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National Fuel plans pipeline work in parts of Wheatfield, Pendleton

PENDLETON – Four miles of new natural gas pipeline is to be laid in southeastern Wheatfield and western Pendleton, National Fuel representatives said at a meeting here last week.

The work by National Fuel Gas Supply Co. and Empire Pipeline, both National Fuel subsidiaries, is part of a planned $410 million upgrade of the Empire Pipeline, which was originally laid 20 years ago to import Canadian natural gas into the United States.

The entire system runs from the Niagara River to just west of Syracuse, with branches south into Pennsylvania.

The local plan calls for the installation of four miles of 24-inch pipeline as a replacement for 3.3 miles of 16-inch pipeline, owned by National Fuel Supply, and seven-tenths of a mile of existing Empire pipe.

The work area begins on Shawnee Road, a short distance north of the North Tonawanda city line, and heads northeast to intersect with existing pipe a short distance south of Mapleton Road.

National Fuel plans to construct a 22,000-horsepower compressor station in Pendleton to push the gas along the new pipe. The site of the compressor has not yet been chosen.

The company has decided to build a natural gas dehydration station, to remove the water from the gas, in the county-owned Vantage International Pointe industrial park on Lockport Road near Walmore Road in Wheatfield.

All the new pipe laid in the project, dubbed Northern Access 2016, will be buried at least 3 feet underground, company officials said. The pipeline is made of high-strength alloy steel.

Plans, which must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also call for 97 miles of new pipeline from the existing Porterville compressor station in Elma, south into McKean County, Pa.; 5,000 horsepower of additional compression at the Elma station; a new connection with the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in the Town of Wales; and work in other areas of New York and Pennsylvania.

National Fuel intends to use existing pipeline right of way for its work in Niagara County, although some acquisitions may be needed. The company said that it will negotiate those based on existing land values in the area.