FERC on Thursday granted the request of CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission Co. to increase the certificated capacity of Phases I and II of its Carthage-Perryville Line (CP Line) by approximately 36,000 Dth/d, to reflect operational changes and to increase the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) from 1,000 psig to 1,168 psig (CP06-85-002). Additionally, the Commission approved a Phase III plan for the line to install additional compression (CP07-41).

The Commission's action came just days after Phase I of the line went into service. May 1 was its first day of full commercial operation when service went from its initial 200,000 MMBtu/d to 960,000 MMBtu/d. The line initially had one receipt point at Carthage (Energy Transfer's Houston Pipe Line) and one delivery point at Perryville into Columbia Gulf Transmission (CGT). The pipeline now has interconnects with the Trunkline and Texas Gas pipelines.

With additional compression, capacity of the CP Line will go to 1.553 million Dth/d. Centerpoint was initially granted a certificate last October for construction of the new pipeline consisting of approximately 172 miles of 42-inch diameter pipeline and two new compressor stations designed to receive and transport up to 1.237 million Dth/d of gas from Carthage, TX, in Panola County to the Perryville Hub in Richland Parish, LA. The line taps growing gas development in the eastern Texas and northern Louisiana production areas, carrying it to Perryville connections to markets in the Midwest and the Northeast.

Centerpoint said shippers continued to show interest in Line CP capacity even after it filed its application for Phases I and II of Line CP, so the pipeline held another open season from April 26 through May 26, 2006. Centerpoint said it now has one executed precedent agreement for 60,000 Dth/d and it expects that agreements for a substantial amount, if not all, of the proposed Phase III capacity will be executed in the near future.

Centerpoint proposes initially using its existing Part 284 rates as its initial recourse rates for the Phase III expansion, consistent with its rolled-in treatment for its Phases I and II Line CP services, and will also charge fuel rates that were approved for Line CP services in the original order Oct. 2, 2006.

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