Laser Northeast Gathering Co. LLC has started construction on its gathering and transportation pipeline in Susquehanna County, PA, and expects the project to bring substantial investment and jobs to northeastern Pennsylvania, CEO Thomas F. Karam said at a groundbreaking ceremony in New Milford, PA, Tuesday.

“This project will play a vital role in helping the area realize the full economic potential of the natural gas resources that are here,” Karam said.

The firm’s $50 million gathering project is proposed to run 21 miles from Susquehanna County to the New York border, then another nine miles within Broome County, NY, to a connection with the Millennium interstate pipeline in New Windsor. The 16-inch diameter gathering line will have 10 initial field receipt points in Susquehanna County and 12 miles of gathering laterals.

The system, which will gather gas from the Marcellus Shale, will have gathering pressure of 350-650 psig, maximum allowable operating pressure of 1,440 psig and design capacity of 400 MMcf/d. Construction is expected to be completed this summer.

Susquehanna County is an area of significant producer activity in the Marcellus (see Daily GPI, Sept. 10, 2010), producing 41.6 Bcfe between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, according to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Oil & Gas Management.

Laser is moving forward with the project despite an administrative law judge’s recommendation that the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission deny an application from the company to be deemed a public utility with the ability to exercise the right of public domain for the pipeline (see Shale Daily, Dec. 3, 2010).

Laser, which employs 20 full-time staff people at its regional office in Montrose, PA, said it expects to employ approximately 350 construction professionals during construction of the pipeline and will employ several local contractors.

Laser was acquired by Delphi Midstream Partners LLC last year (see Daily GPI, July 13, 2010).