FERC has granted a request of Puget Sound Energy Inc., operator of the Jackson Prairie Storage project, to build facilities to recycle natural gas to an authorized storage zone (Zone 2) at its Washington state storage facility from another zone in the formation to which gas has migrated.

The certificate issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gives Bellevue, WA-based utility Puget Sound Energy the go-ahead to implement an additional gas recycling operation to control migration from Zone 2 to Zone 1. Puget Energy plans to modify two existing observation wells and an existing gathering line, and construct a new 75-horsepower electric motor compressor, as well as add 4- to 6-inch diameter new piping and associated facilities.

The storage facility, which is located in Lewis County, WA, is jointly owned by Puget Sound Energy, Northwest Pipeline and Avista Corp., a Spokane, WA-based electric and gas utility. Jackson Prairie is connected only to Northwest's system, which serves the two utilities. Puget Sound estimated that the cost of the proposed storage recycling facilities will be approximately $630,000, which will be shared equally among the three project owners. FERC has given Puget Sound one year to have the recycling facilities in operation.

When the facilities are installed, Puget Sound Energy said it believes that all significant migration from Zone 2 to Zone 1 will be contained. It noted that gas migration does not appear to be accelerating, thus excluding the need for any further construction at this time. The utility said it anticipates that approximately 2.5-4 Bcf will likely remain in Zone 1 at any given time.

FERC also granted Puget Sound Energy's request to amend its existing certificate to establish a revised cushion and total gas level at the storage facility to reflect the permanent loss of 0.9 Bcf of cushion gas over the past 40 years. The utility said the loss of cushion gas has not affected its existing services, and Jackson Prairie -- with the construction of the recycling facilities -- will continue to operate at certificated levels without replacing the 0.9 Bcf of cushion gas.

The storage facility's cushion gas level will be 20,119,789 Mcf, down 0.9 Bcf from 21,019,789 Mcf, Puget Sound said.

Earlier in the month, the Commission approved Puget Sound Energy's proposal to increase the withdrawal deliverability capacity at Jackson Prairie by 300 MMcf/d. The utility proposes to bolster the withdrawal capacity to 1,150 MMcf/d from 850 MMcf/d (see Daily GPI, Feb. 7).

The project calls for Puget Sound to construct up to 10 new injection/withdrawal wells; additional pipeline facilities; a 10,480-horsepower compressor unit and associated facilities; upgrades and restages of three existing compressor units at the Jackson Prairie Compressor Station; and a new separator and relief valve that will raise the design capacity of the compressor station to 1.3 Bcf/d from 1 Bcf/d.

Puget Sound said the project, which will cost an estimated $43.8 million, will be built in two phases, with up to five injection/withdrawal wells to be completed during this summer and the remaining facilities to be completed during 2008.

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