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 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Equitrans, Inc., the interstate pipeline subsidiary of Equitable Resources, Inc., (NYSE: EQT) announced today that the proposed Avoca Gas Storage underground storage facility currently under development in New York State is another step closer to commercial availability.
 Equitrans, which has a 22.2 percent interest in the project through its ET Storage subsidiary, reported that results of geological test wells recently completed indicate that the salt cavern natural gas storage project is both structurally and economically viable. As a result, the project is moving forward with full marketing efforts and environmental and regulatory permitting activities.
 The Avoca project is significant because it is the first high deliverability gas storage project in the Northeast. Because the geological properties of salt cavern gas storage permit high injection and withdrawal rates, the Avoca project will provide unparalleled flexibility and supply security to meet the evolving needs of the Northeast energy markets.
 The Avoca site has access to interstate pipelines serving the eastern gas markets of the U.S. and Canada. The project will offer 5 billion cubic feet of working gas capacity and be designed and constructed to offer high-volume gas delivery services. During the first phase of the project withdrawal capability will be up to 300 million cubic feet per day over a 10 day period and rapid gas re-injection capability over 30 days.
 Avoca plans to conduct an "Open Season" for customer nominations this fall. Currently, discussions are underway with a number of local gas distribution companies, electric generating utilities and natural gas suppliers and marketers which have indicated an interest in market area storage services to provide off-pipeline balancing services on an hourly, daily and monthly basis, and firm deliverability to meet seasonal market requirements.
 Following completion of all regulatory authorizations, construction of the project would likely commence in the summer of 1994, with the first 3 billion cubic feet of storage inventory scheduled to be available for the 1995-96 winter heating season.
 Partners in Avoca Gas Storage, in addition to Equitrans, include: J. Makowski Company, a Boston-based developer of gas-fired power generation, natural gas supply, transportation and storage projects; Natural Gas Clearinghouse, the nation's largest independent gas marketer, and an owner and operator of numerous gas gathering and processing facilities; Texaco Gas Marketing, one of the largest natural gas producer/marketers in North America, with a substantial market presence on the Gulf and East Coasts; and Trillium Gas Storage, Inc., a subsidiary of Westcoast Energy, Inc., of Vancouver, B.C.
 -0- 8/26/93 R
 /CONTACT: Mike Stack of Equitable Resources, 412-553-5911/

CO: Equitrans, Inc.; Equitable Resources, Inc.; ET Storage ST: Pennsylvania, New York IN: OIL SU: PDT

KC -- PG001 -- 6438 08/27/93 01:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1993

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