A battle for a grip on the growing gas market in the Florida Panhandle has flared up, involving a trio of gas pipeline companies, two of which are planning new offshore routes to the state from producing platforms near Mobile Bay, AL.
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Dynegy Inc. has taken “all the right steps” in its long-termplanning over the last three to four years and “the future is nowat Dynegy,” Chairman Chuck Watson said in announcing vastlyimproved profits in 1998 over 1997. Overall the company had 1998net income in the plus column of $108.4 million or $0.66 perdiluted share, a figure just slightly larger than the one recordedin the minus column in 1997.
Planning on growth of 20 to 30% to its Houston workforce by2001, Enron announced plans for a 40-story office tower on adowntown Houston city block adjacent to its existing 50-storytower. “In the past three years, we have experienced annualemployment growth of about 10%, and we expect this to continue intothe next century due to the strength of all our businesses,” saidCEO Kenneth L. Lay. “This new world-class building will allow us tobring in the latest technologies to support our businesses, and itwill assist us in recruiting and retaining the best and thebrightest employees.”
Sempra Energy now has three start-up gas distribution operationsin development or in planning stages in North America with theannouncement yesterday that it will compete for gas distributionfranchise rights in Nova Scotia. The company said it intends tofile an application with the Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Boardto build a gas distribution system capable of serving all areas ofthe province. Nova Scotia has a population of about 900,000. Sempraexpects to hire local contractors and workers to build the newdistribution company, called Sempra Atlantic Gas, which willdeliver production from the Sable Island Offshore Energy Projectstarting next fall.
Coastal’s Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG), and Southwest Gassubsidiary Paiute Pipeline are holding an open season for capacityon a new pipeline to be built from northeast Utah to northernNevada. Jointly sponsored by CIG and Paiute, the Ruby Pipeline willextend more than 400 miles from CIG’s western terminus in UintahCounty, UT, to an interconnection with Paiute Pipeline near Elko,NV. The pipeline also will interconnect with the Kern RiverPipeline near its Dog Valley meter station south of Salt Lake Cityand will pass through the developing coalbed methane fields nearPrice, UT.
Serving residential and small commercial customers is a smallmargin business and Columbia Energy is planning its strategyaccordingly for its entry into the Georgia market. Columbia won’tbe sinking large dollars into a statewide brand name advertisingcampaign as several other retail marketers did prior to the Nov. 1start-up of the largest retail unbundling in the country. Instead,Columbia plans an aggressive direct marketing program that focuseson attractive pricing and customer service.
Koch Gateway Pipeline is planning a new 600 MMcf/d pipelineexpansion from the Grand Isle, LA, area to Koch’s mainline inLouisiana. The project is designed to meet increasing demand fromdeep-water Gulf of Mexico producers seeking new delivery capacityand will complement Koch’s recently proposed Sea Star Pipeline. SeaStar is expected to deliver 660 MMcf/d of gas to Grand Isleprocessing plants from the South Pass and West Delta South Additionof the Offshore Continental Shelf.
Tejas Natural Gas Liquids, LLC, and Marathon Oil Co. areplanning to build a new gas processing plant near Centerville, LA.The $30 million Neptune Gas Processing Plant initially will handle300 MMcf/d of production delivered from deep-water wells in theGulf of Mexico.
Before its massive 700 MMcf/d expansion/extension project iseven put in place, Northern Border already is planning to fileanother expansion/extension that would provide shippers with 545MMcf/d of transportation capacity into Indiana markets.