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El Paso Places 502 MMcf/d Expansion in Service

El Paso Natural Gas has put in service a 502 MMcf/d expansion that provides a needed crossover between its North System and South System mainlines, similar to the already existing Havasu Crossover.

The expansion, which FERC approved in June, entails a new six-mile crossover line that connects El Paso's Line No. 1903, which was converted from crude oil to natural gas service as part of the project, to El Paso affiliate Mojave Pipeline's facilities near Cadiz, CA [CP05-2]. The facilities went into service at the end of 2005.

The centerpiece of the project was the conversion of an 88-mile segment of a former crude oil pipeline to natural gas transportation -- called Line 1903. In early 2000, parent El Paso Corp. purchased from Plains All American Pipeline LP a 1,088-mile crude oil transmission line that extends from Bakersfield, CA, to McCamey, TX. El Paso placed the portion of the crude oil line extending from McCamey to the Arizona/California border into gas service in late 2002. The Line 1903 segment of the former crude oil pipeline, extending from Ehrenberg, AZ, to Cadiz, primarily is located within the state of California.

In addition to the conversion and the construction of the six-mile interconnecting line, the Line 1903 expansion includes the following: the combination of existing facilities owned and operated by El Paso, Mojave Pipeline and Kern River Gas Transmission; the acquisition by El Paso of firm capacity on Mojave; and the modification of facilities at Kern River's existing compressor station at Daggett, CA, to permit gas to flow east from Daggett to Mojave.

El Paso estimated the cost of converting 88 miles of crude line and constructing six miles of interconnecting pipelines at $74 million. It projected that the annual cost of capacity on the Mojave and Kern River systems would be about $17.9 million.

El Paso has acquired rights to up to 312.4 MMcf/d of transportation capacity on Mojave's system. This capacity allows it to deliver gas to Mojave at the existing Topock point, transport on the Mojave system, and then deliver gas via the six-mile, 30-inch diameter crossover between Mojave and El Paso's Line 1903 in San Bernardino County, CA.

When combined with the El Paso receipts from the Mojave system at the Daggett point, made possible by the use of Kern River's existing compression at the Daggett point, El Paso can transport up to 502 MMcf/d through Line 1903 for deliveries to Ehrenberg, North Baja and east to Phoenix markets, the pipeline said. Additionally, the Line 1903 project allows El Paso to reduce its current dependence on displacement to provide firm transportation service for the North-to-South capacity.

The project clears the way for deliveries of up to 189,438 Mcf/d of Rocky Mountain supplies received from Kern River at Daggett via the Mojave system to Line 1903; the receipt of up to 182,106 Mcf/d of San Juan Basin supplies via the North System through acquired capacity on Mojave; and 130,456 Mcf/d of average annual capacity available to mitigate North-to-South displacement concerns, according to El Paso.

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