Escondido Gas Storage LLC is holding a nonbinding open season for its natural gas storage project located southeast of San Antonio, TX, in Karnes and Live Oak counties. The open season for firm and interruptible storage service will run through 5 p.m. CST Feb. 15.

The Escondido storage facility will be constructed in the depleted Atkinson Gas Field and will initially have 18 Bcf of working gas capacity. The project will have an injection rate of 275 MMcf/d and a withdrawal rate of 335 MMcf/d, allowing three to four cycles per year, the Houston-based developer said. It noted that storage capacity could be expanded based on market interest.

The project has been approved for development by the Texas Railroad Commission and is planned to be in service by March 2010, according to the company. Escondido said it will offer intrastate storage services in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Texas regulatory agency.

Depending on the outcome of the open season, Escondido said it also may file a Section 311 application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to provide firm and interruptible service and interruptible hub services to interstate markets.

Potential pipeline connections for the Escondido storage project include CPS Energy, Enterprise Texas Pipeline LLC, Gulf South Pipeline Co., Houston Pipe Line Co. LP, Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline LLC and Transcontinental Gas. Escondido said it is considering additional pipeline connections.

Escondido is owned by Torch Energy Advisors Inc., a privately held, Houston-based company that invests in and manages energy assets.

For more information on the open season, contact Ralph Carthrae at (713) 756-1765 or at carthrr@teal.com, or Mary Frances Deibert at (713) 753-1428 or at deiberm@teal.com.

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