FERC Friday gave the environmental go-ahead for Golden Triangle Storage, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based AGL Resources, to build a 16 Bcf high-deliverability natural gas storage facility in Jefferson and Orange counties, TX.

"We believe that the project...would not have a significant impact on environmental resources within the defined project area. Therefore, we conclude that approval of this proposal would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment," FERC staff said in an environmental assessment (EA) of the Golden Triangle Storage project [CP07-414].

The project calls for the development of two 8 Bcf storage caverns; two parallel 7.45-mile, 24-inch diameter pipelines; a 1.45-mile, 24-inch diameter pipe; a 14,205-horsepower compressor station and associated facilities, according to the FERC EA. The company held an open season last April and May for storage capacity (see NGI, April 23).

Golden Triangle said it expects to begin construction in January with the leaching of the first storage cavern, which would be completed and placed in operation by late 2010. Construction of the compressor station, pipelines and associated facilities would begin in 2009. Construction of the second storage cavern and additional compression would get under way in late 2010, to be completed and placed in operation by early 2013, the EA said.

The proposed storage facilities would accommodate increases in new natural gas supplies from production fields in Texas and Oklahoma and from new liquefied natural gas import facilities being constructed along the Gulf Coast.

AGL said Golden Triangle Storage would increase Jefferson County's storage capacity by 80%, "enhancing the area's position as a national energy hub and increasing the functionality of both its existing and planned energy infrastructure." The project would be located on the far southern side of Beaumont, TX, on the site of old sulfur mines and continuing oil and gas production, and near existing storage facilities.

Located at a highly liquid market point, Golden Triangle Storage would interconnect with six intrastate/interstate pipelines serving diverse markets with counterseasonal demand, AGL said.

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