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Multitude of Gulf Coast LNG Projects Prompts Transco Expansion Plans

With nearly 18 Bcf/d of new LNG import capacity approved for development along the Gulf Coasts of Texas and Louisiana and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, Transcontinental Gas PipeLine has drawn up plans for a mainline expansion project between compressor stations 45 and 85 in Louisiana. It also is planning to expand its system by about 700,000 Dth/d from Station 85 to a connection with affiliate Gulfstream Natural Gas along its Mobile Bay Lateral.

"LNG is poised to become a much larger portion of our natural gas supply mix over the next several years," noted Phil Wright, senior vice president of Williams' natural gas pipeline business. "It is important that our Transco pipeline provide its customers with access to growing LNG and domestic supply options, particularly along the Gulf Coast."

Williams announced two separate open seasons Tuesday for proposed expansion capacity on Transco. Open seasons for the Mobile Bay South expansion and the Production Area Mainline expansion started last Wednesday and will conclude March 10.

The Production Area Mainline expansion would increase the company's ability to transport domestic supplies and imported LNG from the Louisiana Gulf Coast area to aggregation centers along the Transco pipeline system by late 2008. The level of market interest will determine the size of the expansion and the cost and final pipeline facilities required, but preliminary rate estimates are being based on an expansion of about 750,000 Dth/d. For details contact Jan Roberts at (713) 215-4581.

Transco expects to provide up to 700,000 Dth/d of firm transportation service on its Mobile Bay Lateral from Station 85 near Choctaw County, AL, to a proposed new interconnection with Gulfstream in Mobile County, AL, in order to serve growing supply needs in the southeastern United States, particularly Florida.

Based on the estimated cost of service associated with the project facilities needed to provide 700,000 Dth/d, Transco said it anticipates that the daily reservation recourse rate for firm transportation service on the project would be the Transco's Zone 4A to 4A rate, which currently is $0.0705/Dth. New service from the Mobile Bay Lateral project is anticipated to be available by summer 2008. For details contact Toi Anderson at (713) 215-4540.

At least 10 new LNG import projects and expansions have been approved by FERC and the Maritime Administration for the Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico:

In addition, at least seven other terminals have been planned or proposed to regulators, including Bienville LNG by TORP Technologies, Port Arthur LNG by Sempra, Calhoun LNG by Gulf Coast LNG, Compass Port by ConocoPhillips, Creole Trail by Cheniere, Main Pass Energy Hub by McMoRan and Beacon Port by ConocoPhillips.

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