FERC Approves Natural Gas Storage Project Near Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., /PRNewswire/ — On September 30, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) approved the application of Tricor Ten Section Hub, LLC to construct and operate a new underground natural gas storage project near Bakersfield, California. The Ten Section Hub facility is designed to hold 32.5 Bcf of gas, of which 22.4 Bcf is working gas, and will offer customers up to four-turns of high-speed deliverability. Ten Section Hub will offer up to 1.0 Bcf per day of withdrawal service and up to 0.8 Bcf per day of injection service, which will significantly improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Western interstate gas transportation network. Furthermore, by virtue of its strategic location to both the Western and Southwestern United States, Tricor is centrally positioned at the backbone of interstate and intrastate pipeline systems with over 4.0 Bcf per day of interstate and intrastate pipeline capacity surrounding it. Tricor Energy is an independent energy company that produces, transports, and sells natural gas and oil from its fields in California.

Future site of the Ten Section Hub facility

When completed, the Ten Section Hub facility will provide unconstrained access to reliable, predictable natural gas to markets located in the Western US. Tricor will allow gas marketers, gas utilities and power generators to meet their energy demands as well as those of their residential, commercial, and industrial customers, while reducing price volatility. In addition to providing 32.5 Bcf of storage field capacity with a working capacity of 22.4 Bcf, the certificate issued by FERC authorizes Tricor to construct a 21-mile-long, 36-inch diameter bi-directional header pipeline in order to connect the storage facility to the Kern River/Mojave interstate pipeline at Wheeler Ridge. Subsequent interconnections to the PG&E and SoCal intrastate pipelines will facilitate further storage offerings to intrastate and interstate customers. Southern California Gas Company’s Line 225 also connects directly to the Kern River-Mojave interstate pipeline at Wheeler Ridge. PG&E’s 34-inch 300A and 300B South to North lines have the capacity to deliver large volumes of gas into the San Francisco load center. The 9-mile, 34-inch intrastate Gosford Crossing transmission line, which is jointly owned by SoCal and PG&E, runs directly across the Tricor Ten Section Property, connecting SoCal’s 225 line to PG&E’s 300A & 300B.

Chris Kunzi, Tricor’s Vice-President stated that Tricor is extremely pleased with the certification action taken by the FERC. Mr. Kunzi added that following construction and operation, the storage facility will be able to provide significant new natural gas infrastructure in order to satisfy both existing and future energy demands of residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers located in the Western US. In addition to providing reliable safe and clean burning natural gas at stabilized prices in the Western region of the US, the construction and operation of the Ten Section Hub storage facility will also serve to fuel the local economy. It is anticipated that the project will cost several hundred million dollars and during construction result in adding over 200 new jobs to the local economy as well as generating several million dollars in additional state tax revenue. Mr. Kunzi noted that the FERC approval of Tricor’s certificate dramatically highlights the need for additional storage capacity in the Western US and Tricor stands ready to bring the new Hub storage deliverability to western natural gas markets in order to serve a diverse customer base, and mitigate the results of shortages of natural gas caused by supply or severe weather conditions.

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