LOS ANGELES, Aug. 2, 2002 — With the completion this week of its fourth major intrastate pipeline expansion project this year, Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) effectively has increased the capacity and supply of natural gas into Southern California by 375 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day, or 11 percent.
The additional capacity is enough to fuel the equivalent of more than five new power plants producing about 2,800 megawatts of electricity. Natural gas is the principal fuel used in generating power at most California power plants.
“Our customers now have additional access to the major gas supplies in the western United States,” said Lee M. Stewart, senior vice president of gas transmission for the Sempra Energy Utilities, The Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric. “The improved access means our customers will continue to have the reliable service they expect and the benefits of increased supply choices.”
The four completed expansion projects include:
— Kramer Junction, a new 32-mile link to the Kern-Mojave pipeline system that allows The Gas Company to deliver an additional 200 MMcf of natural gas per day into its intrastate pipeline system. The interconnect, which provides customer access to Rocky Mountain gas supplies, began operation on April 1, 2002, and has averaged 166 MMcf of natural gas per day in deliveries.
— Wheeler Ridge, a compressor station expansion that has increased The Gas Company’s backbone transmission capacity by 85 MMcf of natural gas per day. The added capacity, made available Jan. 1, 2002, provides customers additional access to natural gas supplies from Western Canada, Elk Hills in the San Joaquin Valley, the Rocky Mountains and the San Juan Basin in New Mexico and southern Colorado.
— North Needles, a compressor station expansion that has increased system capacity by 50 MMcf of natural gas per day. The two added compressors went on line in April 2002, providing customers with access to supplies from Transwestern Pipeline Co.’s system and Questar’s Southern Trails pipeline.
— Sylmar Station, a compressor station expansion that has increased system capacity by 40 MMcf of natural gas per day. This station, commissioned this week, receives California-produced natural gas from the San Joaquin Valley.
“These additions, plus the inherent flexibility in design, have enhanced reliability of The Gas Company’s intrastate gas transportation system,” said Stewart. “We are confident that this system can meet the challenge of increased energy demand by our customers recently and in the future.”
The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving 18 million consumers through 5.1 million meters. The company’s service territory encompasses 23,000 square miles within most of central and Southern California. The Gas Company is part of Sempra Energy Utilities, the umbrella for Sempra Energy’s regulated business units. Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE – News), is a Fortune 500 energy services company based in San Diego.