Sundance Trail expansion gets approval

RBC I The recently approved Sundance Trail expansion project has a connection to Rio Blanco County, though indirectly.
“The project will not directly affect Rio Blanco County, because no construction will occur in Colorado,” said Michele Swaner of Williams. “However, the project will move natural gas out of the Piceance Basin and send it to Opal, Wyo., and other western markets.”
Williams announced last week that Northwest Pipeline, a Williams’ majority-owned subsidiary, had received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for construction and operation of the project.
“The purpose of the Sundance Trail expansion project is to upgrade our compressor station near Vernal, Utah, and then allow us to replace a 16-inch diameter pipeline with a 30-inch diameter pipeline,” Swaner said. “The section to be replaced is approximately 15.5 miles in an area located between our Green River and Muddy Creek compressor stations in Wyoming. The 30-inch diameter pipeline will be built in our existing right of way corridor. We’re upgrading the compressor station and expanding the pipeline diameter to provide greater capacity in moving gas out of the Piceance.”
Northwest’s mainline is connected to the Piceance Basin at the Greasewood Hub, through its Piceance lateral and the Meeker/White River hubs, through Northwest’s new Colorado hub connection pipeline and related facilities.
“The Sundance Trail project will meet the demand from producers to provide transportation capacity to move gas from one of the fastest-growing gas production fields in the Rockies to markets in the western U.S.,” said Phil Wright, president of Williams’ natural gas pipeline business.
The cost of the Sundance Trail project is around $65 million. The pipeline is expected to be operational by November 2010. Williams owns a 35-percent interest in Northwest Pipeline.