Cove Point and LNG Importers Tell FERC WGL’s Distribution System Is Marginal

Yesterday, FERC Staff convened a Procedural Conference in the Dominion Cove Point Expansion proceedings to consider the appropriate next steps for the timely processing of the expansion applications in light of allegations by Washington Gas Light that Cove Point gas has caused  a significant increase in leaks on its system in Prince George’s County, Md.  At the Procedural Conference, Dominion and the Cove Point LNG importers, Statoil, BP and Shell, challenged the adequacy of WGL’s position and produced evidence that the leaks have been caused by poor infrastructure and installation practices on the part of WGL.  The president of Norton McMurray, the company that made the allegedly leaking seals and couplings on WGL’s system, told FERC Staff that WGL’s use of hot tar to install the couplings in the 1960s caused them to leak by removing the margin of safety. The President of Statoil Natural Gas emphasized that WGL’s “allegations about leaks being caused by the Cove Point gas are unfounded,” and urged FERC to not allow WGL to “handcuff th[e] very important [Cove Point] expansion project.”  Statoil’s Statement can be found here. The transcript and presentations will be part of the public record in Docket No. CP05-130.

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