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NE Hub Opposes Stay of Storage Project

NE Hub Opposes Stay of Storage Project

NE Hub Partners L.P. has asked FERC to deny a partial stay request of Penn Fuel Gas Inc. that, if granted, would prevent it from starting construction on a major underground storage project in northern Pennsylvania.

This is the latest in a long-simmering dispute that has pitted NE Hub Partners against North Penn Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn Fuel, and CNG Transmission, which are opposed to the project since it would be located directly beneath their existing storage facilities - the Tioga Storage Complex. The joint owners have argued all along that their facilities would be "irreparably" damaged if NE Hub were permitted to drill through it in order to leach the two salt caverns where it plans to store up to 5-6 Bcf of gas.

Despite the protestations, the Commission gave NE Hub Partners the go-ahead to build the underground storage project last April. Since then, however, CNG Transmission and Penn Fuel/North Penn Gas have mounted a "vigorous campaign" to prevent construction, said David Hooker, chief operating officer of NE Hub Partners.

In the filing at FERC, NE Hub Partners called Penn Fuel's request for a partial stay of the April order "frivolous," adding that it was the company's "latest attempt to derail" NE Hub's Tioga Storage Project [CP96-53-003]. "The harms alleged by Penn Fuel are entirely speculative, and Penn Fuel offers absolutely no proof that the alleged harms will occur with any degree of certainty."

Susan Parker

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