The Town of Windsor, located in Broome County, NY is about to get a new natural gas pipeline built that will connect gas wells across the border in PA (where drilling is happening) to the Millennium Pipeline which runs through Broome County. Yesterday the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) gave the green light for construction to begin*. The pipeline, being built by Laser Northeast Gathering Company, will be about 9.8 miles long on the New York side of the border, out of a total 33 miles.
When finished, the 33-mile, 16-inch-diameter steel pipeline will run northeast from Forest Lake Township in Susquehanna County, Pa., across the Pennsylvania/New York border and under Route 17 before connecting to the Millennium. It will initially serve as a gathering line for nine Susquehanna gas wells operated by Alta Resources, and will have capacity to serve other wells in the future.
[Laser CEO Thomas] Karam said Laser plans on hiring 175 union employees to build the project. The company broke ground on the Pennsylvania portion earlier this month, and will begin construction on the New York side as soon as the PSC’s decision allows.
The company agreed to a road-use agreement with the Town of Windsor, which calls for Laser to put down a $20,000 deposit and $2 million bond at the outset, as well as pay for road repairs caused by heavy truck traffic.**
When and if drilling begins in New York State, the Laser pipeline will also be able to hook into wells drilled in the Windsor and neighboring Town of Kirkwood areas, which sit atop some of the prime Marcellus shale gas deposits in New York.
Local landowner coalitions helped pave the way for the new pipeline:
The project had the blessing of the Windsor & Colesville Oil and Gas Lease Coalition, which helped negotiate a right-of-way deal between Laser and a group of landowners along the pipeline’s route. Land with proximity to major gas lines is valued by energy companies.
“This is a great opportunity for development for natural gas in our area,” said James Worden, chair of the Windsor coalition. “I’m very proud of what was accomplished by the landowners and Laser Northeast. Again, when natural gas companies and the landowners work together, it proves to be a positive situation for both. It’s a step in the right direction. These pipelines are very necessary for the area, and Laser has definitely stepped up and done everything the landowners have asked.”**
More details about the economic benefits of this new pipeline can be found at the Laser Northeast website here: www.lasernortheast.com/projects.html.
*New York PSC Press Release (Feb 17) – Construction of Natural Gas Pipeline Approved (PDF)
**Press & Sun-Bulletin (Feb 17) – Natural gas pipeline through Windsor approved