The full return of the Teppco propane pipeline has been bumped back again, with the crucial supply artery not expected to be functioning again till the end of the month, or even early February. That will make it five months of supply problems for the Northeast, since the pipeline sprang a leak in Upstate New York on Aug. 27.
Slightly different estimates for the completion of the work were announced this week. The current issue of LPGas Magazine has the pipeline’s owner saying late January. And the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) has estimates as late as February. The timetable for the repairs has already been pushed back several weeks later than expected.
On the bright side, service along the 165-mile pipeline, which runs east across the middle of the state, has made clear progress. Last week, service was restored between Watkins Glen and the terminal in Harford Mills — easing the drive time for harried retailers who faced long drives and long lines at Watkins Glen since the disruption began.
Next up are the terminals at the town of Oneonta, and the last one farther east in Selkirk. Hydrostatic testing was done on the leg up to Oneonta this week, which would add about 70 more miles of pipeline.
The steel propane pipeline is 47 years old.
The supply disruptions have taken a toll on propane customers around the region. New York has seen some of the steepest price gains this heating season, with average price for a gallon of the gas rising 57 cents, according to federal data.