BP America to close Whitney Canyon Gas Plant
By Dennis E. Curran
August 1, 2007 --
EVANSTON - BP America Production Co. has announced it will close its Whitney Canyon Gas Plant northeast of Evanston before the end of the year because of declining gas production in the Whitney Canyon Field.
BP will continue producing natural gas from its Whitney Canyon Field wells but will reroute it to Chevron's Carter Creek Plant for processing.
Christina Verchere, vice president of BP's Western Wyoming Performance Unit, said production from Whitney Canyon has declined from a peak of 365 million cubic feet per day in 1985 to 110 mmcfe/d in 2007.
"The decision to reroute the natural gas from BP's Whitney Canyon Plant to Chevron's Carter Creek Plant will help extend the economic life of the Whitney Canyon gas field and provide continued production and tax revenues from this important Wyoming asset," Verchere said.
The Whitney Canyon Field was one of the great gas discoveries in the Overthrust Belt of Western Wyoming in 1977 and originally was operated by Amoco Production Co., before it was acquired by BP.
BP has a 63 percent interest in the Whitney Canyon Gas Plant. Other owners include Chevron USA Inc. with 15 percent, Merit Energy Co., 19 percent and Forest Oil Corp., 3 percent.
Closure of the Whitney Canyon Gas Plant, located 23 miles northeast of Evanston, will result in the elimination of approximately 45 BP jobs, the company said.
"While we regret we have to take this step, we also pay tribute to all the people who have worked at the Whitney Canyon plant during the last 25 years," Verchere said. "They have achieved high levels of environmental protection, safety and operational excellence while making important contributions to the local community and the state of Wyoming."
Verchere said BP will help affected employees find new employment and will provide appropriate severance benefits to eligible employees. She noted that all have high skills that are in high demand in the oil and gas industry.
BP will continue to operate the 28 wells in the Whitney Canyon field, the Whitney Canyon Inlet facility about two miles northwest of the Whitney Canyon Gas Plant, and the nearby Painter Complex Gas Plant. Employees at those facilities will not be affected by the gas plant closure.