UNION CITY — Unseen pipelines, buried beneath the ground in western Pennsylvania and New York, carry natural gas from about 6,500 wells.
Those wells, many in service since the 1980s, provide gas to National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. and help meet the need for 12 million cubic feet a day at a gas-fired power plant in Jamestown, N.Y.
But Oivind Risberg, a native of Norway and the founder of EmKey Energy LLC, the owner of that pipeline network, has been thinking for years about its untapped potential.
After 10 years of planning, EmKey Gas Processing LLC has opened a new $10 million gas processing plant just east of Union City, where five of Risberg’s underground pipelines converge.
The plant, at the end of a long gravel lane, is actually a series of open-air installations of compressor units, 30,000-gallon storage tanks, towering vent pipes and complex equipment that cools the gas to nearly 140 degrees below zero and separates out the liquid components of butane, propane, ethane and liquid natural gas.