WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 27 -- The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has extended its suspension of blanket-certificate rules to help Gulf Coast gas facilities recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
It extended the deadline by 4 months—to Feb. 28, 2007—to complete construction of projects under the order, issued on Nov. 18, 2005.
Lifting the restrictions for an extended period is designed to allow facilities that can't be put in service by the beginning of the 2006-07 heating season to be completed during the season, the commission said.
The order's original Oct. 31 deadline was intended to coincide with the beginning of the heating season. Citing US Minerals Management Service estimates that 400 MMcfd of gas production in the gulf is expected to still be offline when the 2006 hurricane season starts, the commission decided to extend the order.
FERC originally waived certain requirements and increased the cost caps for projects constructed under automatic-authorization, blanket-certification provisions to $16 million from $8 million, and under prior-notice provisions to $50 million from $22 million.
In the same order, the commission also temporarily expanded the definition of eligible facilities to include mainline facilities, extension of a mainline, and temporary compression that raises a mainline's capacity.
The cost limit waivers apply to the newly eligible facilities as long as they will provide increased or alternative access to gas supplies, FERC said.
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