FERC OKs Amended Petal Storage Project

FERC yesterday gave Petal Gas Storage the go-ahead to expand an existing interconnect between its storage facilities in Mississippi and affiliate Tennessee Gas Pipeline, despite strong objections from shippers that the company was displaying affiliate preference. It also granted Petal's request to continue market-based pricing for existing and expanded storage services.

Specifically, Petal was awarded a certificate to build a 5.5 mile, 36-inch diameter storage header loop, add 20,000 hp of new compression and associated facilities within or adjacent to its storage facilities in Forrest County, MS.

Petal sought permission to expand its interconnect with Tennessee's 500 Line in an amended application that it filed last February. The revised proposal dropped the storage company's initial plans to build interconnects with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., Southern Natural Gas and Destin Pipeline in favor of the expanded interconnect with Tennessee, which prompted shippers to accuse Petal of affiliate favoritism.

El Paso Energy, which owns Tennessee, acquired Crystal Gas Storage Inc., Petal's parent company, last January.

Petal sought the facility expansion to service a new 20-year contract for 7 Bcf of firm storage capacity with Southern Company Services.

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