Guardian Pipeline has received FERC authorization last Wednesday for modification of its planned 142-mile, 750 MMcf/d mainline from Chicago north to allow an interconnection with the system of ANR Pipeline. The original plan had been for Guardian to connect with Alliance Pipeline.

The new plan has Guardian’s line using ANR facilities to connect with both pipelines. Guardian sponsors said the new connection plan will give its customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin access to ANR’s supplies coming out of the Midcontinent and Southwest, as well as Alliance’s Canadian supplies. Guardian will lease (at no charge) 650,000 MMcf/d of space on the 100 to 200 feet of piping that makes up the ANR interconnection between the ANR/Alliance meter station and the ANR/Guardian meter station.

In its regular open meeting the Commission also issued an interim order following up on a court remand of certain items in its Order 637 which lifted price caps on short-term capacity release transactions on a two-year experimental basis (see Daily GPI, April 8) . The court had vacated and remanded part of the rule that allowed incumbent shippers to exercise right-of-first-refusal (ROFR) for capacity by bidding for a five-year term, claiming FERC did not back up the five year time frame. In Wednesday’s order the Commission said the five-year ROFR would remain in place for the interim until the Commission can address the issue. At this point, a staffer said, FERC has not even received the mandate from the court.

In another action, the Commission approved a petition for Aquila to drill a stratigraphic test well to determine the feasibility of developing natural gas storage facilities in Mojave County, AZ. Aquila said it wants to drill a 6,000 foot well to test the feasibility of brine disposal. FERC said that drilling the well constituted “a temporary act or operation” and as such would be exempt from certificate requirements of Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act.

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