Denver-based Foothills Energy Ventures LLC is developing an underground natural gas storage reservoir in Monroe County, MS, to provide up to 12 Bcf of capacity beginning in late 2008.

Foothills expects to file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June for the storage facility and to hold an open season for the project in the third quarter. When completed, the project is expected to cost more than $100 million.

Monroe Gas Storage Co. LLC (MGS), a Foothills subsidiary, purchased the depleted gas field in October 2006, and it already has completed reservoir engineering, environmental surveys and market studies. Foothills, a 50% owner in the project, will develop and operate the facility. High Sierra Energy of Denver will hold the other 50% stake.

"Monroe offers several compelling benefits to potential customers," said Foothills CEO Brian Bierbach. "The project is strategically located downstream from a historical bottleneck on the Texas Eastern Transmission Co. (TETCO) pipeline, and upon completion of project build-out, we will have a dual interconnect with both TETCO and Tennessee Gas Pipeline, enabling additional hub services. Our facility will be strategically located near two vital pipelines supplying the northeast corridor of the U.S."

Bierbach said the gas field's reservoir characteristics will allow up to four withdrawal cycles per year. Foothills expects the facility to be operational by the end of the third quarter of 2008.

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