FGT Holds Open Season in Face of Two Competitors
Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) is holding an open season through April
30 for another expansion, its Phase V project, an alternative to two major
Gulf-crossing pipeline competitors, the Buccaneer and Gulfstream pipelines,
proposed by Williams and Coastal, respectively.
"With our existing pipeline infrastructure, Florida Gas Transmission
has the ability to meet our customers' growing energy needs through economical
expansions that minimize the impact on land use and the environment,"
said Rockford G. Meyer, FGT president. Estimated initial in-service is
late 2001 or early 2002.
FGT will consider offers from existing shippers to permanently release
firm capacity, reducing the need for construction. Interested shippers
should contact an FGT marketing representative at (713) 853-6154.
FGT's $350 million proposed Phase IV expansion is expected to be in
service by May 2001. For the Phase IV expansion, eight shippers executed
20-year firm commitments for 272,000 MMBtu/d of incremental firm service,
net of turn-back capacity. Some prospective customers of the Phase IV expansion
who weren't ready to commit at the time may become customers of the Phase
V expansion, Meyer said. Phase V likely will be anchored by power generation
load, he said. "Not that there's not some additional LDC load out
there. It's just that clearly the largest growth opportunity out there
is for power generation."
Coastal and Williams, however, are attempting to capture for the first
time some of FGT's prized Florida marketplace with their Gulfstream and
Buccaneer projects. Both pipelines would stretch from Mobile, AL, across
the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa, FL, and cross the state of Florida to cities
along the Atlantic Coast. Each would be designed to carry between 700 MMcf/d
and 1 Bcf/d of gas. Coastal said recently it already has the early market
lead with nine shippers backing its 700-mile Gulfstream project. An open
season for Gulfstream ends next Monday. Buccaneer also is holding an open
When asked by NGI in December about competition from Buccaneer (see
NGI Dec. 7, 1998), Meyer said FGT's line
"offers a lot of advantages over a line which is just coming over
the Gulf [and would access] only Gulf Supplies," he said. "Our
pipeline accesses not only the offshore Gulf of Mexico supplies, but also
supplies from South Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Joe Fisher, Houston
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