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Seneca Lake Seeks More Time to Explore 'Market Opportunities' for NY Storage Project

Seneca Lake Storage Inc. on Monday asked FERC for a two-year extension of the deadline to place in operation proposed high-deliverability storage facilities in western New York, citing as its reason the inability of potential customers to acquire transportation services on connecting pipelines.

Prospective customers indicated "substantial interest" in Seneca Lake Storage's firm and interruptible services during open seasons that were conducted in the spring and summer of 2003, but they "have declined to execute precedent agreements in advance of having in place arrangements for the delivery of natural gas on either the existing Columbia Gas Transmission Corp. A-5 Line or the Millennium Pipeline system, which is proposed to run from Canada through New York," Seneca Lake told FERC in seeking the deadline postponement.

"These potential customers are prevented from making such transportation agreements because the Columbia A-5 Line is fully subscribed and Millennium has yet to announce whether its project will go forward despite [it] having received certificate authority," said the company, which is a subsidiary of Energy East Enterprises, a unit of Energy East Corp.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a certificate for the Seneca Lake Storage project in February 2002, requiring it to be constructed and in operation by February 2006 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 14, 2002). The company has asked the agency to push back the deadline to February 2008 "so that [it] may continue exploring market opportunities for the proposed storage services."

The Seneca Lake Storage project, which would be located in Schuyler County, NY, would consist of two abandoned salt caverns and associated facilities capable of delivering 50,000 Dth/d of gas into the Northeast market. A short pipeline would tie the storage facilities to a transmission line owned by a Seneca Lake affiliate, New York State Electric and Gas Corp., which would operate the storage facilities. The two caverns would have a total capacity of 768,480 Mcf, of which 595,800 Mcf would be working gas capacity, according to the company [CP01-435].

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