The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday authorized Rockies Express Pipeline LLC to construct and operate a new interstate pipeline that will transport more than 1.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of Rocky Mountain natural gas to provide much-needed service to markets east of the Rockies.
"This project, one of the largest pipelines to be constructed in the United States, is needed to meet ever-rising demand for natural gas to generate electricity and serve consumers in the Midwest and in the eastern regions of our country," FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said.
The project, called REX-East, is a 42-inch diameter pipeline that will traverse 639 miles from an interconnection with the eastern terminus of Rockies Express' REX-West pipeline in Audrain County, Missouri, through Illinois and Indiana, terminating at an interconnection with three pipelines at the Clarington Hub in Monroe County, Ohio. The three pipelines are Dominion Transmission Inc., Dominion East Ohio and Texas Eastern Transmission LP.
The project also would include the construction and operation of other related facilities, including two new compressor stations on Rockies Express' existing facilities in Carbon County, Wyo., and Phelps County, Neb.
FERC concluded the REX-East Project is needed to bring new energy supplies to market after it conducted a thorough review of the proposal, including FERC staff's analysis of the potential environmental impacts. FERC conditioned its approval by requiring Rockies Express to implement 147 mitigation measures recommended by FERC staff to address potential environmental impacts.
REX-East is the third leg of the project to bring Rockies gas to Midwestern and Eastern markets. The Commission authorized the first leg of Rockies Express' REX- Project (Entrega) in August 2005, with 327 miles of new pipeline and related facilities to transport gas from Colorado and Wyoming to the Cheyenne Hub in Weld County, Colo., These facilities went into service Feb. 14, 2007, providing up to 1.1 million Bcf per day of transportation capacity.
The second leg is the REX-West Project, which consists of about 717 miles of pipeline connecting the Cheyenne hub in Wyoming to the delivery point in Audrain County, Mo., Five new compressor stations and additional compression at two compressor stations on the Entrega system are also part of the REX-West Project. The first 503 miles of REX-West was authorized for service on December 27, 2007, and the remaining 214 miles was authorized on May 16, 2008. The REX-West Project will provide up to 1.5 billion Bcf per day of natural gas service.
On Friday, FERC ordered Rockies Express to complete the authorized construction of the proposed facilities so that the REX-East Project may begin service within 18 months of the date of the order.