American Midstream To Abandon Midla Pipeline

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American Midstream Partners LP has filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to abandon use of its 1920’s vintage Midla Pipeline in order to ensure the safety of people and property along its route.
  In its application, Midla explains that, due to original pipeline construction techniques, modern tools cannot be used to find or predict leaks. While the pipeline has leaked for decades, leakage rates are on the increase; cultivation and erosion have reduced pipeline burial depths; floods on the Mississippi River have destroyed six of eight river crossings; and development, including two schools, a prison and a planned housing community, has encroached on the right-of-way.
  Once the American Midstream management team made the decision to retire the Midla mainlines for safety reasons, the company began contacting customers in May 2013 to advise them of the pipeline’s condition and solicit their input on how to best proceed. In response to discussions with those hoping to spur industrial development, Midla commissioned a detailed engineering study that looked at a dozen sizing options for partial reconstruction of the mainline. Midla also identified several non-pipeline alternatives for assuring that all its customers continue to receive gas service, including trucking compressed natural gas to Midla’s existing distribution system connections.
  In its filing, Midla offers to recommence negotiations that were broken off by its biggest mainline customer and suggests that the best way to get those negotiations back on track is for the FERC to hold a public Technical Conference in the next two to three weeks, at which Midla’s proposal can be clarified, customers can raise questions and express their concerns (as well as FERC Staff and other interested stakeholders), and Midla can answer them. Midla hopes the Technical Conference can be a springboard for a negotiated solution, and also provide the basis for an expeditious FERC decision on legal issues upon which Midla and its customers disagree.