FERC yesterday gave Petal Gas Storage the go-ahead to expand anexisting interconnect between its storage facilities in Mississippiand affiliate Tennessee Gas Pipeline, despite strong objectionsfrom shippers that the company was displaying affiliate preference.It also granted Petal’s request to continue market-based pricingfor existing and expanded storage services.

Specifically, Petal was awarded a certificate to build a 5.5mile, 36-inch diameter storage header loop, add 20,000 hp of newcompression and associated facilities within or adjacent to itsstorage facilities in Forrest County, MS.

Petal sought permission to expand its interconnect withTennessee’s 500 Line in an amended application that it filed lastFebruary. The revised proposal dropped the storage company’sinitial plans to build interconnects with Transcontinental Gas PipeLine Corp., Southern Natural Gas and Destin Pipeline in favor ofthe expanded interconnect with Tennessee, which prompted shippersto accuse Petal of affiliate favoritism.

El Paso Energy, which owns Tennessee, acquired Crystal GasStorage Inc., Petal’s parent company, last January.

Petal sought the facility expansion to service a new 20-yearcontract for 7 Bcf of firm storage capacity with Southern CompanyServices.

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