FERC has approved Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd.’s (WIC) request to begin service on Phase II compression expansion facilities of its Piceance Lateral in northwestern Colorado.

The Phase II facilities include a new compressor unit at WIC’s existing Greasewood Compressor Station in Rio Blanco County, CO, and the new Snake River Compressor Station in Moffat County, CO.

Phase I — an uprate of an existing compressor at the Greasewood Compressor Station — does not involve any construction or significant material modifications and could be available for service within 14 days after WIC receives authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the El Paso pipeline told FERC in its application.

When in full service the project, both phases one and two, would increase the summer design day capacity of the lateral to 552.8 MMcf/d from 333.3 MMcf/d. This would equate to a year-round capacity of 580 MMcf/d, WIC told FERC.

Recognizing the demand for additional pipeline capacity, WIC conducted a binding open season in late 2007, soliciting shipper interest in incremental pipe capacity from the Greasewood Hub in Rio Blanco County to WIC’s Wamsutter Compressor Station in Sweetwater County, WY, or delivery points west of Wamsutter including Kanda or Opal, WY.

WIC executed agreements with two shippers, Williams Power Co. and Antero Resources Piceance Corp., for a combined 230,000 Dth/d of capacity commencing with the in-service date of the expansion facilities (see Daily GPI, May 21, 2008).

The Piceance Basin, which the lateral serves, has experienced significant growth in both the number of wells drilled and total production since 2005, according to WIC. Current wellhead production from the basin is said to exceed 1.5 Bcf/d from more than 6,000 wells. Its estimated production has been growing at an annual rate averaging 23% over the past six years.

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