FERC okays $310m gas capacity expansion project in Louisiana of Columbia Gulf

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 17 approved a March 6 application from Columbia Gulf Transmission LLC for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate approximately 34 miles of pipeline and compression facilities in Louisiana to provide up to 800,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of firm transportation service (called the Cameron Access Project).

Columbia Gulf is engaged in the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce subject to the commission’s jurisdiction. Columbia Gulf’s transmission system extends from Louisiana through Mississippi and Tennessee to northeastern Kentucky.

Columbia Gulf’s West Lateral Transmission System consists of three pipeline segments extending west from the Rayne Compressor Station in Acadia Parish, Louisiana, to termini in Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, and Acadia parishes, Louisiana (i.e., West Laterals 100, 200, and 300, respectively). Natural gas on Columbia Gulf’s West Lateral Transmission System has traditionally flowed from west to east, toward the Rayne Compressor Station and Columbia Gulf’s mainline, before flowing north to markets in the midwest and northeast.

Columbia Gulf proposes under this approval to construct and operate:

  • approximately 6.8 miles of 30-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline loop, designated as the West Lateral (WL) 400 Loop in Jefferson Davis Parish;
  • approximately 27.3 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline, designated as WL 400, in Jefferson Davis, Cameron, and Calcasieu parishes; and
  • an overpressure protection valve at existing Valve Station 1105 in Jefferson Davis Parish.

Columbia Gulf also proposes to construct and operate a new 12,260 horsepower (hp) compressor station in Jefferson Davis Parish (Lake Arthur Compressor Station). The Lake Arthur Compressor Station will include two turbine-driven compressors, each producing a nominal 6,130 hp.

The proposed facilities will create incremental capacity sufficient to provide up to 800,000 dth/day of additional firm transportation service. Columbia Gulf states that the estimated cost of the proposed facilities is approximately $309.9 million.

Columbia Gulf states that the development of new natural gas markets along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere have created commercial opportunities that require it to now flow gas from east to west on certain pipelines on its West Lateral Transmission System. Columbia Gulf asserts that by changing the direction of flow on a portion of the West Lateral System, it will provide shippers with a new transportation option.

Columbia Gulf held a non-binding open season from Dec. 26, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013, soliciting shipper interest in a project that would provide from 450,000 Dth/day to 1,200,000 Dth/day of incremental firm transportation service. As a result of the open season, Columbia Gulf entered into binding precedent agreements with two shippers for up to 700,000 Dth/day of firm transportation service. Columbia Gulf received no offers to turn back capacity under existing contracts. Columbia Gulf states that it is actively marketing the 100,000 Dth/day of unsold firm transportation service associated with the new facilities.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.