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Southern Natural Takes Steps to Help Offset Lost Gulf Output

El Paso's Southern Natural pipeline, which serves the southeastern United States, is increasing access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) arriving from Trinidad at El Paso's Elba Island import terminal near Savannah, GA, this winter to make up for at least part of the natural gas production that has been lost since the twin hurricanes battered the Gulf Coast.

Southern Natural plans to spend $1.5 million to install a temporary compressor on its Wrens-Savannah Line that would allow it to increase receipts of regasified LNG supplies from its Elba Island terminal by about 100 MMcf/d. The Wrens-Savannah line connects the Elba Island LNG terminal near Savannah to Southern Natural's system.

The temporary compressor is expected to be in service by mid-December in time to meet the winter heating season needs of Georgia customers, said El Paso spokesman Joe Hollier.

The Elba Island facility currently is undergoing a $150 million expansion to increase its baseload send-out capacity to 1.2 Bcf/d and its storage capacity to 7.3 Bcf. The expansion, which will be supported by an LNG supply commitment from Shell, is expected to be completed either later this year or in early 2006, El Paso said.

The 8,000-mile Southern Natural system delivers 2.96 Bcf/d of gas to Gulf Coast, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.

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