Crestwood Sells Salt Operation in Watkins Glen, Keeps LPG Storage

Our heart stopped when we saw news from Crestwood Equity (used to be called Crestwood Midstream) yesterday that the company has sold its US Salt business on the shore of Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen to Kissner Group for $225 million. We thought, “Oh no! Crestwood has finally thrown in the towel on their Seneca Lake Propane Storage project!” But alas, our fears were unfounded. Background: In 2009 Inergy filed a request to convert a depleted salt cavern along the shore of Seneca Lake (in Schuyler County, NY, near Watkins Glen) into a propane/natural gas storage facility. Inergy was later bought by and merged into Crestwood Midstream, and Crestwood Midstream later renamed itself Crestwood Equity Partners. The New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been sitting on its hands from the beginning, refusing to grant the necessary permits to allow the facility to open. Sound familiar? Same old delay and later deny strategy from our corrupt governor, Andrew Cuomo. As recently as May of this year, Crestwood remained committed to building the storage facility in depleted salt caverns originally drilled by US Salt, which is owned by Crestwood (see Crestwood Drops Seneca Lake Natgas Storage Plan, Keeps LPG Plan). Crestwood scaled back the plan, excluding storage of natural gas and instead sticking with storing just propane (or LPG, liquefied petroleum gas). So when we read the news in Crestwood’s third quarter update yesterday that the company has sold off US Salt–we thought that was the end of the LPG storage project. Apparently antis in the Finger Lakes region thought the same thing. A local news outlet published an incorrect story stating the LPG storage project is dead. But then Crestwood issued a follow-up statement to say no, the LPG project is still alive and kicking–they kept that part of the US Salt real estate and still intend to build the storage facility, when/if the corrupt Cuomo DEC issues the necessary permits…

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