Discovery Producer Services LLC is holding a nonbinding open season through Aug. 6 for the Keathley Canyon Connector natural gas pipeline in the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM).

The new deepwater natural gas gathering line would originate in the southeast corner of the Keathley Canyon area in around 7,000 feet of water where several large discoveries and prospects are located, said Discovery, which is owned by Williams Partners LP and DCP Midstream Partners LP.

The gathering pipeline, which would not be under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission jurisdiction, is expected to be 150-200 miles long, depending on the final route selection, with capacity of up to 400 MMcf/d of natural gas.

"Keathley Canyon Connector provides an industry solution for this frontier area, designed to minimize industry infrastructure costs and to help bring clean-burning natural gas to market," said Alan Armstrong, senior vice president of Williams' midstream business unit.

Williams Partners owns 60% of the Discovery system and is the operator. The system includes an offshore natural gas gathering system, as well as the Larose natural gas processing plant and Paradis fractionation facility, which are both located onshore south of New Orleans.

The nonbinding open season approach would gauge interest in a gathering service for the Keathley Canyon area and help determine the ultimate size and route. If there is enough interest, the pipeline could be in service in 2013, said the sponsors.

A confidentiality agreement and a nonbinding expression of interest form is available from Williams' Ed McMichael at (713) 215-4323.

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