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FERC OKs Expansion of Transco's Mobile Bay Lateral

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Thursday approved Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line's (Transco) proposal to add incremental southbound transportation capacity on its Mobile Bay Lateral, creating bidirectional flow capability to serve the growing Florida and Alabama natural gas markets.

The proposed expansion would add 253,500 Dth/d of incremental southbound capacity to the 123-mile, 30-inch diameter Mobile Bay Lateral, bringing total capacity to approximately 1.35 Bcf/d. The project calls for the installation of one new compressor station -- the 9,470 hp Compressor Station 85 -- at the interconnection of the lateral and Transco's main line in Choctaw County, AL, as well associated compressor and pipeline facilities [CP08-476]. The lateral accesses gas produced in Mobile Bay and offshore Alabama.

The proposed facilities would enable Transco to provide firm transportation service from Compressor Station 85 and interconnects with third-party pipelines at Station 85 southward to delivery points located on the Mobile Bay Lateral, including a delivery point to Gulfstream Natural Gas System, while preserving Transco's ability to provide northbound firm transportation service, the pipeline said. The Commission order gave Transco one year to place the proposed facilities in service.

Transco said it has executed binding precedent agreements for all of the expansion capacity with Florida Power Corp. and Southern Company Services Inc., acting as agent for several of its affiliates.

"The project will expand the Mobile Bay Lateral's flexibility and utilization by creating bidirectional flow capability. The project customers will use this capacity to access additional gas supply and third-party storage services along the Mobile Bay Lateral, as well as expanding markets in southern Alabama and Florida, in order to serve their growing requirements for natural gas without impacting existing customers' services," the agency order said.

"We also conclude that there is substantial market demand for the project as demonstrated by the fact that Transco executed precedent agreements that provide for the long-term subscription of all of the incremental capacity to be made available by the project."

FERC approved Transco's request for a pre-determination supporting rolled-in rate treatment for the the costs of the project in its next Section 4 general rate case.

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