Enterprise Products Partners LP said Wednesday it’s planning to convert an existing natural gas liquids salt dome storage field in Mont Belvieu, TX, into a 10 Bcf natural gas storage operation. The project, which joins a rapidly growing list of domestic gas storage projects, would include pipeline interconnects with Enterprise Texas Pipeline, Enterprise Texas Intrastate (Channel), Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline and Texas Eastern Transmission.

Enterprise is holding a nonbinding open season Nov. 20 through Jan. 16 to test market interest in the project. The company expects to begin services at the new field in the second half of 2008. It would have about 5 Bcf of base gas. The company said it’s too early to determine the injection and deliverability rates.

Mont Belvieu storage is among a growing number of domestic gas storage projects. At least four others have been recently announced in Texas: Freeport LNG Development’s proposed 7.5 Bcf storage field in Brazoria County, Underground Storage LLC’s proposed 3 Bcf Pierce Junction salt dome in Harris County, Chevron’s 6 Bcf Sabine Pass storage field in Jefferson County and NGS Investments’ 8 Bcf Tres Palacios Gas Storage project in Matagorda County.

High-deliverability salt cavern storage, which currently represents 16% of total U.S. underground storage deliverability, potentially could rise to a 25% share of deliverability by 2008, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a recent report on “U.S. Underground Natural Gas Storage Developments: 1998-2005” (see NGI, Oct. 23). Eleven of the 15 new storage fields currently proposed and nine of the 23 proposed storage expansions are salt caverns. In total, EIA said there are 38 proposed gas storage projects currently in the works. They have the potential to add 197 Bcf of working gas capacity and 9.5 Bcf/d of deliverability, which would represent an 11% increase in daily deliverability and a 5% hike in working gas capacity in the U.S. by the end of 2008.

EIA said between 1998 and 2005 estimated working gas capacity increased by 6% to a record 4.01 Tcf from 3.79 Tcf. Deliverability over that period rose to 83.6 Bcf/d from 73.9 Bcf/d, a 13% increase.

Since 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved about 27.5 Bcf of storage capacity and 14.6 Bcf/d of daily storage deliverability. Most of the projects have been in the Southeast/Gulf Coast area, which has an abundance of salt formations that can be used for high-deliverability storage. There are two storage projects pending at the Commission, one in Alabama and one in Michigan, with a total of 79.2 Bcf of storage space and 1.8 Bcf/d of deliverability. FERC staff said at a recent Commission meeting that 125 Bcf of new storage capacity is in the planning stages with 4 Bcf/d of deliverability.

For information on the Mont Belvieu open season, contact Enterprise’s Russ Kovin at (713) 381-7925 or rkovin@eprod.com.

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