Third pipeline proposed

For the third time this year, a new pipeline has been proposed for construction through Moffat County.

The pipeline, proposed by Questar, a Rocky Mountain natural gas company, is in open season bidding, said Chad Jones, Questar public relations manager.

The company is looking for other gas companies that have interest in moving gas between the pipeline's origination point at Piceance Basin in Garfeld County to its termination in Rock Springs, Wyo.

"It's a glimmer in someone's eye right now," Jones said.

The pipeline is in such an early stage that the company has not yet approached the Bureau of Land Management or Moffat County for right-of-way permits.

In Moffat County, the pipeline would cut across the Sand Wash Basin. Moffat County commissioners said they hoped the pipeline would spark interest in reopening capped wells in Sand Wash Basin.

Jones said that would be possible if another gas company wanted to construct a gathering line to carry gas from the Sand Wash Basin wells to the proposed pipeline.

The open season on the pipeline began April 30 and will close at noon June 2. Once the season closes, Questar would decide whether to pursue the proposed construction, Jones said.

Plans call for 170 miles of 24-inch pipe that could transport 300,000 to 450,000 decatherms per day. A decatherm is a unit of heat that is equal to 1 million BTUs, a standard unit of measurement. A BTU is the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a pint of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

"We'd be in service by the fall of 2006 if everything went smoothly," Jones said.

Construction costs could range from $190,000 to $270,000. Jones said a few hundred workers would be needed for the job, and he expected that some local workers would be hired. Questar usually contracts Sterling Construction for its pipeline jobs, Jones said.

Earlier this year, Entrega Gas Pipeline proposed constructing a 36-inch pipeline to transport gas from Meeker to Cheyenne, Wyo. Although that line crosses Moffat County, it is unclear whether it would increase gas development here.

New Frontier Energy Inc. has proposed constructing an 8-inch pipeline that would reopen eight old coal-bed methane wells in the northeast corner of the county. The line would carry the gas to a gathering station south of Baggs, Wyo. For one proposed route, the pipeline would be buried 4 feet under Moffat County Road 2. A second proposal would run the line mostly through Wyoming.

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