Guardian Pipeline has hired H.C. Price Co. to build its 142-mile, 750 MMcf/d pipeline system in Illinois and Wisconsin. H.C. Price, of Dallas, was selected in a competitive bidding process and will construct the pipeline in one spread, in which work will be done by a single construction crew over the entire length of the project. Murphy Bros. Inc., of Moline, IL, was selected to build Guardian’s 22,225-hp compressor station near Joliet. “This signing of the project’s main construction contractors keeps Guardian on track to meet its scheduled in-service date this November,” said George Hass, Guardian project manager. Land acquisition work is continuing in both Wisconsin and Illinois. Construction is expected to begin on the compressor station in March and on the pipeline June 1, with completion and operation of the pipeline expected by November. Guardian will transport gas from interconnections with Alliance, Northern Border, Midwestern Gas Transmission and Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America at the Chicago hub near Joliet to northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin markets. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has approved a lateral pipeline connecting Guardian with the Wisconsin Gas system. Currently Guardian Pipeline has firm precedent agreements with Wisconsin Gas and others to transport 662 MMcf/d (88% of design capacity) when the pipeline goes into service in November. Guardian is a partnership of CMS Energy, Wisconsin Gas parent company WICOR, and Viking Gas Transmission, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy Inc.

Record warmth and much below average storage withdrawals this winter have prompted Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America to file a request with FERC to increase the capacity of its Cook Mills storage field by 1.2 Bcf to 6.4 Bcf. The increase would be accomplished by raising the pressure of the field, which is located in Coles and Douglas counties, IL. No new facilities are planned, and NGPL said it does not intend to increase the deliverability of the field. NGPL said during this unseasonably warm winter, withdrawal rates fell below minimum levels at its aquifer storage fields, forcing the company to shift volumes to Cook Mills, the only depleted reservoir volumetric storage field in NGPL’s market area. Failure to transfer the excess volumes to Cook Mills would have resulted in reduced deliverability at NGPL’s aquifers, putting the company in jeopardy of not being able to meet peak day deliveries in the future. The shift raised the volume of the Cook Mills field from its maximum of 5.2 Bcf to 5.8 Bcf by Dec. 29. On Feb. 10, the volumes in Cook Mills had been reduced back down to 5.2 Bcf. However, engineering and operational data show that the Cook Mills field can be safely expanded, NGPL told FERC.

Falcon Gas Storage Co. said it has started natural gas deliveries from its Hill-Lake Gas Storage field in Eastland County, TX. Deliveries are being made through the new Cisco Pipeline, which links Hill-Lake with the North Texas Pipeline (owned jointly by TXU Fuels and El Paso Energy Partners) and Lone Star Pipeline’s Line “X.” Jointly owned and operated by a Falcon subsidiary and a Falcon affiliate, Cisco Pipeline has a throughput capacity in excess of 300 MMcf/d dedicated to the Hill-Lake facility. The two downstream pipelines originate at the Waha Hub in West Texas and transport gas to the Dallas/Ft. Worth market, as well as to a number of gas-fired electric generation plants in west and north Texas. Hill-Lake provides storage services to markets in Dallas/Ft. Worth, West Texas and other areas of North and East Texas. It is a high deliverability, multi-cycle gas storage facility with 300 MMcf/d of deliverability specifically designed to meet highly-variable gas demand and in particular the hourly load swings that are typical of power plants. Falcon owns more than 20 Bcf of working gas storage capacity with in excess of 600,000 Mcf/d of peak-day deliverability as well as six additional gas storage projects in various stages of development in Texas, New York and the Rocky Mountains.

New York City-based Caminus Corp., a leading provider of software and strategic consulting services to energy market participants worldwide, announced Tuesday that it has registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed underwritten public offering of 3,370,000 shares of its common stock. Of the total, the company will be offering 1,500,000 shares, with the remaining shares offered by certain selling stockholders. The registration statement also covers an additional 505,500 shares that will be subject to an option granted to the underwriters for over-allotments, if any. The company currently has 17.9 million common shares outstanding. The managing underwriters of the offering are Banc of America Securities LLC, Robertson Stephens and Wachovia Securities. Caminus also said late Tuesday that a number of leading energy utilities, producers, pipelines, gas and power marketers, physical and financial traders, and integrated energy companies have licensed software spanning all of the company’s product lines during the fourth quarter of 2001. Customers included Eni S.p.A., Hess Energy Trading Co. LLC, Nicor Enerchange LLC, RWE Trading Americas Inc., Sequent Energy Management LP. and Prior Energy. In addition, the company said that a lot of existing customers, including American Electric Power Service Corp. and PG&E Gas Transmission Corp., licensed additional software during the fourth quarter.

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