Demand Picks Up for Pipeline Workers in PA Downstream

Here on MDN we talk a lot about big interstate natural gas pipelines–like Rover and NEXUS, Atlantic Sunrise and Atlantic Coast. But we don’t talk so much about the tiny (in diameter) gas pipelines that connect to people’s homes. In oil and gas industry parlance, those pipelines belong to the “downstream”–or the end users of natural gas. From time to time we’ve covered stories about NiSource and other utilities spending big money to replace aging local distribution pipelines (see NiSource 3Q14: A Lot of Irons in the Fire, Spending Billions). However, we’re starting to see more such stories. The latest is from Philadelphia-based PECO, Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility delivering gas to more than half a million customers. In a story about PECO’s project to replace gas mains near Philly, we learn there is so much work in replacing old gas lines, there is now a premium on contractors and qualified pipe mechanics…

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