-On Thursday morning the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce welcomed Kinder Morgan to give an update about the Northeast Upgrade Project and its impacts on the community.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline, L.L.C., a Kinder Morgan company, has been working on a large project in the area and in surrounding counties.
The Northeast Upgrade Project, upon completion, will allow an "additional 636,000 dekatherms per day" of natural gas to be transported along Tennessee's 300 Line in Pennsylvania and "delivered to growing markets in the Northeast."
Tennessee will upgrade its existing 24-inch diameter 300 Line by constructing "five, 30-inch diameter pipeline loops and modifying four existing compression stations."
A pipeline loop is a segment of pipeline "installed adjacent to an existing pipeline" and connected to the existing pipeline at both ends. These five loops will "close out the remaining unlooped segments" of Tennessee's existing 300 Line east of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, into New Jersey.
The Northeast Upgrade Project, along with the company's 300 Line Project, will add "about 1 billion cubic feet per day" of new firm transportation capacity that will provide "safe and reliable transportation" of clean-burning, domestic natural gas supplies to key Northeast markets.
The Northeast Upgrade Project is expected to cost approximately $480 million with a majority of the capital spending occurring in 2013.
Loop 3 is in Wayne County, which will go through Route 652 from Honesdale up to Rowland. The loops between Wayne, Pike and Bradford counties will total approximately 21.98 miles (4.18 in Wayne, 10.41 in Pike and 7.39 in Bradford).
Allen Fore, director of public affairs for Kinder Morgan, explained that the company transports and stores products. They deal with natural gas pipelines, products pipelines, CO2 segments and terminals.
Kinder Morgan is the "largest midstream and the third largest energy company in North America." They are also the largest natural gas transporter and storage operator, the largest independent transporter of petroleum products and the largest independent terminal owner and operator in the United States. They are also the "only oilsands pipeline" serving the west coast.
"Kinder Morgan has 80,000 natural gas pipelines in the United States," Fore said.
The company is also working with other projects that touch Pennsylvania, including Marcellus Pooling, Rose Lake Expansion, Unica Backhaul, Uniondale and the Connecticut Expansion.
"We purchased El Paso Energy and the Northeast Upgrade Project is one of the assets we picked up from the acquisition," Fore explained. "This is an enhancement to the 300 Line where we are doing a lot of looping. The pipes will be put next to the existing pipeline, which will also cause less disturbance to the area."
Page 2 of 3 - He added that they expect to be in service in October, meaning they will be "flowing gas."
"We will continue to restore the right-of-way after the pipeline is complete," Fore said.
The construction of a right-of-way is 150 feet, the temporary work space is between 50 and 150 feet, a permanent right-of-way is 50 feet and the pipes must be minimally three feet underground, according to federal regulations.
Loops for the Northeast Upgrade will be in Wayne, Pike, Bradford and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania and Sussex, Passaic and Bergen counties in New Jersey, totaling approximately 40.5 miles.
"In Wayne County there will be 22 center line tracks, five travel roads affected and seven access roads," Fore stated.
The project is being overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), PA/NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the local Conservation Districts.
"We can propose the route, our method and what activity we'll do, but the overseers will tell us how to do it," Fore explained.
Weather is also going to play into when the project is complete.
"If we have good weather the main line construction can be done quickly, within a few short months," Fore said. "This project also provides jobs for 1,795 people."
He added that Pennsylvania assets are "significant investments" into United States energy and infrastructure.
"The economic benefits will help the nation's growing need for energy independence," he said. "With proper management and good oversight, this will be a game changer for the state, region and county. We are completely transforming the economic system. It's no longer just a political statement, but it's becoming reality."
Fore explained that the Northeast Upgrade Project can help give our nation the potential to at least reduce, if not eliminate, our dependence on foreign oil from places like Iraq, Iran and even Venezuela.
"It's now within our grasp," he said.
The bulk of the crews working on the project will be here through September or October and smaller crews will take over during winter until the restoration is complete.
Fore was asked if he thinks we would also export oil to other countries.
"The natural gas supply is significant but the storage is limited," he said. "It's possible the gas will be exported, but it would be very regulated. Even if we were to get approval now, it will be years before it would be exported at all."
Page 3 of 3 - Fore said that Kinder Morgan will have a continued presence in the area as long as the pipeline exists.