FERC Begins Pre-Filing Process for Southeast Header Pipeline Project

FERC on Tuesday approved Duke Energy Gas Transmission's (DEGT) request to begin the pre-filing process for a proposed pipeline header system that would cross portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, linking the onshore natural gas supply basins in East Texas and northern Louisiana with growing markets in the Southeast that are now predominantly served by offshore gas from the Gulf of Mexico.

"We believe that beginning the Commission's review of this proposal prior to the receipt of your application will greatly improve our ability to identify issues early and address them in our environmental impact statement (EIS)," FERC staff said in a letter to DEGT. The Houston-based pipeline subsidiary of Duke Energy indicated that it plans to file a project application by Nov. 17 [PF06-28].

The so-called Southeast Supply Header Project calls for the construction of 270-mile, 36-inch diameter gas pipeline from the Perryville Hub in northern Louisiana to the Gulfstream Natural Gas System in or near southern Mobile County, Al. The planned pipeline would provide customers with an alternative to offshore gas supplies, which are vulnerable to weather-related service disruptions.

Based on the results of an open season earlier this year, DEGT and CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission, a unit of CenterPoint Energy Inc., estimated that the capacity of the proposed header pipe system would be approximately 1 Bcf/d, with an in-service date as early as mid-2008. The two companies signed an agreement this year to explore plans to develop the project as a joint venture.

The header pipeline system is expected to interconnect with Florida Gas Transmission (FGT), Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line and Gulfstream. FGT and Gulfstream service the Florida gas markets, while Transco caters to customers in Texas and 11 Southeast and Atlantic seaboard states.

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