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Southwest Gas Seeks to Lower Working Gas Level of OK Field

Southwest Gas Storage Co. has filed an abbreviated application at FERC seeking the go-ahead to adjust the working storage capacity and base gas capacity of its North Hopeton storage field in Woods County, OK.

Specifically, it proposes to reduce the working storage capacity of the field to 3.5 Bcf from 10 Bcf; acquire 3 Bcf of additional base gas to sustain working storage capacity, thereby increasing base gas capacity to 14.6 Bcf from 11.6 Bcf; and lower the maximum design storage capacity of the field to 18.1 Bcf from the current certificated level of 21.6 Bcf.

Southwest Gas Storage, which is owned by Houston-based Southern Union, said it has made many attempts in past years to improve the North Hopeton storage field's working gas capacity, but it has been unsuccessful.

Due to an inability to reduce the amount of water in the reservoir, "Southwest is able to cycle only 3.5 Bcf of the current operating maximum level of 6.5 Bcf of working gas storage inventory. The other 3 Bcf of gas in the reservoir is currently being utilized as base gas to sustain the working storage capability of the field," which lies on the northern shelf of the Anadarko Basin, Southwest Gas Storage said.

In order to provide the 10 Bcf of storage capacity that affiliate Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line has contracted for from the North Hopeton field, Southwest Gas said it plans to buy 6.5 Bcf of working gas storage capacity from a third-party storage provider or providers in Texas and Louisiana. Southwest Gas noted it also will acquire transportation capacity to make the storage capacity available to Panhandle.

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