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Refilling the ‘tank’

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Sawgrass LLC looks to store gas underground
072810 Sawgrass open house 1 C.jpg
Downsville resident Layne Parnell talks to Downsville Mayor Reggie Skains as Parnell signs in to an open house at Downsville Memorial Hall presented by Sawgrass officials on Wednesday afternoon.

Residents in the Downsville area could soon be walking above more than dirt and pebbles.

Located approximately 9,000 feet below ground is the Vaughn Sand Reservoir, which Sawgrass Storage LLC hopes to refill with natural gas by the summer of 2012. The approximately 8,800-acre gas production reservoir — depleted since the 1960s or 1970s — straddles Union and Lincoln parishes.

“It’s really a big, empty bottle underground, and we would reuse the space for a storage facility to put gas in the ground,” Sawgrass project representative Chris Finch said. “When the price of gas is low, producers put the gas in the ground to store it for a time when gas prices are higher.”

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