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Tennessee Reports 'Significant Progress' on Hurricane Recovery Efforts

After losing more than 30% of its natural gas volumes, or 1.4 Bcf/d of supply on its 500 and 800 pipelines following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGPL) has repaired almost all of its main lines in the Gulf of Mexico and made "significant progress" on other pipeline recovery efforts. Based on the timelines for processing plant availability announced by various operators, Tennessee said it expects to have on-system processing capable of handling about 550,000 Dth/d of flow on the 800 line and up to 800,000 Dth/d of flow on the 500 line by the second half of December.

In notices to transporters on its website, Tennessee said flow levels on its 100 line are now above pre-hurricane levels by more than 200,000 Dth/d, and gas flow on the 500 and 800 lines has recovered by about 700,000 Dth/d. It also noted overall storage levels now are only slightly below the same levels of 2004.

Pre-Katrina, Tennessee relied on separation facilities at Port Sulphur, LA to extract freestanding liquids from the pipeline. By re-routing gas to the Cocodrie Plant in Louisiana for separation, and using partially re-established separation capabilities at Port Sulphur, "we will have separation capabilities by the end of November sufficient to handle flow at the pre-hurricanes throughput levels," the pipeline said. Tennessee is currently in the process of repairing the 500 line in Port Sulphur, with the intention of getting two of the existing turbine compressors back to operation by mid-January. Temporary separate facilities were supposed to be available by Monday (Nov. 21).

Because of partial repairs and alternate flow patterns, Tennessee is now capable of flowing on the Bluewater east leg and header. However, some meters on heavily damaged lateral lines and on the east leg of the Bluewater have been isolated and will be unable to flow until the lines are replaced. Those replacements are not expected to be completed until sometime in 2006.

The Bluewater and Sabine gas processing plants now are fully operational, and the Yscloskey, LA plant (partially through its arrangements with the Toca, LA Plant) can process up to 200,000 Dth/d. The Yscloskey Processing Plant, operated by Dynegy Inc., has informed Tennessee that an estimated timeline to repair the plant should be available soon and that refrigeration is expected to be installed by the end of December. In the interim, Yscloskey has obtained an agreement to process gas at the Toca plant.

Tennessee has begun delivery of a limited amount of gas, about 150,000 Dth/d, to the inlet of the Toca II Gas Processing Plant, which is operated by Enterprise Products Partners. Currently only the Toca II Gas Processing Plant is operational, but Enterprise has indicated the Toca I Gas Processing Plant should be operational by the end of November.

Yscloskey also expects to add another 600,000 Dth/d by mid-December. BP's Grand Chenier plant is not expected to be operational this winter, said Tennessee. BP declared a force majeure at the plant and has not provided a timeline for placing the plant back in service. In the meantime, gas may be routed to the Lowry Plant, and soon to the Sabine Plant for processing. To enable producers upstream of the plant to resume flowing, Tennessee is pursuing arrangements for liquids handling, dehydration, and gas processing previously performed at the plant. Tennessee is currently allowing producers/shippers to deliver gas and liquids to Dynegy's Seahawk Pipeline System for processing at the Lowry Gas Processing Plant, which should allow about 100,000 Dth/day through this interconnect.

More than half of the metering and electronic equipment in the Main Pass, West Delta, and South Pass areas offshore damaged by the hurricanes has been repaired, Tennessee said. However, service on some offshore laterals, including those in the South Timbalier and Bay Marchand areas, remains limited because of damage. Except for the 524J-100 line, which was severed and expected to be back in service by mid-January, the remaining lines are not expected to be back in service until 1Q2006 because of "significant damage" at the Bay Marchand Block 5 Central Gathering Platform, Tennessee said.

Tennessee said it expects it will allow producers, meter operators and shippers to nominate to alternative delivery points on its system on Dec. 1. It noted it may be required to restrict scheduled and/or physical volumes based on the amount of liquids received at Cocodrie or the ability of Discovery or other points upstream to accept volumes.

The "timeline is entirely dependent on the schedule provided by the processing plant operators," Tennessee cautioned. "We encourage you to keep in touch with the plant operators for the most up to date schedules."

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