MHP Seeks to Further Expand Egan, LA, Storage

Market Hub Partners L.P., a division of Duke Energy Gas Transmission, last week asked FERC for the go-ahead to incrementally expand its natural gas storage facility in Egan, LA, by 4 Bcf.

The company cited the return to normal weather patterns this winter, increased commodity volatility and the greater gas demands of power generators in justifying in its FERC application the need for the project, which would boost the capacity of the Egan facility to 16 Bcf from its current 12 Bcf. Market Hub pegged the cost of the proposed storage expansion at $9 million.

This would mark the third expansion of the Egan facility, which started commercial operation with 6 Bcf of capacity in September 1995. Assuming it gets FERC approval, Market Hub said it expects to complete the third phase by 2005.

The company said it plans to use its SMUG (Solution Mining Under Gas) technology to carry out the expansion, using specially designed wellhead and leaching equipment that can flush out the salts while still permitting customers to use the storage caverns without any service interruptions, a spokeswoman noted.

Market Hub currently has a combined storage capacity of 23 Bcf at Egan and its second storage facility in Moss Bluff, TX, making it one of the largest owners of high-deliverability salt cavern storage facilities in the nation. It also is developing high-deliverability salt cavern storage facilities in Copiah County, MS, and Tioga Country, PA.

The Egan facilities interconnect with six pipelines, including Trunkline Gas, Texas Gas Transmission, ANR Pipeline, Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Columbia Gas Transmission and Conoco.

Susan Parker

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