The recent open season for the Steckman Ridge gas storage project in Bedford County, PA, revealed customer interests that far exceeds its proposed working capacity of up to 12 Bcf, backers said Thursday.

"We received bids totaling five times the capacity of our facility, clearly demonstrating the demand for natural gas storage in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic," said Mark Fiedorek, vice president, Steckman Ridge LP. "As we move forward, we will work with those who submitted bids to confirm their interest and determine how we can respond to their needs."

Steckman Ridge is expected by its developers to play an important role in the energy future of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets. The facility is equally owned by subsidiaries of Spectra Energy and New Jersey Resources.

Steckman Ridge will submit its application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in November. Currently, it is participating in FERC's pre-filing process to encourage early participation by all interested parties. The project is expected to be in service by April 2009.

The Steckman reservoir is better than most, Mark Fiedorek, Spectra group vice president, northeast transmission and storage, previously told NGI (see NGI, March 12). It can be cycled two to three times and will have withdrawal capability of 300,000 MMDth/d and injection capability of 150,000 MMDth/d. Pipeline interconnects will be Spectra pipeline Texas Eastern Transmission and Dominion Gas Transmission. Both pipes have large facilities at the storage site, Fiedorek said. Some expansions may take place downstream to complement the storage development.

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