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Vector, Trunkline LNG Seek Expansions; Petal Puts New Storage Cavern in Service

Vector Pipeline LP has filed an application to construct new compressor stations to accommodate a concurrent request to increase flows at its existing U.S.-Canadian border facilities.

Vector proposes to build the Joliet Compressor station, which would consist of one 15,000 horsepower (hp) compressor unit, in Will County, IL, and the Romeo Compressor Station in Michigan, which would include two 15,000 hp compressor units. The pipeline estimated the construction costs would be about $70.4 million. It requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approve the project by no later than Nov. 1, 2006 so that the facilities could go into service by Nov. 1, 2007 [CP06-29].

Concurrently, Vector asked FERC to amend its May 1998 presidential permit and Natural Gas Action Section 3 authority to allow it to increase the maximum capacity permitted to flow through its existing border facilities to 2,300 MMcf/d from 1,330 MMcf/d [CP98-131]. The pipeline is seeking the amendment to clear the way for its proposed compression expansion.

In an unrelated case, Trunkline LNG Co. LLC is seeking authorization from FERC to increase the peak-day vaporization capacity of its Phase I expansion to 1.5 Bcf/d from 1.3 Bcf/d. Trunkline LNG's customer, BG LNG, requested the increase of regasification capability to facilitate the efficient scheduling of tankers and sendout of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for delivery to its downstream markets, the FERC notice said [CP02-60-007].

The proposed expansion of peak-day vaporization will not increase the number of LNG deliveries contemplated by the expansion project, or impact the construction or services that were previously authorized and currently are underway, it noted.

Trunkline LNG's Phase I expansion of its terminal near Lake Charles, LA, would more than double the sendout of capacity of the facility and expand terminal storage capacity to 9 Bcf from 6.3 Bcf. FERC approved the Phase I project in 2003.

FERC last week gave Trunkline LNG a three-month extension of the deadline to complete and place in service the Phase I expansion of the Lake Charles LNG terminal (see Daily GPI, Dec. 7). It has until March 31, 2006 to finish the project.

In another development, Petal Gas Storage LLC has informed FERC that it placed a third storage cavern and related compressor unit into service at its storage complex in Hattiesburg, MS [CP02-387].

FERC granted Petal Gas's request to put the facilities in service over the summer. But "the anticipated in-service date for Cavern #3 was delayed by the impact of Hurricane Katrina and, subsequently, by certain anomalies that appeared during the initial testing in October of the new compressor unit," Petal Gas said. The company converted an existing brine well at its Hattiesburg complex, at a cost of $18 million, to create the new storage cavern.

The third cavern has a total capacity of 3.6 Bcf, of which 2.4 Bcf is working gas capacity, according to Petal Gas. The company said it has executed long-term agreements with BP for the entire capacity of the new natural gas storage cavern.

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