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Industry Briefs

Texas Gas Transmission LLC is holding an open season through Jan. 31 for an expansion of its existing storage fields to provide additional firm storage service and no-notice service. The expansion, with a proposed in-service date of Nov. 1, 2007, would provide up to 90,000 Dth/d and up to 6.75 TBtu of seasonal storage capacity by drilling new wells and installing additional compression, according to parent company Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP. Kathy Kirk, vice president of commercial services at Texas Gas, said responses to the pipeline's December 2005 nonbinding open season demonstrated that the market continues to place value on storage. In November 2005, Texas Gas placed in-service an 8.2 TBtu storage expansion at its Midland, KY storage field. For information on the open season, visit www.gasquest.txgt.com or call (866) 894-8427.

Colorado Interstate Gas said it is holding a binding open season to test market interest in another Raton Basin pipeline expansion. Last year, the company placed a $61 million Raton expansion into service, adding 104,600 Dth/d of new firm transportation capacity through about 102 miles of various diameter pipeline and 1,770 horsepower of new compression. The 2005 expansion increased CIG's capacity in the area to more than 380,000 Dth/d, providing five producers -- Pioneer Natural Resources, El Paso Energy Raton LLC, Red River Ranch Holding LLC, Apple Tree Holdings LLC and XTO Energy -- greater access to Midcontinent and Midwest markets. CIG is seeking new commitments to expand its Raton system and pipeline east of the Campo area through pipeline looping, extensions and additional compression. The proposed receipt points are along CIG's Picketwire or Cuchara Laterals with delivery points east of Campo Junction into Midcontinent pipelines in southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle. For details call Tom Dobson (719) 520-4606 or Craig Coombs (719) 520-4387.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) adopted minimum natural gas service standards last week to ensure that Ohio's natural gas utilities provide customers with fair and reliable service. The standards apply to all PUCO regulated investor-owned distribution companies. "Minimum service standards for Ohio's electric and telephone industries have been in place for several years," said PUCO Chairman Alan R. Schriber. "We recognized the need for similar rules for the natural gas industry and are pleased to extend these protections to ratepayers." The standards address a wide range of issues, including installation, metering, billing, and customer service, providing customers with the following safeguards and benefits: Timelines and quality on installations; meter readings upon the initiation and termination of service; meter readings at least once every 12 months and up to two additional meter readings; procedures for crediting customer bills; requirements for handling customer disputes and payment arrangements; written customer notifications about complaint procedures, customer rights and responsibilities, meter readings and gas choice programs; and company plans for handling cases of customer fraud including meter theft and tampering.

NGAS Gathering LLC last week announced it will buy from Duke Energy Gas Services LLC a 116-mile natural gas gathering system that the company has been operating for more than a year. Lexington, KY-based NGAS said it will pay $18 million for the Duke assets and will fund the acquisition with a portion of the proceeds from its recent convertible note financing. The system spans parts of southeastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia, and ties into Duke Energy's East Tennessee Natural Gas pipeline system. "Ownership of this system will ensure deliverability from our core properties in the southern Appalachian Basin to major natural gas markets in the eastern United States and further enhance our competitive position in the region," said NGAS Resources CEO William S. Daugherty. He estimated the company will realize up to $3 million in gathering revenues per year plus cost savings. Current throughput is 12 MMcf/d with design capacity of 24 MMcf/d.

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