News Release
June 12, 2002

DUKE ENERGY RECEIVES FERC APPROVAL TO DEVELOP MISSISSIPPI SALT DOME FOR NATURAL GAS STORAGE

HOUSTON – A Duke Energy business unit has received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop a natural gas storage facility in an underground salt dome in Copiah County, Miss.

Once the FERC-issued Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity has been reviewed and accepted by Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT), work on the facility will be initiated. The company anticipates an initial storage capacity of 3.3 billion cubic feet, about 300,000 dekatherms per day of withdrawal capability and approximately 150,000 dekatherms per day of injection capability. Storage capacity at the facility can ultimately be expanded by an additional 6 billion cubic feet.

 

It is expected the project will be in service and operational in 2004 to meet anticipated customer demand during that heating season.

 

“The Copiah project will enhance Duke Energy’s growth strategy to develop and operate high-deliverability storage to meet the increasing and rapidly changing demand in the natural gas marketplace,” said Gregory Rizzo, DEGT senior vice president of marketing and president of Market Hub Partners, the DEGT unit that operates the company’s salt dome storage assets. “We believe that development of new storage facilities is essential in meeting the accelerated growth in the gas-fired electric generation and local distribution company markets.”  

 

He noted that the Copiah facility complements the company’s existing facilities at Egan, La., and Moss Bluff, Texas, and is strategically located to facilitate interconnection with several interstate and intrastate pipelines.

 

Market Hub Partners’ Copiah County Storage Co. plans to leach a cavern in the naturally occurring salt formation to accommodate the storage of natural gas. Also planned is the installation of aboveground compression and leaching facilities related to cavern development. The system will interconnect with DEGT’s Texas Eastern Transmission, LP natural gas pipeline. Based on customer demand, future interconnects also are planned to Gulf South, Transco, Sonat and Associated Intrastate Mississippi (AIM) pipelines.

 

Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a North American leader in developing energy infrastructure and connecting major natural gas supply basins to growing markets. The company’s natural gas operations include more than 18,900 miles of interstate transmission pipeline and 240 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States. More information about DEGT is available on the Internet at www.degt.duke-energy.com.

 

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

 

Contact: Gretchen Krueger
Phone: 713/627-4072
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: gdkrueger@duke-energy.com