Landowners, gas companies at odds over pipeline

NORWICH – A controversy is brewing between landowners who have leased their property to natural gas companies and those who have not, and it’s not over the potential environmental hazards.

Nornew Inc.’s proposed pipeline is the divider.

Plans are to connect the company’s existing pipeline - located at county Rt. 16 in Plymouth - with a new transmission line heading south through the towns of Preston, Oxford, Coventry and Bainbridge, and on down to connect with the Millennium pipeline in Broome County.

The Norway-based Norse Energy subsidiary already pumps natural gas north to the Tennessee pipeline. Both the Millennium - which is still partly under construction - and the Tennessee are giant pipelines that carry natural gas from west to east in the north and the south of New York.

Nornew’s pipeline would be the only connector between the two transmission corridors in New York and would be the company’s “claim to fame,” according to Oxford Landowners Group President Bryant LaTourette.

Nornew has been the primary player to target the subsurface layers of natural gas underneath Chenango County. It is one of many energy companies currently leasing rights and/or drilling in the Appalachian River Basin for what’s believed to be the mother load of formations: the Marcellus Shale geologic formation. Approximately 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is believed to be stored there, enough to handle the entire country’s energy needs for at least two years.

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