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Williams Expands Kern River Pipeline.

A unit of Williams (NYSE: WMB), Salt Lake City, has announced an expansion project on its Kern River pipeline that will more than double the amount of natural gas transported on the 926-mile pipeline system.

The 2003 Kern River Expansion Project will provide 900 million cubic feet per day of additional transportation capacity from Wyoming to California by May of 2003.

Last November, Williams held an open season to determine the level of interest from shippers for additional transportation capacity from Rocky Mountain basins to markets in Utah, Nevada, and California.

"We knew the demand was strong, however the response was even greater than we anticipated. There is a tremendous demand for natural gas to fuel new electric generation facilities in California and Nevada.

"This expansion provides shippers with an economically attractive opportunity to secure additional firm year-round transportation," said Kirk Morgan, director of business development for Kern River.

The more than $1 billion expansion project will loop approximately 700 miles of the existing Kern River pipeline system. Williams plans to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June. All project issues -- including facility design, environmental studies, rates and tariff provisions -- will be subject to review and approval by the FERC.

Williams must also secure the necessary environmental and regulatory approvals, and negotiate rights of way.

Recently, Williams filed a California Emergency Action application with the FERC to install and operate emergency facilities on Kern River that would increase capacity by approximately 19 percent over the current 700 million cubic feet per day.

The $81 million emergency expansion project would add 135 million cubic feet per day of firm transportation service into California by July 1, 2001, to help meet the urgent need for additional energy this summer.

In November of 2000, Williams filed an application with the FERC for its first expansion on Kern River, the 2002 California Expansion Project. The application proposes the installation of compression to provide an additional 124 million cubic feet per day of firm transportation service.

This $80 million project is targeted for completion by May 1, 2002 and largely relies upon facilities previously installed as part of the pending California Emergency Action expansion project.

"Shippers are seeking more access to natural gas from Rocky Mountain basins, where producers are aggressively stepping up production. Kern River is in the right place at the right time to help bring that production to market," said Morgan.

Williams' gas pipeline unit is based in Houston and has offices in Salt Lake City and Owensboro, Ky. Together, its five interstate natural gas pipelines are among the nation's largest-volume transporters of natural gas, delivering approximately 16 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States.

Williams' 27,300-mile pipeline network stretches from coast to coast with access to every major supply basin in the country. The gas pipeline unit's Kern River Gas Transmission delivers Rocky Mountain and Canadian natural gas to markets in California, Nevada, and Utah. The system has a design capacity of 700 million cubic feet per day.

About Williams

Williams, through its subsidiaries, connects businesses to energy and communications. The company delivers innovative, reliable products and services through its extensive networks of energy-distributing pipelines and high-speed fiber-optic cables.
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Publication:Worldwide Energy
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2001
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