Williams plans pipeline through Piceance
Natural gas reserves in the resource-rich Piceance Basin will have another outlet next year if Williams subsidiary Northwest Pipeline wins approval for a natural gas pipeline from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.Northwest Pipeline applied for approval of a 38-mile, 30-inch transmission pipeline Jan. 4.The line would run from Williams’ natural gas processing plant in Parachute to the Greasewood Hub, 15 miles southwest of Meeker, where Piceance Basin pipelines connect with interstate lines.The Piceance Basin, one of the richest natural gas fields in the United States, does not have enough pipelines in place to get the resource to nationwide markets.The 6,000-square-mile basin straddles Interstate 70 and the Colorado River in Garfield and Mesa counties, and extends north into Rio Blanco County and south into Delta and Gunnison counties.In November, EnCana announced it plans to build a central gas processing plant and pipelines in a 93-mile corridor in the central Piceance Basin. The pipelines will run from Logan Wash, south of Meeker, to Dragon Station in Uintah County, Utah.Two new and capacious pipelines are also about to come on line that will carry far larger quantities of gas out of the Piceance.Wyoming Interstate Co. is constructing a 124-mile, 24-inch pipeline from the Greasewood Hub to Wamsutter, Wyo. The pipeline is expected to be operational this month.Entrega Gas Pipeline plans a 36-inch pipeline, which will also originate at the Greasewood Hub and travel north to Wamsutter.Williams’ line would connect with Wyoming Interstate and Colorado Interstate Gas pipelines.Construction on the $55 million pipeline is expected to begin in August, pending FERC approval, according to Northwest Pipeline project manager Hank Henrie. The line should be operational by January 2007.Northwest has an extensive gas transmission system in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.The gas transported in the Parachute Lateral will go to another Williams subsidiary, Williams Power, which operates electrical generation plants in the Pacific Northwest, Henrie said.Williams will also expand its Parachute plant this year, adding seven new compressors that will increase its production from 300 million to 800 million cubic feet of gas per day.Infrastructure expansion comes in response to Williams’ increased production. The company, the second largest producer in Garfield County after EnCana, has said it plans to drill 400 wells this year and 450 wells in 2007. The company now has 1,240 wells producing 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, Williams district manager Steve Soychak said.
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