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Gulf Area Storage: An Open Season and A Filing

Gas storage development moved ahead in the Gulf Coast region last week as one developer announced an open season and another a filing at FERC.

Falcon Gas Storage Co. Inc. is holding an open season for 15 Bcf of high-deliverability, multi-cycle (HDMC) capacity at its MoBay Storage Hub in Mobile County, AL, which would expand the project's first phase to 27 Bcf of working gas capacity.

Falcon is in the process of finalizing agreements for 100% of the facility's first phase capacity of 12 Bcf. MoBay will connect directly to Gulfstream Natural Gas System, Florida Gas Transmission, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Gulf South Pipeline.

"Recent supply disruptions along the Gulf Coast, combined with continued growth in gas demand and the unprecedented volatility in gas prices, have substantially increased the value of storage as a long-term strategic asset," said Falcon COO Edmund Knolle. "We've seen significant interest from firms that have not utilized storage in the past. MoBay will be designed to operate in conditions that meet or exceed those under which the interconnecting pipelines are designed to operate."

In July 2005 investment group Arcapita bought a 90% equity stake in Falcon and provided additional capital for completion of expansions at Falcon's Hill-Lake and Worsham-Steed storage facilities (see NGI, July 25, 2005).

MoBay is the most southeasterly underground storage facility in the United States and is located at the confluence of major market and supply area pipelines and processing plants, which serve gas and electric customers in the Southeast and Northeast. Direct bidirectional receipt and delivery points are planned with Gulfstream Natural Gas (Station 410), Florida Gas Transmission (Zone 3), Transco (Zone 4A, Mobile Bay Lateral) and Gulf South (Zone 4). Destin Pipeline will be accessible through the connection with Gulfstream. Receipt point options with supply pipelines include Chevron, Dauphin Island Gathering System (Duke Energy Field Services), Exxon Mary Ann Plant, the Mobile Bay Processing Partners plant, the Shell Yellowhammer plant and the Williams processing plant.

The MoBay open season runs through 5 p.m. CST March 15. For information, visit www.falcongasstorage.com.

And in Louisiana Haddington Ventures III LLC subsidiary Bobcat Gas Storage filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authority to construct and operate a high-deliverability storage project in St. Landry Parish, LA, near Eunice and the Henry Hub.

Bobcat backers tout the projects location between the production and market zones, allowing the facility to access many different sources of supply and deliver to multiple market regions through its planned connection with five interstate and one intrastate pipeline systems. The project was announced in December (see NGI, Dec. 19, 2005).

"These superior interconnections maximize customer access while minimizing Bobcat's pipeline construction, interstate pipeline rate stacking and fuel charges," said Jamie Craddock, Bobcat vice president. "The resulting effect is that Bobcat's customers could pay less for incremental delivered storage services capitalizing on Bobcat's lower rates for service and the reduction in pipeline charges and fuel to move their gas to and from the Bobcat facility to market."

Bobcat proposes to develop two salt caverns with total working gas capacity of 12 Bcf, injection capacity of 900 MMcf/d and maximum withdrawals of 1,200 MMcf/d. Bobcat plans to hold an open season in March and is requesting FERC authorizations by July 15 in order to begin construction before Louisiana's rainy season and meet an in-service target of winter 2007.

"Reaching our target in-service date and bringing this project to the market will help mitigate ongoing supply constraints resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, coincide with the in-service date proposed by certain LNG import terminals in the Gulf Coast region, and bring positive economic benefits to the State of Louisiana and the local Port Barre community," said Paul Bieniawski, Bobcat vice president.

Bobcat is being developed by Port Barre Investments LLC, which is owned by Haddington Ventures III.

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