Major New Marcellus Pipeline Planned from NE PA to Albany

El Paso Corp, owner of the country’s largest natural gas pipeline system, including the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, is planning to build a new Marcellus Shale gas pipeline from northeastern Pennsylvania to Albany, NY. It would be a major 36-inch diameter pipeline moving a lot of gas. The target market for the gas is New England.

"El Paso Corp. is evaluating the need for additional infrastructure in the region," company spokesman Richard Wheatley said. "We’re evaluating a pipeline that would move gas supplies from northeastern Pennsylvania to a pipeline interconnection near Albany, New York."

Plans are in their early stages, he said, and the targeted in-service date of the as-yet-unnamed pipeline is late 2014.

The project would fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as well as state regulators in Pennsylvania and New York, and no official documents have been filed with those agencies.

"We haven’t even formalized a route yet," Wheatley said.

While the prospective natural gas artery is intended to siphon energy from Pennsylvania’s natural gas fields, landowners in New York see the proposed pipeline as a positive development.

The pipeline could make surrounding land more attractive to energy companies, said Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.

"One thing it does do is give us more infrastructure to get our gas to market," he said. "As the gas moves forward there will need to be more infrastructure, and that’s what this proposed line would actually do."

As landmen begin to meet with property owners about land rights needed to build the pipeline, Fitzsimmons and others are urging landowners to speak with an attorney and local coalition leaders before considering an agreement.*

Fellow intrepid blogger (and commenter on MDN) Andy Leahy was first to break the news nearly two weeks ago. See Andy’s post here. And while you’re there, be sure to bookmark Andy’s blog and read it regularly.

*Ithaca Journal (Feb 21, 2012) – Natural gas transporter eyes new pipeline through Southern Tier