The first cavern at the Bobcat Gas Storage facility in St. Landry Parish, LA, has completed one week of operations and is fully subscribed, while a second cavern is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2009, Bobcat’s owners said Wednesday.

The project is 1.5 miles southeast of Port Barre in south-central Louisiana and has an initial working capacity of nearly 5.4 Bcf, which is expected to be increased to 10.3 Bcf by 3Q2009, with the in-service of cavern two, and fully built-out to 15.6 Bcf by year-end 2009. The Bobcat site would allow for additional caverns as well.

Bobcat received authorization earlier this month from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place the first cavern in service (see Daily GPI, Nov. 4).

“We overcame escalating construction and material costs, a direct hit by Hurricane Gustav and extreme weather with Hurricane Ike to complete this state-of-the-art cavern to meet our contractual commitments,” said Bobcat CEO Tom Dill.

The Bobcat facility is 45 miles from Henry Hub and provides access to gas from offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore in Texas and Louisiana, as well as from the Barnett Shale. Bobcat interconnects with five interstate pipelines — Florida Gas Transmission Co., Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp., ANR Pipeline Co. and Gulf South Pipeline Co. — and delivers gas to markets in the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Florida.

Bobcat is being developed by Port Barre Investments LLC, Haddington Energy Partners III LP and GE Energy Financial Services. GE Energy Financial Services acquired an initial preferred equity interest in Bobcat last year for $65 million, marking its first equity investment in natural gas storage (see Daily GPI, Feb. 27, 2007).

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