Coming on the heels of a 315,000 Dth/d expansion of its mainlinesystem, Columbia Gulf Transmission announced Monday plans for twoseparate projects that would expand capacity by an additional 1.26Bcf/d. The projects, when combined with the Mainline ’99 expansion,would give Columbia Gulf shippers the capability for the firsttime to ship their Gulf of Mexico supplies directly to growingmarkets in the East, Northeast and Midwest, the pipeline said.

Plans call for Sea Star Pipeline Co. L.L.C., of which ColumbiaGulf will be part owner, to build a 56-mile, 30-inch diameterpipeline to transport production from South Pass Block 93, locatedoffshore Louisiana, to natural gas processing facilities at GrandIsle, LA, where the gas would be re-delivered to the pipeline’sEast Lateral. The pipeline would offer shippers 660 MMcf/d of newcapacity. “At this point, the names of other sponsors [in Sea Star]are not being given because negotiations are still ongoing,” saidspokesman Robert Kiser. He also declined to say how much of aninterest in Sea Star Columbia Gulf had.

In the second project, Columbia Gulf proposes to expand itsEast Lateral that extends from Grand Isle to Centerville, LA, byabout 600 MMcf/d through the addition of compression and looping ofexisting facilities. The majority of the capacity would be added tothe segment between Grand Island and Lirette, LA, in TerrebonneParish, noted Kiser.

With these two projects, which will be subject to FERC approval,”shippers can transport gas from the West Delta, South Pass areasof the Gulf of Mexico on Sea Star through the expanded East Lateralinto the expanded mainline system” to markets in the Midwest andEast, he said. This capability – shipping from the gulf all the wayto these markets – had not been available previously to shippers onColumbia Gulf, Kiser said.

The projects, if they get the Commission’s go-ahead, aretargeted to be in service by no later than the fourth quarter of1999, according to the pipeline. Open seasons for the additionalcapacity are to begin today (Sept. 15th) and will run through Sept.29th.

For the Sea Star pipeline, the company will offer firm andinterruptible transportation services under FERC’s Part 284regulations. FTS-1 services will have a demand charge of$3.861/Dth, and a combined volumetric rate of $0.1269/Dth, or themaximum demand and commodity rates approved by FERC, whichever islower. Shippers must agree to a minimum term of 10 years, withservice beginning no later than Dec. 1, 1999.

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