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Transco's Sentinel Pipe Expansion Moves Forward

Dusting off an almost five-year-old project, Williams said Friday it has executed precedent agreements with seven shippers to transport an additional 142,000 Dth/d of natural gas to growing markets in the Northeast on the company's Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) from the existing Transco/Cove Point interconnect in Virginia and the Leidy Hub in Pennsylvania. The Sentinel expansion will be operational in November 2008.

"This pipeline expansion project allows Williams to provide the growing Northeast with enhanced access to competitively-priced natural gas supplies," said Phil Wright, president of Williams' natural gas pipeline business. "We appreciate the support and confidence our customers have shown in Williams to provide safe, reliable, economical transportation services."

The Sentinel expansion will require looping Williams' Transco natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania and New Jersey with approximately 22 miles of 42-inch pipe, plus minor compressor station modifications. Looping increases system capacity through the addition of a section of pipe that parallels an existing pipeline.

The company anticipates that approximately 67,000 Dth/d of natural gas will be placed into service in November 2008, with the remainder going into service in November 2009. Williams noted that the precise facility design, cost and other details of the project are still being finalized.

First mentioned in February of 2002 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 19, 2002; Nov. 1, 2005), Williams was originally eyeing the addition of 200,000-300,000 Dth/d under the Sentinel expansion plan.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already granted the company's request for a pre-application environmental review of the project, soliciting early input from citizens, governmental entities and other interested parties. Williams expects to file a formal application with the FERC in February 2007. Williams' Transco pipeline has a transportation capacity of approximately 8.1 million Dth/d of natural gas.

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