Front Range Pipeline project gives an edge to natural gas liquids in Colorado

Existing Natural Gas Pipeline on the Lowry Bombing Range

Existing Natural Gas Pipeline on the Lowry Bombing Range – Click to Enlarge

Katherine Blunt – The Gazette – July 27, 2014

— The Front Range Pipeline that runs through Colorado has positioned Colorado to take advantage of the burgeoning market for natural gas liquids.

The pipeline, which began operating in February, is expected to become increasingly important as the state’s production of natural gas liquids continues to grow. Last year, the Denver-Julesburg basin produced about 53,000 barrels of NGLs per day; by 2019, that number is expected to nearly double, according to research by Bentek Energy, a Denver-based energy analytics firm.

NGLs include ethane, propane, butane and natural gasoline.

Every day, the 435-mile pipeline transports about 80,000 barrels of NGLs from Weld County, which sits atop the Denver-Julesburg basin, to Skellytown, Texas. There, it connects to the Texas Express pipeline, which carries the liquids to Mont Belvieu, Texas, the largest NGL hub in the country. The liquids are then stored, processed and distributed.

Construction of the pipeline, which extends about 24 miles through northeastern El Paso County, began last year. It runs underneath more than 50 tracts of private property in the county, according to public records, and lies at least 3 feet below the ground.

The companies that own the pipeline — Texas-based Enterprise Product Partners and Anadarko Petroleum and Denver-based DCP Midstream — had to purchase rights of way from the property owners before moving forward with the project. The companies, which together form Front Range Pipeline LLC, secured 25-foot easements on both sides of the pipeline that restrict property owners’ use of that space.

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