BG Group launches 'Open Season' in the USA

Lake Charles Express LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BG Group plc, is launching an open season for a proposed new US$60 million pipeline to be constructed in Southern Louisiana.

The open season, an open and transparent process, seeks to determine customer demand for firm natural gas transportation services using the proposed pipeline. The 40-mile pipeline is planned to extend from the Lake Charles liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to Texas Eastern Transmission's Gillis Compressor Station in Beauregard Parish. Depending on customer demand, LCE may establish intermediate interconnections with Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Corporation, also in Beauregard Parish, and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, Florida Gas Transmission Company and Texas Gas Transmission Corporation, all in Jefferson Davis Parish.

Elizabeth Spomer, Chief Executive of BG Group's Lake Charles subsidiary, said: "Liquefied natural gas is becoming an increasingly significant part of North America's energy mix. This proposed pipeline would provide increased operational reliability and flexibility for importing liquefied natural gas through the Lake Charles terminal. With the planned expansion of the Lake Charles terminal approved for 2005, this pipeline will support the development of an LNG trading hub in Southern Louisiana with market access to the East Coast via interconnecting pipelines."

The pipeline will be comprised of two sections – a 25-mile 36-inch and a 15-mile 30-inch - with a minimum design capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day and LCE will consider design modifications based on customers' requirements. The pipeline is expected to be operational from early 2005.

The open season will run from June 6 to June 16, 2003 and LCE will target the third quarter of 2003 to submit a formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval.