El Paso Announces Open Seasons for Seafarer Pipeline

El Paso Corporation announced new open seasons for the Seafarer Pipeline System, which will transport natural gas from the Bahamas to Southern Florida. The project, formerly referred to as Bahama Cay Pipeline, conducted preliminary open seasons in October 2001. Due to expansion of the project's capacity and scope, new open seasons will begin today and will continue through June 12, 2002. The new simultaneous open seasons will offer transportation capacity on a non-discriminatory basis. To acquire this capacity on the Seafarer Pipeline System, potential customers, including those who participated in the earlier open seasons, must participate in the new open seasons.

The Seafarer Pipeline System will transport regasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) from El Paso Global LNG's proposed terminal on Grand Bahama Island to Southern Florida, crossing the United States-Bahamas Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary in the Atlantic Ocean. From landfall at the Port of Palm Beach, the pipeline will continue westward, delivering natural gas at an interconnection with the Florida Gas Transmission interstate pipeline system and at a delivery point in Martin County.

The 162-mile, 26-inch diameter Seafarer Pipeline System is currently designed based on a 16-hour delivery period, resulting in a capacity of approximately 700 million cubic feet per day. The Seafarer Pipeline System is expected to be in service by the second quarter of 2005.

"This new pipeline system will provide shippers with increased access to competitively priced natural gas supplies," said E. J. Holm, chief executive officer of El Paso's Eastern Pipelines. "The delivery points create additional advantage for our customers because they are located in one of the nation's premier growth markets for new energy demand."

The project is divided into two sections since it crosses the EEZ boundary and will be managed by two separate El Paso subsidiaries. El Paso Bahamas Holding B.V. will conduct the open season for transportation capacity on the portion of pipeline that will carry regasified LNG from the proposed terminal to the EEZ boundary. Seafarer US Pipeline System, Inc. will conduct the open season for transportation capacity on the portion of the pipeline that will deliver natural gas from the EEZ boundary to Southern Florida.

This project will help supply the fuel requirements of the rapidly growing power generation market in Florida. Based on the 2002 Ten-Year Site Plans for power generation filed by Florida's utilities, Florida's incremental installed gas-fired power generation facilities are projected to increase by more than 11,000 megawatts by the end of 2005. This projected demand for power, fueled by clean-burning natural gas, will require more than two billion cubic feet per day of additional delivery capacity and natural gas supply.