Transportation news briefs, June 6

Manta Ray Offshore Gathering � Horizon Offshore Contractors � Pipeline Research Council International, Inc. � Technical Toolboxes, Inc. � � Vector Pipeline � Enbridge Inc. � Westcoast Energy Inc. � MCN Energy Group Inc.

Manta Ray Offshore Gathering Co. LLC has awarded Horizon Offshore Contractors Inc. a contract to install 22 miles of 20-in. gas pipeline as part of the Hickory Pipeline Lateral Project. Horizon will use its pipelay barge, the Lone Star Horizon, to lay the pipeline. The Hickory project will begin this quarter, with completion slated for August 2000. Lone Star's tension capacity was recently upgraded to 170 kips, said Horizon CEO Bill J. Lam.

The Pipeline Research Council International Inc. (PRCI), Washington, DC, and its strategic technology partner, Technical Toolboxes, Inc. (TTI), Houston, announce the creation of, a neutral internet marketplace for the exchange of goods and services between the pipeline industry and its suppliers. TTI, PRCI, participating operating pipeline companies, pipeline equipment and service suppliers, and other equity partners will establish as an independent company to run the exchange. Initial ownership will be PRCI, TTI and the founding companies.

Vector Pipeline said construction has begun on the mainline portion of the 344-mile pipeline that will carry natural gas from Chicago, Ill., to markets in Eastern Canada and the US Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic regions when operations begin later this year. Mainline construction is expected to last throughout the summer. Earlier this year , Vector Pipeline completed two under-river crossings at the Deep River in Lake County, Indiana, and the St. Clair River that divides St. Clair County in Michigan from Canada. Vector Pipeline is a partnership of Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., 45%; Westcoast Energy Inc. of Vancouver, BC, 30%; and Detroit-based MCN Energy Group Inc., 25%.

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