Natural gas pipeline systems and distribution companies so far have reported no problems maintaining service through Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy.
Interstate pipelines are continuing to weather “well” the storm that slammed into the East Coast Monday night, said the head of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA).
“INGAA member companies are monitoring developments and their systems actively, with a focus on potential flooding or wind damage to above-ground facilities in low-lying or particularly hard-hit areas,” said INGAA President Don Santa.
In preparation for the Superstorm, one part hurricane Sandy, one part cold front from the West, Spectra Energy shut in a compressor station in Lambertville, NJ, and a meter station in Suffern, NY, on its Texas Eastern Transmission system (see Daily GPI, Oct. 30). The Lambertville Compressor Station has a daily throughput of 3.9 Bcf. The Suffern Meter Station is located in a low-lying area near the border of New York and New Jersey. “Right now we don’t have a projected time frame” for when the facilities will be reactivated, said Spectra Energy spokeswoman Caitlin Currie.
In addition to the shut-ins on its system, Spectra Energy has halted all construction on the Tetco expansion, which when completed would provide an additional 800 MMcf/d of transportation capacity into the New Jersey-New York region (see Daily GPI, Oct. 22).
According to Santa, “any potential [pipeline] outages are likely to be mitigated by relatively modest seasonal natural gas demand and lower electric generation demand due to power outages.
Utilities also appeared to be holding up, although it may be too soon to tell since some areas are still under water.
Despite it gas utility facilities being in the path of Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Natural gas (NJNG) has survived without any major outages, said a spokeswoman for the local distribution company (LDC).
“Because our [gas lines] are underground, our service wasn’t was impacted as other utilities, like electric,” NJNG spokeswoman Renee Amellio told NGI. “In terms of service outages, we don’t have any major service outages.”
The utility “really doesn’t have any portion of its system that had to be turned off, at least at this point. Most of the repairs that we’ve been doing” involved a compromise to a foundation, such as a tree being uprooted, Amellio said.
However, she noted that flooding has prevented crews from accessing some coastal areas of NJNG service territory. Wall, NJ-based NJNG supplies natural gas to a little more than 500,000 customers in the southern, central and northern parts of the state.
Newark, NJ-based PSE&G said it expected the heavy rain and storm surge to result in natural gas outages. Water could enter the utility’s gas distribution system, as well as flood customers’ gas appliances, it said.
A spokesman for New Haven, CT-based United Illuminating Co., which owns Southern Connecticut Gas, Bridgeport Gas and Connecticut Gas, said his company’s gas utilities were not experiencing “any issues” at the moment.
“There are certainly flooding issues that have happened across the state, but it hasn’t impacted our ability to provide gas service,” he said.
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