Transportation news briefs, Aug. 24

Northern Border Partners LP ... Enron North America ... Enron Midstream Services ... Bighorn Gas Gathering ... Fort Union Gas Gathering ... Lost Creek Gathering ... Canada's National Energy Board ... AEC Suffield Gas Pipeline ... TransCanada Pipeline ... Pembina Pipeline Corp.

Northern Border Partners LP has signed a letter of understanding to purchase gas gathering facilities in the Powder River and Wind River basins in Wyoming for about $200 million from Enron North America Corp. (ENA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Enron Corp. The transaction includes the purchase of Enron Midstream Services LLC, which holds, among other assets, an ownership interest in Bighorn Gas Gathering LLC and the ENA subsidiaries that hold ownership interests in Fort Union Gas Gathering LLC and Lost Creek Gathering LLC.

Canada's National Energy Board has approved AEC Suffield Gas Pipeline Inc.'s application to construct and operate a 190 MMcfd natural gas pipeline from southeastern Alberta to southwestern Saskatchewan. The pipeline, which will cost about $22.3 million, will be known as the North Suffield Pipeline. AEC Suffield applied to construct about 97 km of 16-in. pipeline and associated control facilities. The pipeline will originate on the western side of the Suffield Military Training Block, extend along the northern boundary of that block, then eastward to tie into the existing AEC Suffield meter station that connects with TransCanada Pipeline Ltd.'s system near Burstall, Sask. AEC Suffield plans an in-service date of Nov. 1, 2000.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. is conducting integrity testing on its Western pipeline system, required as a result of an Aug. 1 pipeline break and crude oil spill into the upper Pine River of Northeast British Columbia (OGJ Online, Aug. 2, 2000). Authorization to resume restricted operations was granted from the Oil and Gas Commission of British Columbia on Aug. 23, says Pembina. Resumption of operation is conditional on the commission's requirements, however, including that the affected line be leak and strength-tested within 12 months. The company plans to test the Taylor-to-Prince George section of the pipeline before putting it back into service at reduced operating pressure. The test, designed to confirm pipeline strength and integrity, is under way and is expected to take 2-3 weeks. "The pipeline rupture is a major concern and, in keeping with Pembina's high operating standards, the line will not be placed back into service until a satisfactory test is completed," said Bob Michaleski, president and CEO of Pembina. The firm continues to move British Columbia oil production to the Edmonton area using capacity available on its Northern and Peace pipeline systems.

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