HOUSTON and BEDMINSTER, N.J., Sept. 5, 2003 — Saltville Gas Storage Company, a high deliverability natural gas storage facility in southwest Virginia, has begun commercial operation. Companies that have contracted for storage services at the underground salt cavern facility are now injecting natural gas in preparation for this winter’s heating season.
The facility, being jointly developed by NUI Corporation’s Virginia Gas Company and Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT), is fully contracted this season. The field is expected to yield about 1 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of working gas capacity in its inaugural winter. Plans are to continue to expand the facility’s storage capacity at a rate of about 1 Bcf a year, reaching more than 6 Bcf by 2007 and eventually expanding to 12 Bcf in the next phase.
“NUI and DEGT have worked closely to move forward with our development of Saltville Gas Storage, a facility that will play an increasingly vital role in supplying needed natural gas to energy providers in the region,” said Mark Abramovic, senior vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of NUI. “The high-withdrawal and quick-refill capabilities of the facility will provide a substantial natural gas peaking supply source for the southeast region of the United States.”
“More than half of the working gas initially stored at the Saltville facility will be used to serve customers transporting natural gas through the Patriot Extension, DEGT’s new 95-mile pipeline currently under construction from the company’s existing East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG) system,” said Pat Whitty, ETNG vice president of marketing.
“The November in-service of Patriot will allow customers throughout the southeast United States — particularly in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee — to receive benefits from this new significant supply source,” Whitty added.
Both NUI and DEGT maintain that the lack of peaking storage in the region has created a strong interest in Saltville Gas Storage and discussions continue with additional customers for the 2004 winter heating season.
Saltville Gas Storage interconnects with Virginia Gas Pipeline Co. and ETNG. At full phase one projected capacity, Saltville will be capable of delivering up to 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to the surrounding region. NUI already operates an existing 1.1 Bcf high deliverability storage facility at Saltville, which also is fully contracted for the coming heating season.
NUI Corporation, based in Bedminster, NJ, is a diversified energy company that operates natural gas utilities, as well as businesses involved in natural gas storage and pipeline activities and wholesale energy portfolio and risk management. NUI Utilities’ companies include Elizabethtown Gas Company in New Jersey, City Gas Company of Florida and Elkton Gas Company in Maryland. Visit our Web site at www.nui.com.
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 18,000 miles of interstate transmission pipeline and 250 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States. More information on DEGT can be found at: http://www.duke-energy.com/businesses/companies/degt.asp.
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 500 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.