FERC Friday issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) of Mississippi Hub LLC’s proposal to expand the working gas capacity of its salt cavern storage facility that is under construction in south-central Mississippi.

“Approval of the proposed project, with appropriate mitigating measures, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded in the EA of the storage expansion [CP09-110].

Mississippi Hub, a subsidiary of EnergySouth Inc., proposes to increase the total working gas capacity of the facility to 15 Bcf from the previously authorized 12 Bcf, expand withdrawal and injection capabilities and create new interconnects with the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line (Transco) systems (see Daily GPI, Feb. 8, 2008).

The storage company is seeking to increase the working gas capacity of each of the two salt storage caverns to 7.5 Bcf from 6 Bcf; modify the natural gas handling facility site, including installing 15,800 hp of additional compression; construct 22.6 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline and 14.2 miles of 24-inch diameter pipeline in a single pipeline corridor; and install aboveground tie-in and metering facilities at proposed pipeline interconnects with SESH and Transco, according to the EA.

The Mississippi Hub currently is under construction at the Bond Salt Dome in southeastern Mississippi. The storage facility is being developed in close proximity to interstate pipelines and pipeline expansion projects that access major natural gas markets, including Southern Natural Gas, Crosstex Pipeline, SESH, Transco, Gulf South Pipeline and Kinder Morgan/Energy Transfer Partners’ Midcontinent Express, which is nearing completion. The facilities location also will allow access to traditional gas supplies in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Gulf Coast as well as production from the Barnett Shale, East Texas and North Louisiana.

In January FERC granted Mississippi Hub a multi-year extension of the deadline to complete and place into service its previously authorized storage project (see Daily GPI, Jan. 23). At the time the company told FERC it expected to complete construction of its first storage cavern during the first half of 2011, with remaining facilities to be finished and operable by early 2012. The agency gave Mississippi Hub until Feb. 15, 2012 to complete the project.

Last year San Diego-based Sempra Energy acquired Mobile, AL-based EnergySouth, which has a 60% interest in Mississippi Hub (see Daily GPI, July 29, 2008).

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