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Dollar Limits for Blanket Certificate Projects Raised

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday issued an order raising the dollar limits for natural gas projects that are constructed under the blanket-certificate program during 2007.

For gas projects that are not required to give prior notice to FERC, the per-project cost limit has been raised to $9.9 million this year from $9.6 million in 2006, the agency said in a final rule [RM81-19]. And for projects that do require prior notice, the per-project cost limit has been increased to $28.2 million this year from $27.4 million in 2006.

In addition, the Commission raised the dollar limit for underground storage testing and development activities under the blanket-certificate program to $5.4 million this year from $5.25 million in 2006.

In October, FERC expanded the scope of the agency's blanket certificate program to include the construction of certain mainline pipelines, storage field facilities and takeaway facilities for liquefied natural gas import terminals (see Daily GPI, Oct. 20, 2006). Prior to the agency action, the blanket certificate program typically had been limited to minor gas projects.

Blanket certificates are granted to companies that already hold a certificate of public convenience and necessity under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act. The program allows blanket-certificate holders to improve and upgrade existing gas facilities that meet certain criteria without the need for case-by-case certificate approval of each project.

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