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FERC Staff Gives Gulf Crossing Favorable Environmental Nod

March 31, 2008
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FERC staff has agreed that the Gulf Crossing natural gas pipeline project through Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana would have limited adverse environmental impact, with appropriate mitigating measures.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff prepared the favorable final environmental impact statement (EIS) for Gulf Crossing Pipeline Co. LLC and Gulf South Pipeline Co. LP, which are both subsidiaries of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP. The favorable final EIS follows a favorable draft EIS on the project in November 2007 (see NGI, Nov. 5, 2007).

Gulf Crossing plans to build a 356.3-mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline and associated compression facilities (100,734 hp) extending from Sherman, TX, to an interconnect with affiliate Gulf South Pipeline's Tallulah Compressor Station in Madison Parish, LA. It also proposes to lease up to 165,000 Dth/d of upstream capacity on the Oklahoma intrastate pipeline system of Enogex and up to 1.4 Bcf/d of capacity on Gulf South from Tallulah to an interconnect with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line's Station 85 in Choctaw County, AL, located at the terminus of Gulf South's 116-mile Southeast Expansion Project [CP07-398, CP07-401]. Some shippers are challenging the leasing of the Enogex capacity (see NGI, Oct. 29, 2007).

As part of the project, affiliate Gulf South plans to build approximately 17.8 miles of pipeline loop between its Tallulah Compressor Station and its Harrisville Compressor Station located in Simpson County, MS, add 30,000 hp of compression to its Harrisville Compressor Station, and abandon by lease up to 1.4 Bcf/d of natural gas capacity to Gulf Crossing.

Gulf Crossing said it expects the $1.1 billion project, which would provide up to 1.65 Bcf/d of capacity, to be in service by Oct. 1. Devon Energy Corp., Enterprise Products Partners LP and Crosstex Energy LP are among the companies that have already committed to transportation capacity on the proposed line.

Staff concluded the project would be an environmentally acceptable action (with appropriate mitigation) because:

Staff recommended limiting the permanent rights-of-way to 50 feet wide, using portions of existing, natural gas pipeline permanent rights-of-way during construction where possible and that the companies develop crossing plans for environmentally sensitive areas and a wetland mitigation plan.

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