Westport, CT-based NGS Energy LP subsidiary Tres Palacios Gas Storage LLC began commercial operation at its Matagorda County, TX, gas storage project on Wednesday, the company said.

The Tres Palacios facility has started allowing anchor shippers to inject gas into its first cavern, which has approximately 12 Bcf of working capacity, the company said. Two additional caverns are due to come on line in 2009 and 2010, bringing total capacity at the facility to 36 Bcf, with the capability to inject up to 1 Bcf/d and withdraw up to 2.5 Bcf/d. Other services, including firm and interruptible park and loans, no notice, balancing and wheeling, are also available to customers at the facility.

The Tres Palacios facility is interconnected with 10 interstate and intrastate pipelines, including: Florida Gas, Transco (near Station 30), Tennessee, NGPL, CTGS (Transco/Tennessee), HPL, Texas Eastern, Enterprise Texas, Enterprise Texas Intrastate and Kinder Morgan Tejas.

Tres Palacios announced in July that it had completed mechanical integrity testing on one of the caverns at the southeast Texas site (see Daily GPI, July 21). Construction had been under way since the project received approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year (see Daily GPI, Sept. 21, 2007).

The opening of the Tres Palacios facility comes as the Gulf Coast struggles to recover from damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Last month Lehman Brothers analysts said gas supplies may be tight along the Gulf Coast, but they were “comfortable” that adequate gas storage could be reached by the time the winter heating season begins Nov. 1 (see Daily GPI, Sept. 18).

©Copyright 2008Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.