A big shift in strategy led Equitable Resources to put some ofits most prized Gulf Coast midstream assets on the auction blocklast week. The company announced it is selling the 1,900-mileLouisiana Interstate Gas pipeline (including a 500 MMcf/dDepartment of Energy oil line it converted to transport naturalgas), the 3.6 Bcf capacity Jefferson Island salt dome storageproject and its gas and power marketing operation. The gasmarketing operation sold 500 Bcf of gas in 1997.
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Commissioner Curt Hebert Jr. said a decision in a Granite StateGas Transmission case this week signaled a “radical departure” inthe current policy used by the Commission to judge whether aproposed project has sufficient market demand. Since Order 636, theCommission has required pipelines and other companies to show thatmost, if not all, of a project’s capacity was under long-termcontracts to gain a certificate. “All of that changed [last week],”Hebert told NGI in an interview.
MCNIC Pipeline & Processing, a subsidiary of MCN EnergyGroup, and American Central Gas Companies, have formed apartnership to own and operate a gas gathering system in theCarthage field of East Texas. MCNIC Pipeline & Processing has a40% interest, and American Central holds 60%.