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Williams has completed a successful binding open season for its proposed Northeast Supply Project, which would expand the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) from Station 195 in York County, PA, to delivery points in Zone 6. An open season was launched in June for the project, which would expand Transco's existing system with the addition of the Rockaway Delivery Lateral (see NGI, June 29). According to open season results, shippers for the Northeast Connector executed firm precedent agreements for 100,000 Dth/d, and Rockaway Delivery Lateral shippers executed firm precedent agreements for 647,000 Dth/d, Williams said. The project could be available for service beginning late 2012, subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Magnum Gas Storage LLC's nonbinding open season for its Magnum Gas Storage Project, which closed July 31, generated responses from 26 bidders requesting more than four times the capacity offered, the company said. The project in Millard County in central Utah is the first large-scale, high-deliverability, multi-cycle salt cavern gas storage facility to be developed in the western United States, Magnum said. Plans are under way for two caverns, each with working capacity of approximately 5.6 Bcf. The project offers customers direct and indirect interconnections with multiple pipelines originating from of the Rockies. The project will connect directly with a new lateral to the Kern River and Questar interstate pipelines at Goshen, UT, creating a header that will indirectly serve the Opal, WY, area market hub pipeline interconnections through backhaul and displacement. Magnum Gas Storage is owned by Magnum Development LLC, a Haddington Ventures LLC portfolio company.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday gave Questar Overthrust Pipeline Co. the go-ahead to begin constructing a mostly compression expansion to move additional natural gas from its system to Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) in Wyoming. Overthrust proposes to add a compressor station at Point of Rocks in Sweetwater County, WY, and install more compression at its existing Rock Springs Compressor Station, also in Sweetwater County, as well as build short pipeline and associated facilities. The proposed expansion would add approximately 32,000 hp of compression, creating an additional 300,000 Dth/d of capacity that is needed to move gas from receipt points on the northwest end of Overthrust's system at the Opal Hub in Wyoming to an interconnect with REX on the east end of Overthrust's system at Wamsutter, WY. Overthrust currently has the capability to deliver 625,000 Dth/d to REX, a spokesman said. Overthrust estimates the total cost of the compression expansion as $42 million. It said it has entered into a firm transportation service agreement with EnCana Marketing (USA) Inc. for the entire expansion capacity with a 10-year term. Overthrust owns and operates approximately 212 miles of pipeline extending from the Whitney Canyon producing area in Uinta County in southwest Wyoming to the interconnect with REX near Wamsutter, according to the FERC order.

A series of earthquakes along the central Gulf of California coast of Baja California last Monday through Wednesday were felt widely in Mexico and the western United States, but San Diego-based Sempra Energy reported that the quakes had no impact on its Costa Azul liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal or connecting transmission pipelines, which cut across the northern-most stretch of North Baja. A Sempra spokesperson in San Diego said the quakes were a nonevent, although the largest one on Monday reportedly caused a number of high-rise office buildings in downtown San Diego to be evacuated. The largest tumbler registered 6.9 on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was about 360 miles southeast of the U.S.-Mexico border town of Tijuana, and subsequent quakes Tuesday and Wednesday, considered aftershocks, ranging from 5.0 to 5.9, were centered in the same general area near the city of Santa Isabel. Sempra's LNG facility is on the Pacific Coast, and about 60 miles south of Tijuana and north of Ensenada. There were no reports of damage or injuries anywhere in Mexico as of last Wednesday.

The merger of Denver-based Double Eagle Petroleum Co. and Petrosearch Energy Corp. through a $9.3 million stock deal has been completed, the companies said. As a result of the deal Double Eagle, which now explores nearly exclusively for natural gas in the Rocky Mountains, received approximately $8.5 million of working capital and an early stage water-flood project in the Texas Panhandle. Petrosearch will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Double Eagle. Petrosearch stockholders will receive 0.0433 shares of Double Eagle common stock and cash consideration of $0.0211 for each share of Petrosearch common or preferred stock on an as-converted basis. Double Eagle agreed to buy the Houston-based producer in March (see NGI, April 6).

An increased surcharge to pay for energy efficiency programs has taken effect for Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities, but it is subject to a review by Idaho regulators. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will take comments on Avista's higher charges through Aug. 28. Avista received rate adjustments up and down for both retail natural gas and electric utility customers in July, including an increase in the rider amounting to 1.5% for electric customers and 1.2% for gas customers. The rider funds more than 30 programs -- either demand-side management (DSM) or energy efficiency.

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