Gas pipeline project proposed for Williston basin

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Sept. 27 -- Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co., Bismark, ND, Thursday said it plans to build a 245 mile, 16-in., gas pipeline across Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota.

The line would extend from a point 14 miles north of Gillette, Wyo., to near Killdeer, ND. Capacity would be 80-120 MMcfd. A cost estimate was not given.

Tony Finneman, executive vice-president and general manager of Williston Basin, said, "Additional pipeline transportation capacity could be added incrementally as natural gas production grows in the coalbed and other conventional fields in Wyoming and Montana, ultimately increasing the pipeline transportation volumes on this pipeline to as much as 200 MMcfd.

"In essence, we're looking to construct a `just-in-time' pipeline for the amount of natural gas being produced in the Powder River basin, and we'll add capacity in step with increases in production."

Initially, the line will have three large compressor stations: on the south end in Wyoming, in eastern Montana, and in North Dakota. Additional compression would be added as needed later to increase throughput.

The pipeline would move coalbed methane and conventional gas production in central Wyoming and south central Montana to interconnecting lines supplying large midwestern markets.

Finneman said the line also will enhance access to the company's gas storage facilities in eastern Montana.

Williston Basin will submit an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October. It said route selection is nearly complete and surveying has begun. Construction could begin as early as the third quarter of 2002, with service beginning late that year.

Williston Basin operates gas transportation and storage in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. It is an indirect subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc.

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