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Williams Partners Completes Two Transco Projects

Williams Partners LP has placed into service a pair of expansions on its 10,500-mile Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco), which will add a combined 598,500 Dth/d of firm transportation capacity to serve markets in the southeastern United States, the Tulsa-based partnership said Monday.

Williams said it placed into service Sunday (May 1) an additional 380,000 Dth/d of southbound firm capacity on the Mobile Bay Lateral from Transco's mainline at Station 85 near Butler, AL, to its interconnect with Gulfstream Natural Gas System in Coden, AL. Williams' Mobile Bay South II expansion project, which cost approximately $35 million, was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last year (see Daily GPI, Aug. 3, 2010). The expansion was designed to provide an economically priced link between abundant onshore supplies and growing markets in southern Alabama and Florida, according to Williams.

Also placed into service Sunday was the second phase of Williams' 85 North expansion project, increasing the pipeline's capacity by an additional 218,500 Dth/d to serve power generating facilities in North Carolina. The first phase of the project was placed into service last July, adding capacity to transport an additional 90,000 Dth/d to markets in Alabama (see Daily GPI, July 13, 2010). Total cost of the two phases was approximately $227 million, Williams said.

"Within the past year, we have announced or placed into service projects that will provide more than 1 million Dth of firm transportation capacity from Transco's Station 85 to customers throughout the Southeast," said Randy Barnard, president of Williams' natural gas pipeline business. Transco's current system capacity is approximately 9 Bcf/d.

In November Williams filed an application at FERC proposing to expand its system by an incremental 142,000 Dth/d of firm capacity to serve growing markets in the Mid-Atlantic region by November 2012 (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2010). When completed, the Mid-Atlantic Connector expansion would provide Virginia Power Services Energy Corp. Inc. and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. with incremental firm transportation capacity from a Transco interconnection with East Tennessee Natural Gas pipeline in Rockingham County, NC, to delivery points as far north as Maryland.

Williams recently announced that it will split itself into two standalone publicly traded corporations (see Daily GPI, Feb. 17). Following the spinoff, shareholders will own a stake in Williams, an owner/operator of North American midstream infrastructure and natural gas pipeline assets; and, separately, a large-scale, independent North American diversified exploration and production company with interests in South America. Williams' largest component will be its ownership interests in Williams Partners LP.

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