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December 17, 2010 --- Vol. 16, No. 119December 2010

RCA approves CINGSA gas storage, with conditions

On Dec. 17 the Regulatory Commission of Alaska approved a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a natural gas storage facility that Cook Inlet Natural Gas Storage Alaska wants to build to support the winter deliverability of gas to Southcentral Alaska utilities. In early November the commission held a public hearing, to listen to testimony over whether the certificate should be granted.

“After considering the legislative record, the unanimous agreement of the parties in our hearing that gas storage services are needed, and the record presented in this docket, we find that natural gas storage service is required for the convenience and necessity of the public,” the commissioners wrote in their order granting the certificate. “We further find that CINGSA is fit, willing, and able to provide natural gas storage services subject to certain conditions.”

CINGSA has not yet finalized a deal with Marathon Oil Co. to gain the use of the Sterling C sands of the Cannery Loop gas field, on the south side of the City of Kenai, for the storage facility. And so, as part of its conditions for the certificate, the commission requires CINGSA to file an application to amend the certificate once the company has acquired the necessary reservoir property rights.

RCA has scheduled a hearing, starting on Jan.7, to hear testimony on CINGSA’s proposed tariff for its facility. However, the commission says that it will cancel that hearing if CINGSA has not acquired the facility property rights by Dec. 30. And the certificate is also conditional on CINGSA acquiring all of the necessary permits and approvals for its facility, the commission says.

The commission said in its order that the CINGSA certificate does not approve any specific facility, but that the facility must be located in reasonable proximity to the Cook Inlet natural gas pipeline system.

See more in the Dec. 26 edition of Petroleum News, available online to subscribers on Thurs., Dec. 23 by 11 a.m.

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