FERC last week moved forward on several natural gas pipeline expansion and storage projects in the Northeast, West and Midwest prior to leaving for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. The projects are sponsored by Central New York Oil and Gas LLC (CNYOG), Kern River Gas Transmission and Orbit Gas Storage Inc.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved CNYOG's request to begin service on the North Lateral Pipeline and other facilities related to the Phase II expansion of its Stagecoach Storage facility in southwestern New York state. The nine-mile, 24-inch diameter North Lateral Pipeline connects the storage facility in Tioga County, NY, to the proposed Millennium Pipeline, which is scheduled to go into operation by Dec. 15 (see related story). Connecting to Millennium will give Stagecoach access to supplies of natural gas originating in Canada, further diversifying supply choices for customers, CNYOG said. The lateral will have capacity ranging from 150 MMcf/d to 400 MMcf/d, according to the company. The facility has an existing connection to Tennessee Gas Pipeline.
In 2007 the Commission gave CNYOG the green light to place in service four storage wells and associated gathering facilities in Pennsylvania that were authorized as part of the Phase II expansion of Stagecoach. The Commission in December 2006 cleared the way for CNYOG to put into operation three New York storage wells and a six-mile, 20-inch diameter mainline that were associated with the expansion [CP06-64].
The Phase II storage expansion will bring the facility's working gas capacity to 26.25 Bcf from 13.25 Bcf. Total storage capacity will rise to 30.25 Bcf. Injection capacity and deliverability will be unchanged at 250 MMcf/d and 500 MMcf/d, respectively. However, the expansion will extend the field's capability to maintain withdrawals at maximum rates to about 20 consecutive days from the existing level of 12 days.
Kern River last Monday was awarded a favorable environmental assessment for a proposed expansion to increase takeaway capacity for Rocky Mountain producers.
Kern River proposes to add a 20,500-hp gas-driven compressor unit and restage five compressor units at its existing Muddy Creek Compressor Station in Lincoln County, WY; restage two compressor units at its existing Painter Compressor Station in Uinta County, WY; and install additional metering facilities at its Opal Meter Station in Lincoln County and at the Kramer Junction Meter Station in San Bernardino County, CA.
The 2010 Expansion Project also calls for Kern River to increase the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) for 1,680 miles of pipeline from 1,200 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) to 1,333 psig and increase the MAOP of the meter stations and compressor stations along its Wyoming-to-California system from 1,250 psig to 1,350 psig.
Kern River said it is seeking approval from the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to increase its pipeline operating pressure.
The expansion would boost Kern River capacity by 145 MMcf/d, resulting in a design capacity of 1.9 Bcf/d when completed. The pipeline expects construction to begin in April-May 2009 if it receives approval from FERC, with an in-service date of Nov. 1, 2010.
Kern River originates in Lincoln County and runs westward through southwestern Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and southeastern California before it reaches a point of interconnection with Mojave Pipeline in San Bernardino County. Kern River owns 1,380 miles of pipeline; it owns an additional 300 miles -- referred to as common facilities -- jointly with Mojave Pipeline.
FERC also issued a favorable environmental assessment of a Kentucky-based storage developer's proposal to construct and operate a 5 Bcf underground natural gas storage facility in Hopkins County, KY [CP08-409].
Orbit Gas Storage of Henderson, KY, proposes to convert the depleted White Plains Gas Field in western Kentucky to gas storage and build a 13-mile, 24-inch diameter pipeline; an eight-mile, 16-inch diameter gathering system; a new 5,400 hp compressor station; 10 storage wells and associated facilities.
The storage project would provide 100 MMcf/d of storage deliverability for service in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, and would interconnect with ANR Pipeline near Rabbit Ridge, KY, according to the FERC EA. Orbit Gas, which was formed in 2006, has requested market-based rate authority to provide open-access firm and interruptible storage services in interstate commerce.
Gulfstream Natural Gas System LLC last Monday asked FERC for authorization to place into service next month the remainder of its Phase IV expansion facilities, which will supply natural gas to a power plant in west-central Florida that is in the process of being converted to burn gas.
The remaining facilities, which Gulfstream seeks to start up by Dec. 19, include a new 15,000 hp compressor unit at its existing Station 410 in Coden, AL; and two new 15,000 hp units at its existing Station 420 in Manatee County, FL.
In late October FERC gave Gulfstream clearance to operate the pipeline facilities of the Phase IV expansion, including 17.74 miles of 20-inch diameter offshore line that extends from an underwater hot tap with Gulfstream's existing 36-inch diameter line in the Hillsborough County waters of Tampa Bay to Florida Power Corp.'s Bartow power plant in Pinellas County, FL (see NGI, Oct. 27).
The Bartow plant has operated as an oil-fired power plant. Florida Power is repowering the facility as a gas-fired plant and increasing its capacity to 1,159 MW by adding combined-cycle gas turbines. The repowering project is targeted for completion in 2009, according to the utility. Florida Power affiliate Progress Energy Florida Inc. has subscribed to the entire 155,000 Dth/d of capacity of the project under 23-year term agreements.
The Commission approved Gulfstream's request to roll in the $117 million cost of the Phase IV facilities in its next Section 4 rate proceeding.
The Phase IV facility expansion raises Gulfstream's certificated system capacity to approximately 1.232 Bcf/d. The 726-mile pipeline originates in Mississippi and Alabama, crosses the Gulf of Mexico floor and comes ashore on the western coast of Florida.
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