PG&E Starts Open Season for In-State Pipe Expansion

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. formally announced its expansion plans last week a few days after testifying at FERC about growth on its system and the need for additional transportation and storage capacity (see Daily GPI, May 29). The utility company is holding an open season in June and July for capacity on its in-state California transmission system. Complete open season packages will be available June 12 at www.pge.com/pipeline.

Demand for gas in the state continues to grow, and interstate pipeline companies are planning expansions that will increase flows to California from gas producing regions in Canada and the southwestern United States, the company noted. To meet this demand, Pacific Gas and Electric Company's California Gas Transmission department will offer more than 1.2 Bcf/d of backbone capacity on its Redwood (from Malin, OR), Baja (from Topock, AZ), and Silverado (in-state production) paths. The open season will include 200 MMcf/d of capacity from an anticipated expansion of the Redwood Path from Malin. The expansion is expected to be in service by Jan. 1, 2003.

The PG&E Corp. subsidiary said it would consider a large expansion given significantly greater than expected customer interest. Transportation rates will be based on tariffs approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Pacific Gas and Electric's intrastate pipeline system can transport more than 3 Bcf/d of gas. Various parties, including the utility's Core Procurement department (which purchases gas on behalf of residential and small business customers), hold firm capacity rights that allow them to transport gas throughout Northern and Central California.

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