tl;dr – PennEast pipeline partner AGL Resources is working with Transco pipeline company to bring PennEast gas to Georgia.
Many people pointed to the participation of Elizabethtown Gas in the PennEast pipeline project as proof that this pipeline was being built to benefit the people of New Jersey. I mean, hey, this is a local natural gas company, clearly they’re going to use it to lower gas prices in the state. Right?
Well, as it turns out things are not always what they seem. When PennEast does non-official presentations to the public or the press they play up the Elizabethtown Gas angle. However, if you look at their official filings you’ll note that Elizabethtown Gas is not mentioned. Instead, their parent company, AGL Resources, are the actual company of record that’s involved with PennEast.
But that’s just a technicality, right?
Well, no, as it turns out that makes a big difference. While Elizabethtown Gas is a local company, AGL Resources is not. According to their web site AGL resources is in fact “the largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States”.
And their plans for PennEast look to be quite a bit bigger than providing gas to NJ.
Williams, the owner of the Transco pipeline network, announced that they are working in cooperation with AGL Resources to expand their pipeline capacity to get more gas flowing from Mercer County, NJ to the south east. Their press release is here.
The purpose of this project is to get Marcellus shale gas from Transco’s Mercer County interconnect down to Georgia. On its end Transco will be beefing up the compressor stations along the route to deliver more gas at higher pressures along existing pipelines. AGL is partnering with them to build another 111 mile pipeline to connect into this infrastructure.
The kicker of course is that the “Marcellus Gas” Transco and AGL are talking about will be coming from the PennEast pipeline. The Mercer County interconnect is where the PennEast pipeline terminates in Hopewell Township, NJ. The pipeline that was being built to “benefit consumers and businesses in PA and NJ” is yet again being proven to not benefit our states at all.
And what this also shows is the knock-on effects these pipelines will have. Pipelines will beget more pipelines. Companies will be motivated to upgrade existing infrastructure. More and more infrastructure will be built out to get this gas where they can make the most money out of it.
And once the Marcellus region is played out, all those pipes will be useless.