Ritter: Move fast on Ruby Pipeline

Gov. Bill Ritter is asking the federal government to quickly certify the Ruby Pipeline, a $3 billion project that can carry natural gas from Colorado to lucrative markets to the west.

The pipeline begins in Opal, Wyo., and will run 675 miles through Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada to the California-Ore-gon border, where it will connect with other pipelines at Malin, Ore.

Suppliers of natural gas from the intermountain West, including the Piceance Basin in Colorado, have to sell for less because of the difficulty of getting the gas to market.

The Piceance Basin already has pipeline connections to Opal in southwestern Wyoming.

“That hurts Colorado gas producers and puts Colorado jobs at risk,” Ritter said in a news release. “We’re asking the commission to expedite approval of the Ruby pipeline to help protect thousands of Colorado jobs, to support an important Colorado industry, and to help move America closer to energy security.”

The pipeline, which is owned by an affiliate of El Paso Corp., is scheduled to be open in 2011.

Getting the Ruby Pipeline in operation would make a difference for Piceance Basin gas, said Carter Mathies, a partner in Arista Midstream Services and an industry observer.

“It’s important,” Mathies said. “I appreciate the governor doing that.”

The Ruby Pipeline will have an initial capacity of 1.3 billion cubic feet per day to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas, depending on the final level of customer commitments, the company said on its Web site, http://www.rubypipeline.com.


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