October 5, 2006
LUSBY, Md. – Dominion (NYSE: D) and Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) officially broke ground Thursday on an expansion project that will significantly increase capacity and storage at the Dominion Cove Point liquefied natural gas facility in southern Maryland.
"Today we recognize the hard work that led to this ceremony as well as the very bright future for our expansion, the millions of customers that will benefit from this new source of natural gas and our partnership with Statoil," said Dominion Transmission President Gary L. Sypolt.
"While this day marks the official start of construction, we began turning dirt in August immediately upon receiving approval. This expansion means Cove Point will continue to provide clean, reliable, affordable energy for Southern Maryland and the region."
"Dominion Cove Point is a critical cornerstone for our expanding position in the U.S. natural gas market," said Rune Bjornson, Statoil executive vice president. "This facility gives us access to one of the largest and most active markets in the world for natural gas."
Dominion and Statoil recently signed 20-year service agreements for the station expansion and increased pipeline capacity in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The service agreements begin when the expansion is activated. Work is scheduled for completion in fall 2008.
Dominion Cove Point’s capacity will expand from 1 billion cubic feet a day to 1.8 Bcf per day, and storage capacity will increase from 7.8 Bcf to 14.6 Bcf. The project includes expanding the Dominion Cove Point pipeline in Maryland and adding a pipeline and storage capacity in Pennsylvania.
The expansion will bring temporary construction and permanent operations jobs to Maryland and Pennsylvania. Economic studies predicted $61.1 million in benefits for Maryland and $48.9 million for Pennsylvania. Currently about 20 percent of the natural gas imported at Dominion Cove Point serves the needs of Maryland customers.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with an energy portfolio of about 28,000 megawatts of generation, about 6.3 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves and 7,800 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline. Dominion also operates one of the nation's largest underground natural gas storage systems with more than 950 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 11 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.
Statoil ASA has been a major player in the European gas market for more than 20 years. The company has a market share of some 10 percent and more than 20 percent market share in important gas consuming countries like Germany, France and Belgium. Statoil is technical and operational responsible for the world’s biggest subsea gas pipeline system from the Norwegian continental shelf to Europe with a total length of some 6000 kilometres. For more information about Statoil visit the company’s Web site at www.Statoil.com.
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