FERC on Friday gave El Paso Corp. subsidiary Wyoming Interstate Co. Ltd. (WIC) final environmental clearance to carry out an expansion of its system to transport additional natural gas production out of the central Rocky Mountains.

“We conclude that if the project is constructed and operated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, WIC’s proposed mitigation, and the additional mitigation recommendations…, the Piceance Project would be an environmentally acceptable action,” FERC staff said in its final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on WIC’s so-called Piceance Basin Expansion Project [CP05-54].

The FEIS is the next to the last step in the certificate process at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC typically issues a certificate soon after a favorable FEIS has been awarded.

The $120 million project calls for the construction of 142 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline looping from the Greasewood Hub in Rio Blanco County, CO, through Moffat County, CO, to interconnects with WIC’s mainline and the interstate pipe facilities of affiliate Colorado Interstate Gas Co. (CIG) at Wamsutter in Sweetwater County, WY.

The proposed facilities would be capable of transporting 341 MMcf/d of natural gas from the supply basins of the central Rocky Mountains to the CIG system at the Wamsutter Compressor Station in Sweetwater County. From there, other interstate transporters would ship the gas to markets in the western and central United States.

WIC has indicated that the project would be in service by December 2007.

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