Wyoming Interstate Co. (WIC) is pursuing a pipeline project to increase westbound transport from the Cheyenne hub, reflecting growing interest in moving Rockies natural gas to western markets.
Owned by Kinder Morgan (KMI), WIC on November 29 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Cheyenne to Piceance Expansion project. WIC proposes to modify the Wamsutter compressor station in Sweetwater County, WY to add 180 MMcf/d of east-to-west transport from the Cheyenne hub in Weld County, CO to a junction with the Piceance lateral west of Wamsutter.
Following an open season, Citadel Energy Marketing was awarded all 180 MMcf/d of capacity. WIC estimates the project will cost $23.3MM. The pipeline proposes to begin construction on the project in June 2024 and start service on May 1, 2025.
In the KMI Financial Blueprint, East Daley Analytics estimates the Cheyenne to Piceance Expansion would generate ~$4MM in 2025 EBDA if WIC can meet the May 1, 2025 in-service target. In its first full year of operation, we forecast the expansion would earn ~$6.1MM in 2026 EBDA (see chart).
The Cheyenne to Piceance Expansion comes on the coattails of a planned expansion by Williams (WMB) of MountainWest Overthrust Pipeline. EDA previously covered the 325 MMcf/d Overthrust project, noting it would help shippers move more Rockies gas to premium markets on the West Coast. WMB plans to begin service on the Overthrust project in December 2026.
The WIC expansion would provide additional gas to feed Overthrust. According to the project filing, shippers will be able to transport gas from the Piceance lateral further downstream on the WIC system or to Overthrust Pipeline.
Rockies prices have become more volatile due to a tighter balance in western markets. EDA has argued the need for more westbound pipeline capacity in the Rockies to supplement flows to the West. In January 2023, the spread between the Opal and Cheyenne hubs averaged $11.67/MMBtu due to high demand and below-normal storage inventory on the West Coast. EDA expects new supplies from the WIC and Overthrust expansions to bring regional markets more in balance.
EDA is monitoring western gas markets through our West Coast Supply and Demand Forecast. This new report provides an in-depth view into supply, demand and flow dynamics affecting prices in the West. Reach out for more information on the West Coast Supply and Demand Forecast. – Zach Krause Tickers: KMI, WMB.
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