The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 23 issued a notice about an application from Texas Eastern Transmission about a project to protect gas pipelines from subsidence from a longwall panel at the Emerald mine in Greene County, Pa.
Emerald is a mine that works the high-sulfur Pittsburgh coal seam and is owned by Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR). The mine produced 3 million tons of coal in the the first nine months of this year and 4.4 million tons in all of 2012, according to U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data.
Texas Eastern is seeking a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct its Emerald Longwall Mine Panel D1 Project. Texas Eastern said in its application that, due to anticipated longwall mining activities of Emerald Coal Resources LP in Greene County in Panel D1 of Emerald’s mine, ground subsidence may occur.
In order to maintain the operation of existing pipeline facilities throughout the duration of the subsidence anticipated from the mining activities, Texas Eastern proposes to excavate, elevate, replace, and/or abandon by removal certain sections of five different pipelines and appurtenant facilities located in Greene County.
The anticipated timeline for completion of the subsidence mitigation work is about two years from the start of construction in 2014 due to the duration of time that the longwall mining activities are anticipated to occur under the pipelines. Texas Eastern requested that the commission grant the authorizations on or before Feb. 1, 2014, in order for it to have the time necessary to prepare for the elevation and replacement work that will begin in April 2014, immediately following the end of the 2013/2014 winter heating season, when gas demand is especially high.