Dominion Plans New $400M Pipe to NC

By springtime, the little old ladies and a few congressmen who have been fighting northeastern pipeline construction tooth and nail for the past few years may be screaming "where's the gas" if prices spike to the levels expected.

Dominion Transmission believes it has at least part of the answer, and it lies in another proposed gas pipeline, this one to the Mid-Atlantic region. The company announced the Greenbrier Pipeline project yesterday, a $400 million, 200-mile pipe designed to bring up to 600,000 Dth/d of gas to a connection with Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line in Rockingham, NC, from Dominion's Cornwell Station near Charleston, WV, which is where Tennessee Gas connects with Dominion. The project is expected to be in service in June 2005.

"This fast-growing Mid-Atlantic region continues to enjoy significant economic expansion," said Dominion CEO Thos. E. Capps. "All of the regional demand projections point to a need for substantial improvements in our energy delivery infrastructure. This project will help meet this need economically."

The company is holding an open season Oct. 5-Dec. 5 to test market interest in the project. A company spokeswoman said demand growth from all sectors of the industry --- residential, commercial, industrial and power generation --- is expected to support the project.

Meanwhile, all that market growth also has attracted some of Dominion's competitors, in particular, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line. Transco last week concluded an open season on another mainline expansion, called the Momentum Expansion Project. It's a proposed expansion from Station 65 in Louisiana to Station 165 in Virginia. The project is anticipated to be in service by May 1, 2003. The company is expecting between 250,000 and 700,000 Dth/d of demand.

For Dominion, however, the Greenbrier project is about more than serving market growth, said Capps. "From Dominion's perspective, Greenbrier will give our growing natural gas and exploration business in West Virginia access to compete for sales in strong new markets." Dominion is a large independent producer with 2.8 Tcf of gas reserves.

The project also will be "operating in our geographic region of focus," said Capps, "--- the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States, home to 40% of the nations demand for energy."

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