TransCanada gauges Pathfinder Pipeline support

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 10 -- TransCanada Corp. started a binding open season process to gauge support for a proposed pipeline that would move natural gas from US Rocky Mountains basins to Midwest markets.

The proposed 500-mile, 42-in. Pathfinder Pipeline will extend northeastward from Wamsutter, Wyo., through Montana and North Dakota to the Northern Border Pipeline Co. "at a location commercially attractive for delivery into the Ventura and Chicago area markets," officials said. Initial capacity is to be 1.2 bcfd, with an ultimate capacity of 2 bcfd. The project includes an option to build a 140-mile supply zone spur connecting Meeker, Colo., to Wamsutter. It is anticipated to be in service in late 2010.

To meet further growth in Rockies gas supply, TransCanada proposes later to extend Pathfinder 275 miles from the Northern Border Pipeline to Noyes, Minn., and Emerson, Man., where gas can be shipped to eastern markets or storage facilities using the Great Lakes Gas Transmission system and TransCanada's Canadian Mainline system.

"TransCanada is evaluating different options to move an increasing supply of natural gas from the Rocky Mountains," says Hal Kvisle, president and chief executive.

TransCanada will accept through May 22 binding bids for firm gas transportation capacity from Meeker and from Wamsutter to Northern Border Pipeline. TransCanada also is seeking nonbinding expressions of interests for the future extension of the pipeline to Minnesota and Manitoba.

A segment of the proposed line follows the same route as the proposed Bison Pipeline project. TransCanada is a partial owner in the Bison project through its interest in TC PipeLines LP. The two projects are coordinating preliminary field activities as they develop commercial support. Final design and location of Pathfinder will reflect the commercial support obtained, input of stakeholders, and the federal regulatory process.

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