El Paso & FPL Ink Deal for Capacity Rights on Seafarer Pipel

El Paso subsidiaries have executed binding precedent agreements with an affiliate of FPL Group Resources for 800,000 dekatherms per day of capacity on the proposed Seafarer Pipeline System. The system will transport natural gas from the proposed High Rock liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification facility in the Bahamas to Southern Florida. FPL Group Resources is a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. and operates independently of its affiliate Florida Power & Light Company.

The FPL Group Resources' affiliate obtained the full pipeline capacity after bidding in the open season that was held from December 18, 2003 to January 19, 2004. Transportation service is estimated to begin in 2008 when the pipeline project and the Bahamas LNG facility are scheduled to be completed. The agreements are subject to customary conditions, including receipt of necessary governmental approvals.

"We're pleased to have secured the agreements with FPL Group Resources for capacity on Seafarer," said John W. Somerhalder II, president of El Paso's Pipeline Group. "Demonstrating market support is a key issue with state and federal regulatory agencies as they evaluate projects to meet demand for natural gas markets in the southeastern United States. We believe these agreements, along with clear technical and environmental advantages, should place Seafarer in the lead to win a competitive process to provide additional natural gas supplies to Florida Power & Light, as well as securing long-term contracts with other utilities and wholesale natural gas consumers in Florida."

El Paso has requested to use the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) new pre-filing process. This process would allow El Paso to work jointly with FERC to address environmental issues, conduct community outreach initiatives, and consult with other permitting agencies before the company formally submits its complete Section 7 application for the Seafarer Pipeline System. The pre-filing process would enable FERC to expedite review of El Paso's formal application.

The Seafarer Pipeline System consists of an 87-mile international segment from the proposed High Rock LNG regasification terminal in the Bahamas to the United States-Bahamas Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary in the Atlantic Ocean and a 41-mile U.S. segment from the EEZ to an onshore interconnect with the existing Florida Gas Transmission pipeline system in Palm Beach County, Florida.