Market Hub Partners L.P., a division of Duke Energy GasTransmission, last week asked FERC for the go-ahead toincrementally expand its natural gas storage facility in Egan, LA,by 4 Bcf.

The company cited the return to normal weather patterns thiswinter, increased commodity volatility and the greater gas demandsof power generators in justifying in its FERC application the needfor the project, which would boost the capacity of the Eganfacility to 16 Bcf from its current 12 Bcf. Market Hub pegged thecost of the proposed storage expansion at $9 million.

This would mark the third expansion of the Egan facility, whichstarted commercial operation with 6 Bcf of capacity in September1995. Assuming it gets FERC approval, Market Hub said it expects tocomplete the third phase by 2005.

The company said it plans to use its SMUG (Solution Mining UnderGas) technology to carry out the expansion, using speciallydesigned wellhead and leaching equipment that can flush out thesalts while still permitting customers to use the storage cavernswithout any service interruptions, a spokeswoman noted.

Market Hub currently has a combined storage capacity of 23 Bcfat Egan and its second storage facility in Moss Bluff, TX, makingit one of the largest owners of high-deliverability salt cavernstorage facilities in the nation. It also is developinghigh-deliverability salt cavern storage facilities in CopiahCounty, MS, and Tioga Country, PA.

The Egan facilities interconnect with six pipelines, includingTrunkline Gas, Texas Gas Transmission, ANR Pipeline, Tennessee GasPipeline, Columbia Gas Transmission and Conoco.

Susan Parker

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