FERC on Thursday approved Golden Triangle Storage Inc.’s (GTS) plans to construct and operate two high-deliverability salt dome storage caverns at its storage facility in Jefferson County, TX, and granted the AGL Resources subsidiary’s request to charge market-based rates for the new capacity.

GTS plans to build Caverns 3 and 4 and associated facilities, including a 14,205 hp compressor station, a header system consisting of two parallel 24-inch diameter pipelines and six bi-directional metering stations, beginning later this year.

The facility approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would have a total certificated capacity of 24.48 Bcf — 16 Bcf of working gas and 8.48 Bcf of cushion gas — and a maximum withdrawal capacity of 600 MMcf/d. Cavern 3 would have a total capacity of 13.8 Bcf (9.2 Bcf of working gas and 4.6 Bcf of cushion gas) and Cavern 4 would have a total capacity of 11.1 Bcf (7.4 Bcf of working gas and 3.7 Bcf of cushion gas).

The proposed expansion would increase the total capacity of the Golden Triangle storage facility to 49.38 Bcf (32.6 Bcf of working gas and 16.78 Bcf of cushion gas). The maximum injection and withdrawal rates of the facility would not change.

Construction of Cavern 3 is scheduled to begin in 3Q2012 and be placed into service in 2015, while construction of Cavern 4 is due to begin in 2014 and be in service in 2017, according to the GTS application.

While GTS did not receive any bids during an open season and currently does not have any subscribers to the capacity, it said it anticipates that the market for firm storage capacity will improve significantly during the multi-year development of the expansion.

FERC approved a GTS request to commence interim service at the Golden Triangle Storage Project in 2010 (see Daily GPI, Aug. 12, 2010). A dual 24-inch diameter pipeline header and dual 20-inch diameter pipelines between the central compressor station and Storage Cavern No. 1 — the first of two previously authorized salt dome storage caverns at the facility (see Daily GPI, Jan. 3, 2008) — were completed last July.

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