A second merchant underground natural gas storage field inCalifornia proposed for a depleted gas field 20 miles south ofSacramento is awaiting a draft environmental report from stateregulators in September to stay on its current timetable forstart-up next Spring.

Texas-based Western Hub Properties LLC is proceeding with”serious discussions with a half-dozen prospective customers,”including a number of independent power producers, according to TomDill, president of Western Hub and its affiliated Lodi Gas Storage,noting that the majority of his prospective customers are lookingfor one- to three-year deals.

Dill said his firm has now “short-listed” prospectivecontractors to build a compressor station and 30 miles ofconnecting pipeline to hook on to the Pacific Gas and Electricbackbone transmission pipeline system. He expects to ink a dealwith one of the construction firms in the next two months, notingsome of the work could get under way late this year.

The proposed storage field is expected to have a 500 MMcf/dinjection/withdrawal capacity with 12 Bcf of working gas. It willinvolve 10 new wells, three new compressors and a 24-inch diameterpipeline to interconnect with the PG&E gas utility transmissionfacilities.

Western Hub proponents distinguish their proposed project fromCalifornia’s first merchant underground storage project thatstarted operations last spring-Wild Goose Storage, located about 50miles north of Sacramento and also interconnected with the PG&Esystem. The Lodi project expects to have greater volume and quickerinjection and withdrawal capabilities, according to Dill.

Lodi is “designed for more efficient daily and inter-andintra-month transactions,” he said.

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press, Inc.