’ll expand for 10 to 20 MMcf/d or 250MMcf/d [annually], whatever the market wants,” he told NGI.

Palmer estimated that total looping of Viking’s existing systemfrom Emerson, Manitoba through Minnesota and Wisconsin, would beabout 500 MMcf/d. “We’re not contemplating doing that in one year,but we do think there’s market interest” for expanding the systembetween 30 MMcf/d and 250 MMcf/d on a yearly basis.

The proposed 28 MMcf/d expansion adds up to about 6% ofpipeline’s total volume of 480 MMcf/d. The $21.3 million projecthas been fully subscribed to mostly existing customers, such asutilities and municipals.

The project has been targeted for service by Nov. 1, 1999. Thepipeline plans to hold an open season in November for an expansionin 2000. “We’re out talking to prospective shippers about that[their capacity needs] right now,” Palmer said.

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