Wild Goose Applies for Increased Injection

By Published On: November 30, 2012

In response to the boom in natural gas supplies from fracking, Wild Goose seeks to expand by 50 percent its gas storage facility’s capacity north of Sacramento. The independent gas storage company in a late October filing asked the California Public Utilities Commission to approve expanding the storage capacity at its Butte project from 50 to 75 billion cubic feet. It wants to amend its current facility permit so it can grow its storage capacity and gain more operational flexibility. More gas stored allows the operator increased options for responding to customers’ needs, including increased gas deliveries to allow ramping up power plants to even out the intermittent flow of renewable energy supplies. “The flexibility to provide different types of services as the market dictates is critical for both the storage operator and its customer base,” according to Wild Goose. It also asked state regulators to forego a California Environmental Quality Act review of the expansion. “Increasing the working gas capacity of the storage reservoir will not result in any changes in the physical appearance of the facility, which is not visible from or located within any state scenic highway,” states Wild Goose. There will be no construction or land acquisition. Its Butte project consists of 12 reservoirs at depths between 2,550 to 3,450 feet, with only three of the wells in use to date. The storage facility feeds into two Pacific Gas & Electric interconnection lines. Under its current Certificate for Public Convenience and Necessity, granted by the commission, Wild Goose is allowed to provide 1,200 MMcf/d of withdrawal capacity, 650 MMcf/d of injection capacity, and 50 Bcf of gas storage capacity. The natural gas firm says its shareholders are on the hook for expansion costs. Earlier, state regulators allowed SoCal Gas to expand a storage project without a state environmental review. Wild Goose asserts it’s in a similar category and should be exempt from the state’s environmental review law because the operation of its facility also will be “essentially the same” pre- and post-expansion.

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