The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved Cadeville Gas Storage LLC's application to build a planned gas storage facility in Ouachita Parish, LA, approximately 10 miles southwest of Monroe. Storage services are scheduled to begin in 2012. The three- to four-turn facility is being designed to provide a peak deliverability of 420 MMcf/d and a peak injection of 420 MMcf/d. Cadeville plans to convert a depleted gas reservoir to develop a total of 16.5 Bcf of working capacity. The facility would have the ability to interconnect to Tennessee Gas Pipeline Line 100, Gulf South's Middle 30, Gulf South's 42-inch East Texas to Mississippi Expansion, Texas Gas Transmission, CenterPoint Energy Line CP and Energy Transfer Partners' 42" Tiger Pipeline. Open seasons held in 2009 (see NGI, April 6, 2009) and earlier this summer (see NGI, May 31) received total bids for more than twice the amount of working gas capacity proposed in its application, according to Cadeville.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved AGL Resources subsidiary Golden Triangle Storage LLC's (GTS) request to commence interim service Sept. 1 at its Golden Triangle Storage Project on the Spindletop salt dome in Jefferson and Orange counties, TX. A dual 24-inch diameter pipeline header and dual 20-inch diameter pipelines between the central compressor station and Storage Cavern No. 1 were completed last month, and the construction of a central compressor station was "substantially complete," according to GTS's July 26 request. In addition, construction of Storage Cavern No. 1 was complete and dewatering was expected to commence as early as mid-August, barring construction or weather interruptions, GTS said in its filing. The dewatering process is expected to be completed by December, when GTS anticipates full commercial operation. Storage Cavern No. 1 is the first of two previously authorized salt dome storage caverns at the Golden Triangle Storage facility (see NGI, Jan. 7, 2008). Each of the caverns will offer 6 Bcf of working capacity, expandable to 8 Bcf later.

A federal judge has revised a decision prohibiting producers from conducting seismic studies offshore Alaska in the Chukchi Sea, clearing the way for U.S. affiliates of Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil ASA to move forward on long-planned projects. In July U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline ruled that the Department of Interior had violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it allowed the then-Minerals Management Service to sell drilling rights in 2008 for oil and gas development offshore Alaska (see NGI, July 26). Following Beistline's ruling, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. sought reconsideration or clarification of the injunction, arguing that it was overly broad because it barred activities such as seismic testing, which did not involve drilling. The state of Alaska filed a brief supporting Shell's motion, and the Obama administration also intervened, noting that another producer, Statoil USA Inc., owned 16 Chukchi Sea leases about 100 miles offshore where it wanted to seismically test. Beistline clarified his ruling and said it did not cover Shell or any other company shooting seismic if they had the necessary government permits. The ruling also cleared the way for Shell to conduct shallow hazard and ice gauge surveys. Statoil said a seismic testing vessel is on its way to the testing site. Equipment was expected to be in the water within two weeks to gather about 920 square miles of 3-D data by the end of October.

An in-state Alaska natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to markets in the state's gas-hungry Southcentral region could cost up to $11 billion and the state would have to foot some of the bill through subsidies or partial ownership, a task force examining such a project told state lawmakers. "There will need to be some type of equity infusion or some type of subsidy based simply on the numbers of people we have and the construction costs we're looking at," said Dan Fauske, chief executive of the Alaska Housing Finance Corp., as reported by the Anchorage Daily News. A report by the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. said the cost of transporting gas from the North Slope to Anchorage could result in prices that are twice what Anchorage-area customers currently pay.

There is no unleased state forest acreage suitable for natural gas development remaining in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale area, according to a report from the state's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Of the approximately 1.5 million acres of Marcellus land in Pennsylvania's state forests, about 700,000 acres is currently under lease or available for natural gas development only by private owners who own the subsurface rights to about 100,00 acres of the land. Another 702,500 acres remain unleased because the land is in ecologically sensitive areas, according to the report. A forest conservation analysis recently performed by the Nature Conservancy and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy identified another 49,600 acres as "priority forest conservation areas" not appropriate for natural gas development. The rest of the acreage is considered primitive land (27,500 acres) or inaccessible without damaging sensitive areas (20,400 acres), DCNR said.

Dominion natural gas transmission and storage subsidiary Dominion Transmission has struck a 10-year lease agreement with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. for firm capacity in support of a project to move Marcellus Shale gas. The Ellisburg-to-Craigs project, with capacity of 150,000 Dth/d, will move gas from Tennessee's 300 Line in northern Pennsylvania to its 200 Line in upstate New York. Dominion said it plans to file for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certificate for the project in December. Construction is expected to begin in March 2012 for an in-service date of Nov. 1, 2012. The project is to include additional compression facilities and a new measurement and regulating station at the Craigs interconnect with Tennessee in New York. Dominion said it will also add regulating facilities on its system in northern Pennsylvania.

Range Resources Corp. submitted its first voluntary hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracing) disclosure forms to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and has posted the information on its website. The information covers the first three Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania that Range has hydraulically fractured since the beginning of the initiative. As additional Marcellus wells are drilled, Range said it will provide similar information within about 30 days of completion. The information is available from the company's website as part of the wells' completion reports at the bottom of the web page. Last month Range announced its initiative to disclose Marcellus hydrofracing additives (see NGI, July 19). EQT Corp. announced a similar initiative shortly thereafter (see NGI, Aug. 2).

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