Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL) has filed an application at FERC to acquire from Northern Natural Gas a 38-mile pipeline that extends from Oklahoma into Texas for an estimated $1.5 million.

The so-called Black Marlin pipeline starts in Bryan County, OK, extends southward through Fannin County, TX, and terminates at the facilities of Houston Pipe Line Co. in Lamar County, TX. NGPL is seeking to purchase all of Northern Natural’s interest in the Black Marlin facilities, with the exception of tap and valve facilities through which Northern Natural delivers gas to a lateral serving Lamar Power Partners LP.

Northern Natural put its Black Marlin facilities up for sale because they “are physically separate from the rest of [its] system and, operating within [Northern Natural’s] current business model, are significantly underutilized,” according to the application [CP04-87]. In fact, the last flow of gas through Black Marlin was in December 2002.

But the Black Marlin facilities would be an ideal fit for NGPL, the Kinder Morgan-owned pipeline said. The Black Marlin facilities run parallel to NGPL’s A/G Line, which connects NGPL’s two mainlines (Amarillo Mainline and Gulf Coast Mainline). “It will provide Natural with a second river crossing under the Red River at the state boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Multiple line crossings [would give NGPL] operational flexibility and reliability to continue service, if one of the lines is taken out of service for maintenance or repair,” NGPL told FERC.

The acquisition would boost the cross-haul capacity on NGPL’s A/G Line by about 38,000 Dth/d, and would provide 60,000 Dth/d of short-haul capacity to be leased by Northern Natural, NGPL said.

In addition to acquiring the facilities, NGPL asked FERC for the go-ahead to construct and operate minor tie-in facilities to integrate Black Marlin into NGPL’s existing system. The cost of the project was estimated at approximately $2 million. NGPL further requested authority to lease the 60,000 Dth/d of short-haul capacity to Northern Natural to continue service to Lamar Power.

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