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Southern Star Central Eyes Expansion in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas

Owensboro, KY-based Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline is holding a binding open season through Feb. 25 to test market interest in its proposed Ozark Trails Expansion Project. The project would include adding pipeline capacity along multiple segments of its 6,000-mile pipeline system, which serves St. Louis, Wichita, and Kansas City, among other markets in the Midcontinent and Midwest regions.

"Natural gas demand continues to increase throughout Southwest Missouri," said Southern Star President Jerry Morris. "Traditional local distribution markets, Greenfield distribution markets and the electric generation market are driving this growth. This expansion is another example of our commitment to help Southwest Missouri improve its economy and quality of life through greater utilization of clean-burning natural gas."

The company proposes expanding its 2 Bcf/d pipeline system in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas on the following line segments:

Donny King, manager of customer service, said most of the demand growth is happening along the Springfield line (segment 455) which serves an area with a substantial entertainment industry. "We actually expanded that segment of our pipeline [last year]." Southern Star Central added about 66,800 MMBtu/d of firm capacity along the Springfield line last September.

King also noted that there is growing market interest in Rocky Mountain gas production. In January, the company installed an 400 MMcf/d interconnection with El Paso's new Cheyenne Plains pipeline system, which runs from the Cheyenne Hub in northeastern Colorado to Greensburg, KS. Cheyenne Plains is in the process of powering up its system and should ramp up volumes over the next year.

Depending on the market demand and requested receipt points, Southern Star anticipates that this expansion will qualify for rolled-in rate treatment at Southern Star's maximum tariff rates in its market area. If sufficient market support is obtained, Southern Star would seek FERC approval for an expansion that could be completed as early as fourth-quarter 2006.

Additional information regarding the project may be obtained by contacting Tim Meyer at (270) 852-4554, Pat Coomes (270) 852-4552 or Debbie Hendrix (270) 852-4571. Interested parties can access open season information at: http://csi.sscgp.com/ under the Open Season tab in the public information area.

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