Sempra Energy put out an alert Monday through its spokesperson that the deadline for responding to a current open season on the expanding Liberty natural gas storage facility in Louisiana is this Friday (March 2). Although the response so far has been "good," according to a San Diego-based spokesperson, the joint venture site wants to make sure everyone has a chance to bid. The open season kicked off Feb. 12.

Sempra Pipelines & Storage and ProLiance Transportation and Storage LLC are seeking market interest in expansion capacity at their Liberty Gas Storage LLC facility in Calcasieu Parish, LA. With what the partners are calling "strong market response" to the existing 17 Bcf capacity at Liberty and unabated thirst for more gas storage along the Gulf of Mexico coast, Sempra Energy and ProLiance are offering an additional 5 Bcf at the salt dome facility.

If the current open season comes up short on interest, it would be the first indication of a slowdown in the heretofore hot interest in pipeline and storage capacity on the Gulf Coast, particularly since Sempra and ProLiance are only looking to assess interest with nonbinding bids at this time.

Sempra is in the midst of building a 1.5 Bcf/d LNG receiving terminal at Cameron, LA, and has longer-term plans to build another one at Port Arthur, TX. Liberty and a string of salt dome storage units Sempra and ProLiance are planning to build will fit in directly with those two and other LNG importing facilities in the region (see Daily GPI, Sept. 15, 2006).

Sempra Piplines & Storage officials have heavily touted their Louisiana projects as "strategically located" because of the prospects for continued growth of the natural gas business in the region being boosted by LNG imports.

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