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Developer Files to Build New Storage Facility in Louisiana

Port Barre Investments LLC has filed an application at FERC to build an independent salt-cavern gas storage facility in St. Landry Parish, LA, that would handle some of the increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) load due to come into the Gulf Coast region.

The high-deliverability project would be sited near Eunice, LA and the Henry Hub, two of the top trading centers in the Gulf Coast region. The so-called Bobcat Gas Storage project would be developed by Port Barre Investments and its financial sponsor, Haddington Energy Partners III LLC, a private equity fund that provides capital to develop energy infrastructure with a focus on gas storage, gathering and processing.

The Bobcat storage facility would be located in a transition zone between the production area of southern Louisiana and the market area in central/northern Louisiana, where several pipelines converge. The company is proposing to build two salt caverns with a total working gas capacity of 12 Bcf, injection capacity of 600 MMcf/d and maximum withdrawal capability of 1 Bcf/d [CP06-66]. It seeks to build the project in four phases.

Sugarland, TX-based Bobcat Storage has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the project by July 15 so that construction can begin in September and initial storage operations can start up by the 2007 heating season. Start-up is planned to coincide with the proposed in-service dates of certain Gulf Coast LNG terminals, Bobcat said. The company said it plans to hold an open season for storage services starting in March. It has asked FERC for the authority to charge market-based rates for its proposed storage services.

The storage site would have interconnections with one intrastate and five interstate gas pipeline systems, including interstates Florida Gas Transmission, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line, Gulf South Pipeline, ANR Pipeline and Texas Eastern Transmission, and the intrastate system of Cypress Pipeline.

The Bobcat storage project was initially planned as an intrastate facility, according to the company. It already has obtained approvals from Louisiana regulators for three brine disposal wells, three cavern wells, two fresh-water wells and a 17,880 horsepower electric compressor station. Bobcat said it filed with FERC to expand the market reach of the project.

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