95-mile pipeline project OK’d, will employ hundreds

The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a 95-mile natural gas liquids pipeline that will help meet the long-term demands of regional energy producers and in the short term employ hundreds of construction personnel.

Enterprise Mid-America Pipeline is expected to start construction by the end of the year on what’s called the Western Expansion Project II pipeline, which will travel through western Colorado and eastern Utah, the BLM said in a news release. The project is expected to take about six months to complete and involve about 400 to 450 workers, including Enterprise employees and contractors, and construction inspection and environmental monitoring staff.

The BLM said the pipeline is anticipated to go into service by late summer of next year.

It will transport natural gas liquids such as propane, butane and benzene from Wyoming and Colorado to Hobbs, N.M. From there, the liquids can be shipped elsewhere in the country to be separated out at fractionation facilities and sold.

The liquids are marketable byproducts of natural gas production and are currently a focus of local producers due to low natural gas prices.

“Currently, existing NGL pipelines are operating at or near capacity,” the BLM says in a decision document. “The proposed project would address the needs of producers in Colorado by providing additional NGL pipeline capacity out of the Piceance Basin to fractionation facilities. Downstream customers would thereby gain access to the Piceance Basin supply.”

The pipeline will follow an existing route and increase Enterprise’s capacity along the route by 15,000 barrels or 630,000 gallons a day.

The pipeline will originate just over the state line in Dragon, Utah, and travel through far-western Rio Blanco, Garfield and Mesa counties. It will head into Utah near Interstate 70 and terminate in Thompson, Utah, where it will connect with an existing line heading to Moab and continuing south along U.S. Highway 191.

About 60 miles along the route are federal land.


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