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FERC OKs Expansion of Texas Gas Market-Area Storage Facilities

FERC on Monday gave Texas Gas Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP, the go-ahead to expand its market-area natural gas storage facilities in Kentucky.

The certificate order authorizes Texas Gas to install new compression, associated pipeline facilities and horizontal injection/withdrawal wells to expand the withdrawal capacity of its Midland Gas Storage Field in Muhlenberg County, KY, and Hanson Gas Storage Field in Hopkins County, KY. Midland is the largest of the nine storage fields that Texas Gas operates in Indiana and Kentucky.

Texas Gas proposes to increase the certificated capacity of the Midland storage field by 2 Bcf by bolstering the maximum operating pressure of the field. The proposed facility enhancements and increase in certificated capacity would allow Texas Gas to withdraw on a firm basis up to an additional 100,749 Mcf/d of natural gas -- half of which would come from the Midland field and the other half from the Hanson field, according to the FERC order [CP06-126].

The Owensboro, KY-based pipeline said the project would allow it to use an additional 9.3 Bcf of gas in Midland Storage as working gas on a firm seasonal basis. To achieve the 9.3 Bcf, Texas Gas said it would convert 7.3 Bcf of existing cushion gas to working gas, and 2 Bcf of incremental working gas would be injected by firm storage service customers as part of the expansion.

The storage expansion project is expected to cost approximately $36 million, according to Texas Gas. It said the proposed in-service date is Nov. 1, 2007. This is the second expansion of its market-area storage facilities in recent years. In November 2005, the pipeline placed an 8.2 TBtu storage expansion in service at its Midland storage field. The two expansions will raise the total working gas capacity by 17.5 TBtu, the pipeline said.

Last month, Texas Gas initiated an open season for a third expansion of its market-area storage facilities, which would provide up to an additional 113,900 MMBtu/d of withdrawal capacity and store on a seasonal basis up to an additional 10.25 TBtu. Once approved by FERC, the pipeline said its expects to begin construction of the expanded storage facilities in the spring/summer of 2008, with in-service by Nov. 1 of that year.

Texas Gas owns and operates a 5,900-mile interstate gas pipeline that provides storage services and transport gas from Louisiana and East Texas to markets in the South, Midwest and Northeast.

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