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Sempra to Hold Open Season for Bay Gas Storage

A Sempra Energy unit, Sempra Pipelines & Storage, on Wednesday launched an open season to test the market interest for up to 1 Bcf of firm natural gas capacity at its Bay Gas storage project near McIntosh, AL. Responses are due by March 26, and service is to start April 1, Sempra said. It is seeking nonbinding bids for three years or longer.

Earlier this year the Sempra storage unit offered up to 2.5 Bcf of firm storage service from a pipeline and facility expansion that would enable firm receipts and deliveries on the Gulfstream Natural Gas System at Coden, AL, using the Bay Storage facility to provide at least part of the capacity (see Daily GPI, Feb. 3). Sempra obtained Bay Storage as part of a $510 million purchase of EnergySouth last year (see Daily GPI, July 29, 2008). The salt dome underground storage facility is located 40 miles north of Mobile and operated as the easternmost storage facility in the Gulf region serving the growing Florida market.

Sempra said the pipeline receipt and delivery points for the Bay Gas Storage service includes those owned and operated by Florida Gas Transmission, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Gulf South.

The San Diego-based energy company unit that has been expanding in the Gulf of Mexico region characterized the Bay Gas facility as providing "high-deliverability storage services" that should be of interest to what it called "customers with a unique capability to respond to market peaking events." Customers with these services can store gas when prices are low due to domestic supply and liquefied natural gas imports and withdraw the gas when prices escalate, Sempra said.

More information is available by contacting Russell Murrell at (281) 423-2789, or via e-mail (rmurrell@semprapipelines.com).

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