Storage Facilities in Pennsylvania — The Untold Story
The issue of underground natural gas storage capacity opens a huge door to transparency. Spectra Energy asserts that the need for yet another underground gas storage facility in Pennsylvania is critical, and both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Federal Judge Kim Gibson support this claim.
For those who like to manage by facts, the reality is that Pennsylvania has more underground natural gas storage sites than any of the 48 states in the continental US, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an agency of the US Department of Energy (see link below).
Pennsylvania already has 49 underground natural gas storage sites in depleted gas/oil fields, with a combined working capacity of 406 Billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to the EIA.
In fact, Pennsylvania has 47% of all the underground gas storage sites among 13 states that comprise the Northeast Region. In addition, these Pennsylvania storage fields comprise 51% of the “working gas capacity” for the entire Northeast Region, as EIA statistics reveal. It would appear there is no shortage of storage sites or capacity in Pennsylvania.
But Texas-based Spectra Energy apparently believes that adding another storage site is more critical than recovering new gas for the nation’s energy needs.
The principle for Bedford County landowners is that, since the underlying asset is our property, we prefer to use it to recover more gas rather than to store gas. The proposed storage field in Bedford County is next to the gas-rich Marcellus Shale.
The country needs to produce more domestic gas and stop importing gas – and stop destroying the opportunity for property owners to recover the natural gas resources which are under their property not Spectra Energy’s property.
In a free market, that should be our choice. Instead, we are treated as obstacles to someone else’s entitlement (via the power of eminent domain granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission).
In the meantime, Spectra Energy owns or co-owns four underground natural gas storage fields with more than 250 Bcf of “certified working gas storage capacity” – three in the Northeast Region (two of them in Pennsylvania) and one in Ontario, Canada, according to the company’s website.
These sites are:
Accident, Maryland (wholly owned)
Oakford, PA (50% ownership)
Leidy, PA (25% ownership)
Dawn, Ontario, Canada (wholly owned) — “North America’s largest,” according to Spectra Energy
Spectra Energy’s website: http://www.spectraenergy.com/what_we_do/storage/
The EIA report on underground gas storage fields in Pennsylvania and the US is available at this link: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngpipeline/undrgrnd_storage.html
Here is an “op-ed” or opinion piece on this subject that ran in the The Tribune Democrat (Johnstown, PA): op-ed-tribune-democrat