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New York, Ohio Storage Projects Get Environmental Nods

FERC has issued favorable environmental reviews for two natural gas storage facilities in New York and Ohio, which would add a combined 7 Bcf of capacity in the Northeast. Environmental assessments (EA) were awarded to Arlington Storage Co., LLC for its Thomas Corners storage project in Steuben County, NY, and to Columbia Gas Transmission's Ohio storage expansion at its Crawford and Weaver fields.

"Approval of the proposed project[s], with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment," Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff said in their EAs on the two projects [CP08-96, CP08-431].

Arlington Storage, a subsidiary of Kansas City, MO-based Inergy LP, proposes to convert an abandoned natural gas production field in the Town of Bath into a storage field to be named Thomas Corners Storage Field. The field would have a total working gas capacity of approximately 5.7 Bcf, along with maximum withdrawal and injection capabilities of 100 MMcf/d and 50 MMcf/d, respectively, the company said. If FERC issues a certificate in the near term, the company said it plans to place the expansion facilities in service in fall 2009.

In May Arlington Storage reported that it had sold out of all available capacity in its Thomas Corners project (see NGI, May 12). Thomas Corners is expected to interconnect with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.'s Line 400 and Columbia Gas Transmission's A-5 line, which accesses the Millennium Pipeline.

Inergy acquired Arlington Storage in late 2007 (see NGI, Sept. 10, 2007). In addition to Thomas Corners, Arlington Storage is the majority owner and operator of Steuben Gas Storage Co., which has a storage facility in Steuben County with 6.2 Bcf of working gas capacity. Arlington Storage's parent, Inergy, also owns the Stagecoach storage operation in New York.

When all expansions are completed, Inergy estimates that it will control more than 40 Bcf of working gas storage capacity, making it one of the largest independent gas storage operators in the Northeast.

Meanwhile, Columbia is moving to expand its Ohio storage facilities by 6.7 Bcf of working capacity and enhance daily deliverability from its Weaver and Crawford storage fields by 103,400 Dth/d under its Ohio Storage Expansion project.

The expansion represents an approximately 2.5% increase in the company's working storage capacity in Ohio. It would meet growing demand for gas and transportation services in its Mid-Atlantic markets, said Columbia, a unit of NiSource Inc. Columbia is asking the Commission to issue a certificate authorizing the expansion by the end of this year. Construction would occur in 2009 with the facilities in service by Nov. 1, 2009, the company said.

Washington Gas Light has signed up for 58% of the expansion capacity, Columbia said, under a precedent agreement for 60,000 Dth/d of deliverability and 4 million Dth of storage capacity.

Crawford Storage is about 45 miles south of Columbus, and Weaver Storage is about 50 miles northeast of Columbus. At Crawford Columbia proposes to drill up to 16 new storage wells, convert or perform other work on 27 existing wells and install about 13 miles of storage pipeline. At Weaver the company proposes to install 4.1 miles of storage pipeline, replace 1.7 miles of existing pipeline, install additional metering and regulation stations and perform enhancement and deliverability work on 21 existing storage wells.

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