Williams’ field services unit has agreed to process 300 MMcf/dof gas for Exxon Company USA at its gas liquids extraction plant tobe built near Coden, AL. The deal is the largest processingcontract to date for the field services unit. The NGL extractionplant is expected to be in service by the first quarter of nextyear and will have 600 MMcf/d of inlet capacity. The Exxon gasrepresents dedicated production from multiple leases in the MobileBay area. Remaining plant capacity will be filled through theexpansion of the Transco Mobile Bay Lateral as well as other gasproduction currently flowing on the existing Transco pipeline. Aspokeswoman said the company expects to sign five or six morecontracts to handle gas at the new plant, which is expandable up toat least 900 MMcf/d.

“This contract represents the anchor tenant in our Mobile BayProcess plant – just one piece of Williams’ overall Mobile Bayinvestment strategy,” field services general manager Steve Malcolmsaid of the Exxon contract. “These investments cover offshoregathering, transmission, processing, NGL transportation,fractionation, and marketing of NGL and gas products.”

Early this month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)issued a final order authorizing Williams to expand its existingonshore Transco Mobile Bay Lateral and extend it into the offshoreMobile Bay area. “The additional capacity created by the expansionwill allow Transco to serve the needs of its many customers thataccess gas supplies at Station 85 and is timed to coincide withsignificant new production that will cone on line later this year,”said Cuba Wadlington Jr., general manager.

The existing 30-inch, 123-mile Mobile Bay Lateral extends froman interconnection with the Transco mainline near Butler, AL, toCompressor Station 82 near Coden, AL. The 76-mile offshoreextension, which will consist of about 19 miles of 30-inch and 57miles of 24-inch pipe, will have a capacity of 350 MMcf/d. The30-inch line will extend from the junction platform to East MainPass Block 261 near the edge of the Outer Continental Shelf.

In other Williams news, shareholders are scheduled to vote thismorning on the company’s proposal to acquire Mapco Inc.

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