DIGS Phase I Goes Into Service

The first phase of the Dauphin Island Gathering System (DIGS) went into service last week, making it the first eastern Gulf of Mexico pipeline to transport deep-water production to onshore facilities in Alabama.

When DIGS' second phase goes into service, the project of Dauphin Island Gathering Partners (DIGP) will be able to deliver up to 1.1 Bcf/d to onshore markets and pipelines in southern Alabama and Louisiana. The system will have hub platform capabilities at multiple locations on the Outer Continental Shelf and in deep-water areas. It is expandable with the addition of compression.

The system is positioned to accommodate new shallow- and deep-water supply. Existing rich gas production sources and those that will be attached in the future will be offered services at the Mobile Bay Processing Plant in Mobile, AL, which is expected to be operational later this year.

Phase I of the DIGS expansion is a 65-mile, 24-inch-diameter line connecting DIGP's gathering system in Main Pass Blocks 225 and 223 with its system in Alabama State Tract 73. Six producers have executed long-term agreements for 192,500 Dth/d of capacity on Phase I. Total capacity of Phase I is 230,000 Dth/d. Phase II is a 13-mile, 24-inch diameter continuation of Phase I, stretching from Alabama State Track 73 to the new onshore Mobile Bay Processing Plant near Coden, AL. Phase II is under construction and is expected to be completed this summer.

DIGP will be connecting new supplies to the expanded system, including Main Pass Blocks 198 &amp 213, operated by Coastal Oil &amp Gas USA; and Main Pass Blocks 199 &amp 200, operated by Vastar Resources. These are scheduled to flow into DIGS in the second quarter from two new producing platforms. Also, development drilling in dedicated blocks around the Main Pass East Addition and Lower Viosca Knoll areas will add new production during the third and fourth quarters.

DIGP has agreed with Newfield Exploration to connect its Main Pass Block 256 production to DIGS by first quarter 1999. DIGP also has executed a letter of intent with the owners of the Virgo project to connect its Viosca Knoll Block 823 production to DIGS by first quarter 2000. This deep-water project will provide DIGP with a platform in 1,320 feet of water to serve as a hub for attachment of new supplies from other deeper water developments.

DIGP is composed of subsidiaries of Duke Energy, 37.3%; MCN Energy, 34.5%; Coastal, 13.6%; Consolidated Natural Gas, 13.6%; and Offshore Energy Development, 1%.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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