NGS Energy has started the commercial operations at its Leaf River Energy Center, a natural gas storage facility northwest of Laurel, Mississippi, US.

The Westport, Connecticut-based company says it is accepting natural gas in its first cavern, which holds 8bcf of storage capacity.

NGS said that an additional cavern will come on line in 2012 and the current FERC certificate allows for a total of four caverns with approximately 32bcf of capacity and the capability to inject up to 1bcf/d and withdrawal up to 2.5bcf/d.

Leaf River owns significant acreage to add additional caverns and could expand the capacity significantly.

Leaf River is interconnected with 6 interstate pipelines that includes Transco, Tennessee, Midcontinent Express, Sonat, Destin and Gulf South.