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SONAT ANNOUNCES OPEN SEASON FOR PROPOSED FLORIDA INTRASTATE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonat Inc. (NYSE:SNT) today announced an "open season" for a proposed intrastate natural gas pipeline to be built in Florida. The new pipeline, to be called Peninsula Pipeline Company (PenPipe), would be built in connection with an associated expansion of the interstate pipeline facilities of Sonat's subsidiaries, Southern Natural Gas Company and South Georgia Natural Gas Company.
 Sonat indicated that if it receives adequate customer commitments for the pipeline project, it is prepared to move forward immediately to obtain necessary governmental approvals to extend pipeline service from its existing pipeline systems to growing markets for natural gas in central Florida.
 The project will entail the construction of more than 200 miles of 20-inch and 24-inch diameter pipeline from the vicinity of Tallahassee to a terminus near Tampa, together with the installation of associa looping and compression on the Southern Natural and South Georgia systems at an estimated capital cost of between $230 million and $320 million. Construction of PenPipe would follow the second phase of an 85-mile extension of South Georgia from the vicinity of Tallahassee to Jacksonville, which was placed in service in 1991 and was recently authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to be expanded to transport firm natural gas volumes of 40 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) beginning in 1994.
 Sonat indicated that it could accommodate requests for firm transportation service of up to 260 MMcf/d beginning in February 1996. Assuming receipt of a minimum subscription level of 170 MMcf/d, Sonat estimated that the transportation rate for firm service on PenPipe would be approximately $.08 to $.12 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), producing a total delivered cost for gas transported through Southern Natural and South Georgia pipelines of approximately $.61 to $.65 per MMBtu.
 "Sonat is ready to move forward with a further expansion of its pipeline systems to serve the growing demand for natural gas in Florida," said William A. Smith, executive vice president of Sonat. "PenPipe is in a unique position to offer new pipeline capacity at considerable savings to gas consumers in Florida. We are excited about the potential for this project and hope that we can quickly move forward with our plans."
 During the open season, which begins June 1, 1993, and extends to Aug. 31, 1993, potential customers are encouraged to contact Sonat to negotiate precedent agreements. Sonat said that firm transportation service could be offered to existing and potential customers of both South Georgia and PenPipe. Information to be provided to Sonat during the open season includes contract quantity, delivery location and desired in-service date. Sonat indicated that it would also entertain offers during the open season for equity participation in PenPipe.
 Sonat has established target dates of Oct. 31, 1993, for execution of definitive service agreements with prospective firm shippers and Dec. 31, 1993, for filing of necessary applications for governmental approvals to construct facilities.
 Sonat, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., is a worldwide energy company involved in natural gas transmission and marketing, oil and gas exploration and production, and offshore drilling. Southern Natural operates an 8,600-mile natural gas pipeline system serving seven Southeastern states, including Georgia and Florida which are served in part by its subsidiary, South Georgia.
 -0- 5/27/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Map available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Bruce L. Connery, 205-325-3898, or Patrick B. Pope, 205-325-7126, both of Sonat/
 (SNT)


CO: Sonat Inc.; Peninsula Pipeline Company; Southern Natural Gas
 Company; South Georgia Natural Gas Company ST: Alabama, Florida IN: OIL SU: PDT


RA-BN -- AT004 -- 2973 05/27/93 12:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 27, 1993
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