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Barnett Boom Spawns Another Pipe Project

Houston-based Falcon Gas Storage Co. Inc. said Wednesday it will build a new 63-mile, 24-inch diameter gas pipeline primarily to serve its expanded 16 Bcf working capacity Worsham-Steed Gas Storage Facility in the western portion of the prolific Barnett Shale gas play in North Texas. The capacity of the new pipeline will be 450 MMcf/d, with commercial operation scheduled to begin Sept. 1, 2007.

"Customer response for gas storage capacity in the North Texas market has been tremendous," said Jeff Foutch, Falcon chief commercial officer. "We have firm multi-year contracts covering over 80% of our working gas storage capacity at Worsham-Steed, which has provided the means to underwrite and build a large-volume, high-pressure gas pipeline. Our new pipeline has been designed to give our storage customers significant additional take-away capacity and to provide new transportation alternatives to gas producers and other shippers in the Barnett Shale."

Worsham-Steed received its base/cushion gas one year ago over the Energy Transfer pipeline system (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2005).

Falcon's Worsham-Steed Pipeline will run southward from the Worsham-Steed storage facility through Jack, Parker and Hood counties where it will interconnect with the two existing major 36-inch diameter gas transmission pipelines that serve North Texas -- the North Texas Pipeline, jointly owned by Enterprise Products Partners and Energy Transfer Partners (see Daily GPI, Sept. 21, 2006); and the Atmos Energy Line "X" Pipeline (see Daily GPI, May 18, 2005). In addition to an existing interconnection with Energy Transfer's Old Ocean pipeline at Worsham-Steed, the new pipeline also will connect with Devon Energy's Acacia pipeline, Atmos' Line "WA" and Enterprise's recently announced Sherman Extension Pipeline (see Daily GPI, Nov. 13), which will move gas from the Barnett Shale northeast to Boardwalk Pipeline Partners' Gulf Crossing Pipeline.

The Barnett Shale has been the starring play in the onshore exploration and production industry's migration to unconventional resources. Devon is the largest leaseholder in the play, and Devon CEO J. Larry Nichols admits that the play's true potential remains to be seen (see Daily GPI, Sept. 7, 2006).

"The market liquidity in this area will continue to improve as more of these large-diameter pipelines are built," Foutch said. "Our Worsham-Steed Pipeline will benefit not only our gas storage customers and gas consumers in the [Dallas-Fort Worth] region, but it also will provide new transportation options and capacity for Barnett Shale gas producers, gas processors and other prospective shippers located in proximity to our pipeline. Everybody benefits from more pipeline interconnectivity and transportation choices."

Falcon is one of the largest independently owned developers and operators of high-deliverability, multi-cycle (HDMC) natural gas storage capacity in the United States. It has more than 27 Bcf of working capacity and 750 MMcf/d of deliverability at its Hill-Lake and Worsham-Steed facilities serving the Dallas/Fort Worth market as well as the Waha and Carthage market hubs. Falcon also is developing the MoBay Storage Hub (see Daily GPI, June 23), an HDMC project in southern Alabama, which will have up to 50 Bcf of working capacity. Falcon also is involved in crude oil production, including enhanced oil recovery and natural gas liquids production and processing.

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