Transportation news briefs, May 16

Qatar-Bahrain gas pipeline ... Petal Gas Storage ... El Paso Energy Corp. ... Oceaneering International Inc.

Qatar and Bahrain are holding preliminary talks on setting up a natural gas pipeline that would extend from Qatar's supergiant North field to consumers in Manama and other areas in Bahrain. "After we sign a final agreement for a trunk line with Kuwait, it is logical to go to Bahrain. It is in the cards," Dubai's Gulf News quoted a senior official of the Qatari Ministry of Energy and Industry as saying. Qatar and Kuwait announced May 3 that they had signed a letter of intent to build a natural gas pipeline to supply North field gas to Kuwait. "In the past, we have delegated some of the foreign companies operating concessions in North field to talk to Bahrain," said the official. "We are following a similar policy. At the official level, we have not held talks as yet."

Petal Gas Storage Co., an affiliate of El Paso Energy Corp., Houston, said it received more requests than it has capacity in its recent open season for the proposed expansion of a salt cavern gas storage facility near Hattiesburg, Miss. The planned expansion would have a storage capacity of 5 bcf of gas plus additional storage capacity and receipt-delivery points on the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Koch Gateway (low and high-pressure systems), Transco, Southern Natural Gas Pipeline, Destin, and Florida Gas Transmission pipelines.

Oceaneering International Inc. said it joined a partnership with three other companies to develop diverless deepwater "hot tap" technologies for pipelines. Oceaneering said the "Deep Tap" project would allow hot tapping in deeper waters than ever. Partners are Williams, TD Williamson, and Oil States HydroTech Systems Inc.

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