FERC pushes two projects forward, TransCanada files application for Bison

By Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor | June 2009 Vol. 64 No. 6

Mark Yeomans, Bison’s project manager, said that Bison’s competitive advantage is that it gets Rockies gas to Chicago without having to build a new 1000 mile pipeline from the Rockies going east. Bison helps TransCanada, too, some of whose gas basins in Canada are dwindling. Yeomans states that 407 MM/cfd of capacity is already subscribe for on Bison, a bit short of the pipeline’s 477 MM/cfd capacity. If FERC approves Bison, it would go into service Nov. 15, 2010. Yeomans says TransCanada will have no trouble funding the $610 million needed to build the pipeline.

First, though, FERC has to approve Bison. Yeomans acknowledges that some upstream and downstream competitors have filed what are called “motions to intervene.” Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Company is one of them. Keith A. Tiggelaar, director of regulatory affairs, Williston Basin, says his company has not taken a position one way or another on Bison. “Bison could create business opportunities for us via an interconnection,” he states. But he acknowledges that Bison would also be a competitor to Williston Basin and could siphon off business.