Kern River gets authorization for 'emergency' pipeline expansion

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday issued the requested authorization for a unit of Williams, Tulsa, to expand capacity on the Kern River pipeline. The $81 million expansion would add 135 MMcfd of limited-term, incremental transportation capacity from Wyoming to California by July 1.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Apr. 6 -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday issued the requested authorization for a unit of Williams, Tulsa, to expand capacity on the Kern River pipeline.

The $81 million expansion would add 135 MMcfd of limited-term, incremental transportation capacity from Wyoming to California by July 1 to help meet energy demand this summer.

The proposal, filed as a California Emergency Action application with FERC, will increase Kern River capacity by 19%.

Kern River�s pipeline system was built to provide up to 700 MMcfd of year-round firm transportation services.

Kern River�s system extends 900 miles from its Wyoming receipt points through Utah and Nevada to the San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield, Kern County, Calif. Kern River�s system has delivery points accessing various markets in Utah and southern Nevada.

William Hobbs, president Williams Energy Marketing & Trade, earlier this week said the Kern River pipeline expansion into California would be built. His comment was made during the Ziff Energy Group North American Gas Strategies Conference in Houston (OGJ Online, Apr. 2, 2001).

In November 2000, Williams filed a FERC application for its first expansion on Kern River, the 2002 California Expansion Project. The proposed $80 million expansion, slated for completion by May 2002, would install compression to provide an additional 124 MMcfd of firm transportation service.

Last month, Kern River announced plans to loop 700 miles of the existing system in a $1 billion project that will provide 900 MMcfd of transportation capacity from Wyoming to California by May 2003 (OGJ Online, Mar. 26, 2001).

Williams� gas pipeline unit is based in Houston and has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Owensboro, Ky. Its five interstate natural gas pipelines deliver 16% of the gas consumed in the US.

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