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7 September 2004. One of the Eyeball series.

Maps from
Source of photos: Terraserver-USA and USGS Seamless.

Natural gas is distributed throughout the US and Canada from hubs which are fed by pipeline systems. These hubs store gas in large-capacity underground facilities, constructed from depleted oil fields and natural caverns. Gas suppliers feed these hub storage facilities from their own storage areas according to agreements for supply and sales. Sales are highly competitive, and suppliers often file requests with the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) for incremental and special price increases, or exemptions from controls to gain advantage -- many requests appear near-daily in the Federal Register.

Hub maps from Natural Gas Market Centers and Hubs: A 2003 Update

Katy Storage Hub is one of several Southeast Texas hubs which supplies gas to the US Northeast, including gas facilities in Washington D.C. and New York City. Another of the Southeast Texas hubs, Moss Bluff, exploded recently. Moss Bluff closed until the fire burned itself out. During such disasters, other suppliers gain an advantage by meeting demand shifted to their storage hubs. Accidents at gas storage facilities are not always distinguishable from sabotage. Hazards and vulnerabilities of gas storage hubs, once widely published for public safety information, have been withdrawn from industry and federal web sites since 9/11.

About the Katy Storage Facility
* Type of facility: Underground natural gas storage
* Location: Approximately 20 miles west of Houston, Texas
* Working capacity: 21 million MMBtus
* Peak withdrawal capacity: 700,000 MMBtus
* Peak injection capacity: 600,000 MMBtus
* Owner: ENSTOR
* Operator/ Manager: ENSTOR

The Katy Storage Facility is connected to 13 different pipelines and has a total working capacity of 21 billion cubic feet (Bcf), thus creating one of the most strategic and versatile hubs on the Texas Gulf Coast. The Katy facility's dual-header configuration allows receipts and deliveries to be made against whatever pressures may exist in any of the interconnected pipelines. That gives storage customers as well as shippers who want transportation across the Katy Hub access to any of the 13 interconnected pipelines. With 25,000 horsepower of compression and ten storage wells, the Katy Storage Facility can withdraw and inject natural gas at peak rate of 700 MMcfd and 600 MMcfd, respectively.

The 21 Bcf Katy facility, located near Houston, has been in operation for more than ten years and serves a diversified customer base throughout the region. It is also a major gathering point for Texas producers.


ENSTOR acquires, develops and operates strategically-located, high-deliverability, multi-cycle natural gas storage across North America. The company currently operates facilities in Alberta, Canada and Katy, Texas and serves North American natural gas producers, energy marketers, utilities, electric power generators, and natural gas pipeline companies.

ENSTOR offers the following services:

* Firm Baseload storage
* Parking and Loaning
* Load Following (Katy)
* Wheeling (Katy)

ENSTOR is part of the ScottishPower group of companies — an international energy company. Listed on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, (NYSE: SPI and LSE: SPW) ScottishPower and its subsidiaries serve some five million gas and electricity customers in the western US and across the UK.

Katy, Texas Gas Storage Hub