Marcellus Shale US

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Once the gas wells are drilled and the natural gas begins to flow, it becomes necessary to deliver the gas and gas liquids to market. Natural gas pipelines move gas to compressor stations and wet gas processing facilities to separate the natural gas from the natural gas liquids (NGL's)

Claysville pipeline

Half of the pipelines in Pennsylvania are at least 45 years old and the majority of pipelines in the US were installed before 1970. Corrosion accounted for 28% of serious pipeline accidents.

  Here we get a glimpse of natural gas pipeline construction over Marcellus Shale. Photos of excavation equipment, gas pipe and pipeline construction are featured, from recent photo tours of Marcellus Shale natural gas well drilling areas in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cross-country pipelines are seen travelling over hills and through valleys of the rolling terrain.

Pipelines above ground

Could faster gas flow have contributed to Texas Eastern pipeline explosion?

By Don Hopey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission allowed Texas Eastern to significantly increase the horsepower of its Delmont compressor station in November 2014, boosting the speed of gas flowing through the 35-year-old pipeline that exploded April 29 in Salem, Westmoreland County, Pa. FERC approved the compressor upgrades from 46,400 to 71,900 horsepower without requiring Texas Eastern to provide gas flow velocity data. Aaron Stemplewicz, the Delaware Riverkeeper attorney who wrote the organization’s comment letter, said there are no federal regulations limiting gas flow velocity but there should be.

One of the four pipelines in the right-of-way where the explosion occurred — Line 19, a 30-inch diameter pipeline — and cleared it to return to operation. Line 27, the one that exploded, Line 12, a 24-inch-diameter pipeline, and Line 28, a 36-inch-diameter pipeline, remain out of service. Line 12 poses special concerns. In 2009, Texas Eastern/ Spectra Energy asked and PHMSA approved a “special permit” that waives compliance with some safety regulations, including a line replacement requirement, for a 1.65-mile segment of the pipeline in an area where a number of new homes have been constructed near the pipeline right-of-way.

Full story



gas pipe stockpile


Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120


Melanie Williams, DEP

DEP and Stonehenge Appalachia LLC agree to $1.5 Million Civil Penalty for Environmental Violations

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Stonehenge Appalachia LLC, (Stonehenge) have entered a Consent Order and Agreement that includes a $1.5 million civil penalty assessment for having uncontrolled and unpermitted sediment discharges into wetlands and causing a landslide into a stream in Butler County.

“This type of man-made ecological impact is both egregious and avoidable, and never should have occurred,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “By this action, Stonehenge accepts both environmental and financial responsibility for their actions.”

In March 2016, DEP issued a Cease and Desist Order to Stonehenge and its contractors for violating environmental regulations at various stream and wetland crossings an along 18-mile pipeline in Butler County. The violations took place between November 2015 and March 2016.  Stonehenge appealed the Orders.

The DEP determined that Stonehenge caused uncontrolled and unpermitted discharges of sediment along the 18-mile pipeline, caused a large landslide of sediment into a stream, and filled two wetlands with sediment. The company’s pipeline directional boring activities also discharged significant drilling fluids, including bentonite clay into waters of the Commonwealth. These activities violate the 2012 Oil and Gas Act, Clean Stream Law, Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act.

The Consent Order and Agreement documents the restoration and mitigation activities that have been taken by Stonehenge to address the violations and outlines additional restoration obligations. The $1.5 million civil penalty is assessed under the 2012 Oil and Gas Act, Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act, and the Solid Waste Management Act.  As part of the Consent Order and Agreement, Stonehenge will withdraw the appeal of the DEP Orders and the DEP will continue the review of the permit applications submitted by Stonehenge for pipeline projects in Butler County.

# # #

The landslide was discovered by DEP inspectors in February 2016 in a pipeline construction area near Rex Energy’s Voll Compressor Station, in Connoquenessing Township, Butler County, and impacted tributaries of Little Connoquenessing Creek. The pipeline project area includes 72 crossings of streams and wetlands.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Installing a gas pipeline in Washington County, Pa.

Stream breached by muddy May 2011 run-off.
Baker Station Road, Amwell Township, Pa


Interstate gas pipeline for Marcellus

Pipeline construction between West Virginia and Pennsylvania connecting to the MarkWest Plant in Houston, Pa.

Marcellus Shale gas pipeline


Western Pennsylvania gas pipeline

Green protective coating on new gas pipe

Gas pipe along ditch

Gas pipe laid out and awaiting installation.
Welds at joints are X-Rayed.

Serious pipeline incident cause breakdown 1990 through 2009


   Pipeline construction in farm country

Pipeline workers installing a new pipeline
   Working near an older gas facility

Methane Is Popping Up All Over Boston

November 20, 2012 – NEW YORK TIMES by Joanna M. Foster - Concern over water contamination from fracking for natural gas aside, some argue that the much-advertised climate advantage of natural gas may be all but offset by the steady release of methane during its long journey from the well to the 65 million American households that depend on natural gas. Molecule per molecule, methane has more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Now researchers in Boston have given skeptics of the at-least-natural-gas-is-better- than- coal argument some additional ammunition.

In Boston and many other aging cities in the Northeast, a maze of underground low-pressure natural gas pipelines are riddled with leaks. The research team discovered 3,356 leaks of methane whose isotopic characteristics indicated that they originated in fossil fuel rather than microbial sources. Some leaks clocked in at more than 15 times the global background methane level. According to the Energy Information Administration, an average of $3.1 billion worth of natural gas is lost or unaccounted for nationally each year. Generally it is the consumer ratepayers, not the producers, who pay the penalty for the lost gas.

   Gas pipeline company uses tracked vehicles for rough terrain
E&S (erosion & sedimentation) roll crosses dirt path
Gas pipe cribbed up to allow access on all sides of pipe

New gas pipe going into the ground is around $1 million to $1.5 million per mile. In 1968, Congress began imposing federal construction standards on new natural gas pipelines, resulting in improvements to welds, coatings and pipeline inspections.


Pipeline ditch being backfilled
   Wires overhead are marked with flagging ribbons
"Pig launchers"
Pipeline regulation is handled by:
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulate gas transportation rates, pipeline capacity, pipeline siting and natural gas quality requirements.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provide regulation for the safe transportation of natural gas through pipelines.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state environmental protection agencies provide regulations for protection of the environment during the construction and operation of pipeline facilities.

  • The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides regulation for safe working conditions.

  • The U.S. Department of Interior Minerals Management Service (MMS) provides regulation for offshore pipeline easement leases.

"Pig launchers" used for "pigging" to clean out pipes
Stream crossing covered with timbers
   Pipeline construction activities
   Rolls of filter sock onsite
Ditch to hold two gas pipelines, more might be added to this right-of-way in the future
Amwell Township Pennsylvania gas pipeline
Installing gas pipeline on a steep slope
Gas pipeline installation
Before (above)
After (below)
Restored pipeline
Gathering pipeline from well site to compressor station
December 2011 - Another new gas pipeline between
Caldwell Rd. and Agape Rd. for Bible Camp gas
pipe yard
Pipe yard along the Monongahela River
gas pipeline excavation
Pipeline installations accelerated in Washington County during 2013


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