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Of Pipelines and Protests

  February 2018 / Vol 8 Issue 1

Of Pipelines and Protests
By: Ray Keller, National Sales Manager, Pipeline Division, BEG Group, LLC


Energy, and the ability to produce and deliver energy to the marketplace is, depending upon circumstances, the number 1,2, or 3 commodity that is most important not only to the comfort and survival of our population, but the most basic tool needed to ultimately insure the freedom and existence of our Country. Look back a short time ago to WW ll. The Japanese began aggression towards other neighboring countries not only to secure land for their growing population, but had virtually no natural energy resources of their own to fight a successful war, sustain its’ manufacturing plants, keep their population warm, and soldiers supplied with food and weapons. An unloaded gun is a club. Does anyone remember how we defeated Rommel, The Desert Fox, in Africa, and his superior German Panzer tanks?  We ran him out of fuel.

Several of the pipeline projects currently under construction are being challenged by those against pipelines who have no more interest in whether the pipeline gets built or not except for the fact that they may get their picture on the evening news!! Fifteen minutes of fame. Little do they know that the pipeline, by federal law, will get built much to the benefit of the American citizens, government and industry. The only real thing the protestors can accomplish is delaying the completion of a project, missing its’ in-service date, and increasing delivery costs of the product to the consumer. That cost will be reflected in industrial and residential electric, natural gas and fuel oil rates to all consumers.

Let’s take just one prime example. The State of New York. It is the most highly taxed state in the union followed closely by CA and NJ. Surprise, surprise. The state treasury is bankrupt, and they have passed anti fracking and pipeline construction legislature by virtue of a loophole in the law stating they can deny a very critical water permit. Governor Como has thus far been successful in the courts and blocked several major projects proposed by National Fuel Gas, and Williams/TRANSCO that would greatly relieve the critical energy shortage in NY.  But let’s go back to my previous statement. The pipeline, once approved by FERC and the Federal Government will be built. Mr. Como must have missed the history lesson stating that federal law TRUMPS state law. The Marcellus Shale Formation extends into the state of NY. If they would have chosen to develop that resource for the good of its’ citizens, they would not be bankrupt, they could have ample energy reserves, and heaven forbid, perhaps lower taxes and create careers, not just jobs.  During this winter’s cold snap, the pipelines could not keep up with the demand for natural gas in NY. Their uninterruptable contracts, those with schools, hospitals, military bases and law enforcement took up all of the available capacity. So now the interruptible service contracts with those who heat their homes, electric generating companies, private businesses, in other words you and me, go to the spot market.  It’s like buying the last snow shovel at the hardware store in a blizzard. The price goes through the roof. And don’t you think the very same people protesting the building of pipelines squealed like pigs under a gate when their natural gas prices were increased over 310% should just the Williams/TRANSCO project have been in service. The current problem is not the shortage of the product, natural gas, but the shortage of the ability to get it to market. Furthermore, NJ and most all of New England are in worse shape.

I have spent my entire working career providing equipment and services for the responsible construction of pipelines in the US, Canada, and Mexico. I will continue to do so for as long as I can because I believe what I do makes our lives in The United States of America better. Now let’s get onto the task at hand by updating last month’s projects.

This was completed on budget and on time allowing additional electrical generation
to begin with the opening of the already built Cogen plant

Still on hold

255 Miles 36″ in 4 Spreads
Hanoverton Ohio to Wadsworth Ohio
Wadsworth Ohio to Clyde Ohio
Clyde Ohio to Waterville Ohio
Waterville Ohio to Ypsilanti, MI

Work will begin pending final FERC Permitting early spring 2018

Spreads 1, 3, & 4 Michels Pipeline
Spread 2 Latex Construction

172 miles 36″ WV
Spread 1 Welded Const.
Spread 2 Snelson Construction
Spread 3 & 4 Associated Pipeline
Spread 5 & 6 Price Gregory
Spread 7 & 8 Henkels & McCoy

PENN EAST P/L Joint Venture
126 miles various diameters
Bids are in No start date

Howard Energy 10 miles 8′ & 16″
Tioga City, PA
Precision P/L
April start

Tri County Bare Steel Project
12 miles 20″ Washington County, PA
Contractor TBD
June 2018 start

12 miles 24″
Triadelphia WV
Start TBD

ACCESS NORTHEAST Spectra Energy National Grid
96 miles 24″,30″, 42″
Start June 2018
Awards TBD

14 miles 16″ Berks County PA
Awards TBD

Dominion Transmission
580 miles 42′, 36′ & 20′
USPL, Michels P/L, Price Gregory, Rockford Corp.
Spring start Awaiting final FERC

39 miles 30″ & 36″
Awaiting awards and FERC

303 miles 42″ WV, VA
April start
Spreads 1-5 Precision P/L
Spread 6 Price Gregory
Spread 7 & 8 US Trinity Energy Services
Spreads 9 & 10 Precision P/L
Spread 11 TBD

Mark West Energy
28 miles 20″ Cadiz Ohio
May 2018

Williams TRANSCO
35 miles 42″ & 26″
Lancaster CountyPA & Middlesex County NJ
June 2018 start


This is a list of major projects only. There are many more needing skilled and unskilled workers. If you have a skill you think might be useful to a contractor and are looking for hard work and a great wage, I would encourage you to contact one or more of the contractors mentioned here. They will all be looking for help. Please remember you will be working under the DOT Safety and Drug Policy rules.

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