FERC Thursday gave Saltville Gas Storage Co. permission to reduce total capacity at its high-deliverability gas storage field in southwestern Virginia by approximately 2 Bcf and to cut working gas capacity by about 1.8 Bcf.

The order calls for the Virginia-based storage provider, which is owned by Spectra Energy, to reduce total capacity at its field in Saltville, VA, to 4.7 Bcf from its current level of 6.75 Bcf, and to trim its working gas capacity to 3 Bcf from 4.79 Bcf.

FERC also gave the go-ahead for Saltville Gas to decrease the facility’s injection rate to 180 MMcf/d from 220 MMcf/d, and to reduce the maximum daily withdrawal rate to 275 MMcf/d from 550 MMcf/d [CP04-13].

Saltville Gas said it requested the decrease because it could remove only 3.7 million barrels of brine from Cavern No. 3, although its original estimate predicted that six million barrels could be removed. In addition, due to the lower-than-expected storage capacity, the company said it did not install all of the certificate facilities that were needed to achieve the maximum injection and withdrawal rates.

Saltville Gas Storage’s facility includes three salt caverns and is connected to Virginia Gas Pipeline and East Tennessee Natural Gas. FERC issued a certificate for the project in mid-2004 (see Daily GPI, June 16, 2004).

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