Transportation news briefs, Sept. 14

Crosstex Energy Services � Western Gas Resources � Reliant Energy Gas Transmission � Longhorn Partners Pipeline � Texas Railroad Commission � Westcoast Energy

Crosstex Energy Services Inc., Dallas, announced Monday it has acquired Western Gas Resources Inc.'s natural gas gathering and compression units in the Arkoma basin in Oklahoma. The 74-mile system gathers gas from more than 110 wells and provides compression services into a mainline owned by Reliant Energy Inc.'s affiliate Reliant Energy Gas Transmission.

Longhorn Partners Pipeline LP, Dallas, Tex., said the environmental assessment of its Longhorn Pipeline project will proceed as an assessment rather than an environmental impact statement, which would take longer. Also, the White House Council on Environmental Quality recommended the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Transportation reach a finding of no significant environmental impact for the pipeline, said Longhorn. The 700-mile proposed pipeline will ship refined motor fuel products from refineries on the Gulf Coast to markets in El Paso and further west (OGJ, Apr. 12, 1999, p. 35).

Texas Railroad Commissioner Charles R. Matthews said he led a delegation to Mexico City late last month to discuss establishing cooperation on crossborder natural gas pipeline interconnections. One of the reasons for the collaboration is to lay a framework for coordination of the permitting process for natural gas and NGL pipelines in both countries, which hopefully will avoid paperwork delays on both sides of the border as well as provide certainty to investors. Also, cooperation will aid the exchange of information between the two countries, said a Texas Railroad Commission statement.

Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, BC, announced Wednesday that development of the Orca Natural Gas Pipeline project will be placed on hold. Citing a lack of firm commitments from major potential customers, Westcoast stated that it could not proceed further with the project's technical development phase. The proposed natural gas pipeline would have brought Canadian natural gas through Sumas, Wash., south to South Whidbey Island, then west across Admiralty Inlet to serve east Jefferson County, including Port Townsend and communities to the south. Westcoast intends to reopen the project when it is able to gain the required market support.

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