As natural gas production continues to grow in the Woodford Shale of southeastern Oklahoma, OGE Energy Corp. subsidiary Enogex Inc. is proposing new firm Section 311 natural gas interstate transportation service on the company's intrastate pipeline system in the region. Enogex has opened a binding open season to solicit shipper interest in the plan.

"We remain committed to expectations from our customers to provide secure gas takeaway and reliable operations from the Woodford Shale," said Enogex COO Keith Mitchell. "This project emphasizes our commitment to this growing region."

Enogex proposes to use existing capacity in the area coupled with possible new pipeline construction for firm transportation. By adding compression on existing capacity, depending on the points of receipt and delivery, this existing capacity can be as high as 500,000 Dth/d, the company said.

"We recently announced a $50 million gathering investment in the area, and this added investment will offer more options for our customers to move gas to attractive markets," Mitchell said.

Earlier this month Enogex completed construction on the first phase -- 22 miles -- of a new 30-mile pipeline that will connect the company's Hughes, Coal and Pittsburgh county gathering system with the 30-inch diameter Enogex mainline to Bennington, OK, and the 24-inch Enogex mainline to Wilburton, OK (see NGI, Feb. 11). The gathering project creates additional gathering capacity of 125 MMcf/d for customers desiring low-pressure services with the potential to double this amount with incremental compression investments. The 30-mile pipeline will be complemented by approximately 20,000 hp of compression. Once complete, Woodford Shale-area producers would have access to 350-500 MMcf/d of existing takeaway capacity on Enogex's mainline pipeline.

The proposed Enogex firm transportation service would provide access from points of receipt to major interstate pipelines serving markets in the East, Midwest and southern areas of the United States. The Enogex Wetumka storage field also may be accessed using firm transportation by shippers with firm storage agreements.

If sufficient shipper interest is expressed, Enogex said it will seek agreements for firm transportation service and then file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) changes to its statement of operating conditions to establish a new firm Section 311 transportation service. Section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 allows an interstate pipeline company to sell or transport gas "on behalf of" any intrastate pipeline or local distribution company. FERC has exempted the construction of facilities used solely for Section 311 transportation from certificate requirements.

The binding open season runs through 5 p.m. CST March 14. More information can be obtained from Michael Walker at (405) 530-7429 or Christy Spraggs at (405) 557-5287.

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