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Enbridge Inc. said that affiliate Enbridge (Offshore) Gas Transmission LLC has acquired the remaining 20% interest in Garden Banks Gas Pipeline LLC, located in the Gulf of Mexico, from Amerada Hess Corp. Financial details were not disclosed. Enbridge acquired 80% of Garden Banks when it purchased Shell Gas Transmission LLC for $613 million in January. The pipeline extends 50 miles from Garden Banks Block 128 to South Marsh Island Block 76 offshore Louisiana and interconnects with four interstate pipelines to move natural gas onshore. The 30-inch diameter Garden Banks pipeline has a capacity of 1 Bcf/d and transports production originating from the Auger platform in Garden Banks Block 426, the Enchilada platform in Garden Banks Block 128, and the Baldpate platform in Garden Banks Block 260.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) settled a lawsuit for $25 million after a South Texas jury found that two partners in a joint venture with Kinder Morgan Tejas had lost millions of dollars in profits and investment value after Tejas Gas was sold to Kinder Morgan in February 2002 and the new owner failed to meet the terms of their agreement. The lawsuit accused KMP of shipping volumes on Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline instead of Kinder Morgan Tejas, in which the plaintiffs had a profit interest in certain contracts. KMP contended that the natural gas was shipped on the other pipeline at the request of a customer. "While we don't believe that we did anything wrong or inappropriate, we have decided that it is in the best interest of KMP and its unitholders to settle this lawsuit and put it behind us," said KMP Chairman Richard D. Kinder. "The settlement will not impact KMP's distribution to unitholders." The lawsuit was brought by Mel R. Sweatman and Paz Gas Corp. KMP is one of the largest publicly traded pipeline limited partnerships in America. It owns or operates more than 25,000 miles of pipelines and 135 terminals.

NiSource subsidiary Columbia Gas of Virginia assured last week that while natural gas demand continues to increase in the state, the utility continues to be able to meet the needs of its customers. Columbia said its new customer additions in 2004 grew at twice the national average for local natural gas distribution companies. The more than 9,600 new customer additions resulted in a new annual customer growth rate of 4.6%. Columbia already has added approximately 1,800 new customers in the first two months of 2005. "If this rate of growth continues, we could add well over 10,000 new customers this year," said Columbia Gas President Kathleen O'Leary. Columbia listed its growth markets as Manassas, Prince William County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Chesterfield County and portions of Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Suffolk and Chesapeake. Columbia Gas of Virginia serves more than 220,000 customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, central Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, the Lynchburg region and parts of western Virginia.

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