Released By Pipeline Consortium News Release
Jan. 31, 2002

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF PIPELINE COMPANIES FOR 100 PERCENT REIMBURSEMENT OF PIPELINE RELOCATION IN HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL

HOUSTON - U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ruled this week that the Port of Houston Authority is responsible for 100 percent of the costs to relocate pipelines affected by the Port’s joint project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen and widen the Houston Ship Channel.

“The pipeline companies are pleased with Judge Hughes' ruling on this matter,” said Denis Calabrese, spokesman for the pipeline companies.  “When the Port of Houston Authority asked the companies to relocate their pipelines, the companies fully cooperated in moving the pipe in order that the deepening and widening project could proceed.  The issue in dispute was who would pay for the relocation of the pipelines.  We believe both federal and state law is clear on this point -- that the Port should pay.  The Judge agreed, and granted our motion for summary judgment.”

To accommodate the deepening and widening project, the pipeline companies had been asked to relocate or lower more than 100 pipelines in place under the Houston Ship Channel at their sole expense.  In 1997, the pipeline companies initiated discussions with the Port of Houston Authority and the Corps of Engineers, seeking to reach a fair and equitable solution for the sharing of the relocation costs.  Estimates originally set the relocation costs at approximately $1 million per pipeline.  The judge’s ruling now grants 100 percent reimbursement from the Port of Houston Authority to the pipeline companies for the relocation of the pipelines.

Thirteen pipeline companies originally filed this lawsuit in 1998, seeking reimbursement for expenses incurred in the relocation of the pipelines affected by the Port of Houston Authority’s deepening and widening of the Houston Ship Channel.  The plaintiffs in this lawsuit now include:  Air Liquide America Corp.; ChevronTexaco Pipeline Company; Chevron Phillips Chemical Company; Dynegy Midstream Services LP; Enterprise Products Operating LP; Equilon Enterprises LLC; Equilon Pipeline Company; Equiva Services LLC; ExxonMobil Pipeline Company; Florida Gas Transmission Company; Black Marlin Pipeline Company; EGP Fuels Company; Houston Pipe Line Company, LP; Tejas Ship Channel, LLC; Tejas South Pipeline Partnership; TE Products Pipeline Company LP; TEPPCO Crude Oil LLC; Seadrift Pipeline Corp.; Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; and UCAR Pipeline Inc.

Contact: Denis Calabrese
Phone: 713/622-7388
24 Hour Phone: n/a
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