FERC Thursday gave CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission (CEGT) the green light to place into service the remaining portion of its new pipeline that extends from the Carthage Hub in East Texas to the Perryville Hub in northeast Louisiana.

The latest order comes about two weeks after FERC approved CEGT's request to place into service a 135-mile segment of the proposed 172-mile pipeline -- from Panola County, TX, to the Texas Gas interconnection in Ouachita Parish, LA (see Daily GPI, April 4). The Thursday order authorizes CEGT to put the remaining 37 miles of the pipeline in operation, from Ouachita Parish to the project terminus in Richland Parish, LA. The pipeline facilities will provide transportation capacity of about 1 Bcf/d.

The start-up of the project comes approximately six months after CEGT received project approval from FERC last October (see Daily GPI, Oct. 4, 2006). The pipe will provide a market outlet for burgeoning natural gas production in North-Central and East Texas and North Louisiana.

While the basic pipeline structure is complete, CEGT plans to tweak the project. A second phase of the project, which would entail mostly compression, would increase delivery capacity to 1.24 Bcf/d, and is expected to be in service in the summer, said CenterPoint spokeswoman Leticia Lowe. CEGT also anticipates building a third phase (additional compression and/or pipeline looping) that, subject to FERC approval, would increase the capacity to 1.5 Bcf/d by the end of the year.

The pipeline will deliver supply from three receipt points connected to Texas intrastate pipelines at the Carthage Hub in Carthage, TX, to four interstate pipelines that are interconnected to CEGT's Perryville Hub in Delhi, LA [CP06-85]. The interstate pipes include ANR Pipeline, Trunkline Gas, Columbia Gulf Transmission and Texas Gas Transmission, which serve Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets. The Carthage-to-Perryville project is separate from CEGT's existing 8,100-mile system that transports about 1 Tcf a year to Midcontinent, Gulf Coast and Midwest markets.

The $425 million pipeline will respond to the growing gas supplies from the Barnett Shale and Bossier Sand areas in eastern Texas, as well as the Elm Grove and Vernon Field production areas in Louisiana, which are seeking outlets to markets. The East Texas/North Louisiana production areas to be accessed by the pipeline are among those that have exhibited the strongest reserve growth; production in East Texas alone increased to 3.2 Bcf/d in January 2004 from 2.25 Bcf/d in January 2000, according to CEGT.

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